1. trondd

    trondd Loyal Comrade

    Yeah, it's possible the older setups didn't have it. The metal line is the older style. Could just be a newer tank.

    Remembering, now. The older tank had the cap on the passenger side.

  2. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Puttering Along

    Update: I was able to find a company that can get the Börkey 842 1/2 key blanks from the manufacturer in Germany, so in a month or so I should be able to get a spare or two cut for my trunk/door locks.

    I am ordering some extras so if anyone out there ends up needing one of these, I will have some to help you out. I may be the only one who needs that type of key, but you never know.
  3. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Puttering Along

    Just a small update. I checked my gas cap and it does have a very small hole in it. After sitting for a day or two with the cap tight, there is an obvious venting sound when opening the cap, and it seems the car does not want to start until I do that. So, I presume that the hole is plugged or it is insufficient to provide the necessary venting. I sprayed some PB Blaster on the cap and it did run into the hole, but that did not seem to make a change. And the hole is obscured from the inside of the cap so I can't check to see if it is clear.

    I also checked that nut on the tank's passenger side. It is essentially a solid bolt that threads into the tank so there is no venting there as it sits. I think I might be able to rig something up that would thread into that hole and provide venting but not allow gasoline to slosh out of a full tank. Maybe even a short rubber hose connected to a fuel filter or something, which would allow air in, but would block any sloshed gasoline from going out the top of the filter. Not sure exactly what the best solution is, but for now I am just going to leave the cap not quite tight which should be OK with a low fuel level. And of course, at the moment the car is not going anywhere anyway since it needs the brakes all done,.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
  4. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Puttering Along

    A few questions for all you experts.

    First, the operating instructions manual available in English here is for a different year than mine, presumably a later year than mine. In it, it shows three control knobs for controlling ventilation of either heated or fresh air into the cabin and directing it to the windshield or under the dash. My car has only two knobs rather than three (see attached pic), so I am wondering if anyone has an idea of how they work? Perhaps one is an on/off, and the other controls whether the air is heated or just fresh air?

    Second, the outside mirror for my car was in the trunk, likely to keep it safe when it was shipped many years ago to the U.S. I see where it was attached to the driver's side window frame near the A-pillar. The method of attachment is two screws that simply tighten it to the frame there. It seems that the mirror is not super securely attached when I install it since it is just a friction-fit rather than actual holes that the screws thread into. Not only is it a bit loose, but also that has caused some paint damage in the area. I was wondering if anyone had any tricks to better secure the mirror (I obviously don't want it to fall off driving down the road) and prevent paint damage that could turn into a rust problem there. I have a mirror on the way for the passenger-side currently, so I would like to install that using a method that does as little damage to the paint as possible.

    Last, has any of you owners in U.S. found an insurance company willing to write a traditional insurance policy (i.e. daily use no restrictions)? My agent said the companies they normally deal with want nothing to do with insuring the Trabi. They offered me insurance through Hagerty, which is in a way advantageous in that you define the value of the car and the rate is based on that. But, it is intended for very casual, recreational use of the vehicle so it has to first be a "spare" car and not your main mode of transportation which it is in my case. The quote I got was based on a $9,000 car value (not sure if that is a reasonable value that I could obtain a replacement with or not) but it was not really expensive for a full year's coverage.

    They say the following about the policy:

    With Hagerty, your client can go for a weekend drive, take their vehicle up to the local ice cream shop or attend unlimited events and cruises…Our policy encourages classic owners to drive their cars for pleasure, to club functions, exhibitions, meets, tours and the like. Driving to work is also fine by us, up to 60 times per year in most states…Our policy allows occasional pleasure use with no fixed mileage restrictions,” but “occasional pleasure use does not mean use for daily driving to and from work or school, routine shopping, etc.”

    I would prefer a policy that would permit me to drive the car wherever and whenever I want, but on the other hand it would be nice if I were to have a very damaging accident that I could get my pre-defined value paid to me. Realistically, a very small accident would result in totaling the car in a traditional policy because they would be unable to easily obtain the parts needed to fix it. And, I have no idea how they would determine a value for the car if it were totaled since there is no reasonable market data on sales of Trabants in the United States.

    Just curious what you all are doing with insurance.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  5. Bill

    Bill Smoking Along

    I had Hagerty insurance on my first Trabant.
    I was involved in a collision and Hagerty paid the full pre agreed upon amount with zero issues.
    I drove my Trabant to work occasionally and around town. They don’t task satellites to keep track of you or anything. I imagine if you had some huge amount of mileage and were in an accident they might have an issue though.
  6. Kamil

    Kamil Puttering Along

    I have all my cars and my house insured with Statefarm. I remember that when first time I asked them about liability for my Trabi they hold me with decision for about 2 days. Now with another one should be fine.
  7. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Puttering Along

    Thanks for the insurance insights.

