While I was backpacking in Germany during July, I was fortunate to drop by a really small museum down the corner of Alexanderplatz, where the famous Berlin TV Tower stood. This museum is built directly under the bridge of an S-bahn (State-lines). Shell with it's classical logo and a time when Germany still uses Deutsch Mark for its currency, fascinating!
Inside the museum houses the temporary and the permanent exhibit. I paid under 10 Euros to get into the museum and was able to see classic German motoring from first hand. Let me explain the first part of the visit, where I visited the temporary exhibit.
The temporary exhibition's theme was, East German motoring in the 1960s. After a decade when Germany lost the war and surrendered to the allies, Germany was split into the East and West, consisting of its Democratic allies and its Soviet supporters. Berlin, although being located on the East side of Germany, was split into half, where the Allies had Berlin West and the Soviets had Berlin East.
Life in the East was very tough and trades were almost non-existent with its Western counterparts. Cars like Mercedes-Benz and BMW were not offered on the East side of the country. However, Trabants (as pictured above), were an answer to the East Germans, who wanted an inexpensive, daily run car.
Trabants were wonderful cars of its days. Since they were mass produced, spare parts wouldn't be a problem. Although the car would still be lacking in terms of performance and handling, the car served its purpose, being a point A to B car. They are comparable to Russian built cars, where they are just dreary to drive but an easy car to own.
Trabants could perfectly seat up to 4 to 5 adults, depending on how big they were. This cars served as a great family car, especially a car to bring them camping around the German countryside. Roof racks serve as a great way to carry bags in those days. No one would really care if their bags are soaked in the rain, because those carry bags are made of leather. Notice that old looking fabric tent on the side of the car? Can't find anything like those these days, it's all been replaced by plastics or nylons now. Trabant sedan (blue) and Trabant estate (grey) compared, right next to a classic yatch
Right on top of the Trabant estate, you would find a nice tent built on top of the roof. One would wonder if the roof on top of the car could sustain the weight of a heavy person. Sadly, we weren't able to try out, because we were in a museum.
Life seems to be simple back in those days. Everything looked so relaxed, despite having the country being controlled by the Soviets. It was an eye opener to see exhibits like these, as they isn't any good car museums in our country. Let's hope someone would have the idea to start one, so that Malaysians are aware of their motoring history. Stay tuned for Part 2 Classic caravan set up My friend Anke being retro, standing next to the Mannequin Classic German Die-cast vehicles The 80's : Rubik's cube, Electronic Calculator and some cigar boxes of its time Hunting rifles Old cameras Turn-and-dial phones, so Shanghai Bund-esque!