|IAA 2007 - Miniature model maker wants to revive Trabant car||14/09/2007|
|By David Vink in Frankfurt|
|Herpa is seeking partners to design and produce the vehicle.|
14 September 2007 – Once the mass-produced car in the former East Germany and practically the only choice for most of the population at the time, there are today very few original plastic composite bodied Trabant cars to be seen in Germany.
Recognising the small vehicle as "robust" and "entirely symbolic" and stating that "no car has emotionalised the Germans more than the Trabant", miniature car and aircraft model maker Herpa Miniaturmodelle in Dietenhofen in the German state of Franconia is presenting a 1:10 scaled down design study as a prime focus of its stand at the IAA 2007 (up to 23 September) with the bold declared strategy to find partners to develop a new full-size roadworthy version of the vehicle.
The first bright blue design study model has a white roof, but Herpa has been encouraging visitors to its IAA stand to contribute their own ideas and opinions on how it should finally look.
In connection with the "newTrabi" initiative, Herpa's managing director Klaus Schindler has already taken the first step by acquiring the Trabant trademark for the company from the Trabant-Register association. Herpa has made several hundred thousand Trabant models since 1990 in 1:87 scale.
Schindler says of the project "we want with our initiative to bring the Trabi onto the roads in a new form, in order to continue the history of this cult object".
Production of the original "Trabi" started on 7 November 1957 in the Saxony town of Zwickau and ended in 1991. It involved bodywork made in phenolic resin plastic composite with recycled wool or cotton textile fibres as reinforcement, a material rumoured to be edible by animals, as has been shown in a film featuring the car. It is an open question as to whether the "newTrabi" will use the same type of material or another plastic solution.
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