Enquiring little “l.a. urban hipsters” wanted to know. To wit-
This was a Trabant.
This is a Trabant.
Powered by a two-stroke pollution generator that maxed out at an ear-splitting 18 hp, the Trabant was a hollow lie of a car constructed of recycled worthlessness (actually, the body was made of a fiberglass-like Duroplast, reinforced with recycled fibers like cotton and wood).
A virtual antique when it was designed in the 1950s, the Trabant was East Germany's answer to the VW Beetle — a "people's car," as if the people didn't have enough to worry about. Trabants smoked like an Iraqi oil fire, when they ran at all, and often lacked even the most basic of amenities, like brake lights or turn signals.
But history has been kind to the Trabi. It looks rather picturesque here.
Thousands of East Germans drove their Trabants over the border when the Wall fell, which made it a kind of automotive liberator.
Once across the border, the none-too-sentimental owners immediately abandoned their Trabis and traded them in for a posh capitalist toy.
Just kidding, or am I ? ϡ