    I am confident that Hagerty would not know exactly what I am doing with the car on a day-to-day basis. And frankly, their 60 day to work guideline is probably sufficient for me since I don't plan on driving in the rain, and especially not snow. But, if I were to take it on vacation a few hundred miles away and something happens while on an unapproved use of the vehicle I imagine there would be an issue.
  8. Bill

    Bill Smoking Along

    Actually my Trabant is insured with State Farm now too just because it was easier to put all the insurance together.
  9. Bill

    Bill Smoking Along

    Hagerty told me a vacation trip was fine, but that was probably 10 years ago. (I emailed them and specifically asked since I had an MGA I wanted to take on a Colorado vacation). Things might have changed since then though.
  10. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Puttering Along

    I am going mostly from what my insurance agent is saying and not anything direct from Hagerty so perhaps it is fine. The statement from Hagerty is what they provide to agents as info to sell their policies, and is not actual text from any policy.

    Realistically, my trips to work (if I do not take any detours on the way) are only 3 miles one way, so those trips would add very little mileage and relatively low exposure to possible accidents it seems to me, so it seems reasonable to be permitted to put more miles on the car going other places. Once I get the brakes fixed, I will probably just go with them for now and see how it goes. I'd love to take a trip to the Spy Museum gathering at some point, which would be a fair drive from Ohio, and I assume that is a "show" and would be permitted. The biggest problem for me with that is that is deer hunting season for me, which makes a longer trip difficult at that time of year.
  11. Kamil

    Kamil Puttering Along

    I don't understand what is the point to have insurance with Hagerty if you have mileage leash from them.
    I don't have to worry about it with Statefarm and probably other Companies works the same.
    I know that Hagerty can be cheaper but I really don't like when somebody decide for me how/when/where to use MY stuff.
  12. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Puttering Along

    Kamil: In general I agree with your sentiment. Ideally I would like to drive wherever I please. And I don’t like anyone telling me what I can do with my property.

    State Farm in my state is pretty expensive so switching to them would get costly since I’d need to move all cars and home there I would think in order to get discounts. And, more importantly for me, if you crash your Trabant, I suspect you would not get much of a payout if they total it. Certainly there is no KBB value or the like to provide guidance. Maybe SF is an exception, but very few large standard insurers will write defined value plans like Hagerty. If they are going to only give you $500 for your totaled car you may as well not have full coverage and just get liability instead.

    Since I don’t know how much I will actually drive the car, I think trying a year with Hagerty and their fairly low cost might be a good idea. I may call places like SF to see how it would work and how much it would be since I’m not yet ready for the road.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  13. Kamil

    Kamil Puttering Along

    I am taking only liability for my Trabi. Do not see reason why to pay full coverage. If something happens I'll loose, but this car is just to old and low value to take full one and pay lot more in premium.
  14. trondd

    trondd Loyal Comrade

    You want to have "agreed value". Regular insurance does not do this. At the time of a claim they decide what it's worth. You and Hagerty agree up front what it's worth and in a total loss that's what they pay you.

    If you don't care about getting the value of the car back in a total loss then it might be cheaper to get liability only on regular insurance. That's what I used to do because Hagerty used to require the cars be in a locked garage which I didn't have.

    I think Hagerty was still cheaper and I get full coverage.
  15. Bill

    Bill Smoking Along

    I have antique auto insurance through State Farm, so full coverage for $65.00ish per year.
  16. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Puttering Along


    If you want only liability, and your insurance company is willing to add the Trabi to your policy, that would probably be the cheapest option. But maybe not by a whole lot. I think Hagerty will do a predefined value of $9,000 for around $200 per year. That comes with some restrictions but also would give you money to replace the car in the event of a collision.

    My daily driver cars are usually fairly old and nothing special to me, so in that case liability only makes sense. Such cars are for most purposes valueless, and full coverage gets you very little in a settlement. I can go get another beater car for about the same price as the difference between full coverage and liability only for a year or two. And I am not picky about what that next beater might be. For me the Trabi is a unique and collectible car so it would be worth enough for me to be willing to buy insurance that could allow me to get another one if I choose. I am not sure if $9,000 is the correct amount to get me another one or not, but I would have a chance to do so with that.

    In the end, everyone has a slightly different perspective on what it the right approach, so doing what works for you is what counts. At least for now, I’m leaning toward the Hagerty plan and then see if my usage fits their model. If not, I will need a plan B.

    Thanks to everyone for their input.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  17. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Puttering Along

    If you don’t mind me asking, did they give you an idea what they would pay in the event the car is totaled? And did they give you an idea how they would make the determination that it would be totaled? It seems unlikely that any insurance company in the US would pay for a repair shop to order replacement parts from Germany to fix it, but maybe I am wrong about that. Certainly no shops in the US have any experience with repairing Duroplast. And there is no useful market data on the value of a Trabi, so their usual procedures don’t really apply. Given all that, I wonder what full coverage really means for a policy like that? If nothing else, $65 a year is dirt cheap and protects you in the event you are liable for injuries or damage so it’s not a bad deal.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  18. Buckeye601

    Buckeye601 Puttering Along

    Maybe I answered my own question to Bill above, if this is what you have. Per this web page, State Farm offers classic car insurance along the same lines as Hagerty:


    Their stipulations on limited use appear to me to be more restrictive than Hagerty however. So perhaps you can insure with them and get a standard policy in which case likely you get very little if the car is totaled, or you get a defined value plan that is subject to use restrictions. Again, it all comes down to what works for you.

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