1. Lotsokids

    Lotsokids Loyal Comrade

    Hi all. I am an American living and working in Hungary. I've been here for over 3 years now. I am the proud owner of TWO Trabants. One is a 1986 that I purchased from the original owner. It has a Fiat 903 4-cylinder, 4-stroke engine. The second is a 1982 powered by the original 2-stroke 600cc engine. About 3 months ago I was involved in a life-threatening accident in the 1986 Trabant. A truck was attempting to open a large door at the air base where I work. No cones or people were present to warn of the cable stretched across the road. I hit it, and it ripped off the hood, cut through the windshield and front posts, then it struck me in the MOUTH. My jaw was shattered into 5 separate pieces, plus numerous skull fractures, and coma for 7 days. I regained consciousness on Christmas Day. I've healed fairly well and went back to work this month, but I still have problems with my jaw bones healing up correctly. It looks like I will be returning to the U.S. for corrective surgery. It's amazing how the body protects itself as I cannot remember anything about the accident.

    I had a '57 Chevy theme on the car, and plan to do the same on my "new" 1982 Trabant.

    Here are some pictures:


    Here you can see where the cable stopped at the door posts before cutting my head off. Actually, the seat back failed sending me into the back seat.

    JASONCHAD Trabi Meister Forum Donor

    I am glad you are on the mend...terrible accident. I wish you the best in your recovery.
  3. Keri

    Keri Leader


    Glad to hear you survived and kept your spirits about you.

    And very best wishes for a speedy recovery.
  4. Justin

    Justin Founder Moderator

    As everyone else said, glad you are still with us and sorry you went through all that. That is quite a story.

    Is everything healing as it should and getting you back to normal?

    How much longer do you plan to be in Hungary?
  5. Lotsokids

    Lotsokids Loyal Comrade

    I actually fly out this week to the U.S. for surgery.
    I'll be in Hungary for at least a couple more years.
  6. Justin

    Justin Founder Moderator

    Well have a safe flight and I hope it all turns out OK. Where are they flying you to?
  7. Lotsokids

    Lotsokids Loyal Comrade

    Mayo Clinic, Minnesota.
  8. Justin

    Justin Founder Moderator

    Well, that is the best of the best when it comes to Health Care.
    Lotsokids likes this.
  9. Lotsokids

    Lotsokids Loyal Comrade

    I'm back in Hungary now. At the Mayo Clinic, they cut 4.5 inches of bone out of my left leg fibula. They installed it into my jaw. I will have temporary teeth implants installed in August, then permanent ones at the end of the year. The leg is doing O.K., but not back to 100% yet. The jaw has healed well, but some swelling still. Nearly NO pain. It's a miracle. I'm thankful to be alive. I came very close to death.

    Here's my x-ray.

  10. Matteo

    Matteo Premium Member Forum Donor

    I am glad you are recovering your health. The X.ray reveal YOU are the Iron Man! (even in the heart )
    Good luck.
  11. Justin

    Justin Founder Moderator

    Glad everything is going in te right direction. Also happy to hear you made it back to Hungary OK
  12. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    Damn! A steel cable did that? How thick was the cable? I'm glad you are doing better.

    I hate to ask this considering the cirmustances but I've been into Fiats and Yugos for 20 years and considered dropping a 1100cc Yugo motor into one which I just so happen to have a couple of. The pushrod 903cc engine that was in yours was also used in the Yugo but not the ones imported to the US. I'm curous about how the conversion was carried out. Fiat engine mated to the Trabbi transmission or a Fiat engine/transmission alltogether?
  13. Wartburg353W

    Wartburg353W Loyal Comrade

    You've got some brass balls to want to keep driving a Trabant after that terrible incident. I worry sometimes with my kids in the Wartburg with me.
  14. Lotsokids

    Lotsokids Loyal Comrade

    It was about 1/2 or 3/4 inch diameter.

    The previous owner completed the conversion just prior to the 1.1 being available He mated the Fiat engine to the original Trabi 601 transmission. There is a big adapter plate between the two. Because of the strict rules here in Hungary about doing things like that, I have a "book" showing all the details about the engine swap with technical drawings and every page stamped and approved. Goofy.
  15. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    Someday I would like to pick up another Trabbi and perhaps do a Fiat engine swap.

    I had a chance to buy two more Trabbis for $3000 from the same guy who imported mine from Hungary. My wife told me to buy them but because I have a lot going on I declined for fear if I got them they would just sit there for years and it would kill me knowing I didn't have time to work on them.

    If you decide you want to sell any bits used to do the conversion I'd be interested in buying them from you. From the looks of the car is there anything salvagable from the conversion?

    I'll have to double check if the transmission bolt patterns are the same on the Fiat pushrod and the SOHC engines since I have no pushrod engines which are somewhat rare in the US. Both Yugo versions used the same transmissions but the bolt pattern on the bell housings may have been different. So the adapter may not do me any good.

    A copy of the "book" would be great!
  16. Lotsokids

    Lotsokids Loyal Comrade

    Yes, the engine and transmission are in tact. A Hungarian mechanic friend of mine wants to install it into my new one. But I was told that the fire department used the fire extinguisher to shut off my engine instead of turning the key. So I think the carb ingested some extinguishing agent. Besides, I and the car are in Hungary and have no way of getting this to you.

    The "book" is nearly 100 pages with some fold-out tech drawings. I cannot exactly get that to you either. :(
  17. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

  18. jfreakofkorn

    jfreakofkorn Loyal Comrade

    hogy vagy es hogy megy a munka .....


    im glad that you made it outta that alive ...
    Lotsokids likes this.
  19. Bennyahc

    Bennyahc Puttering Along

    I double rolled an Austin Maxi at 70mph down a Motorway/Autobahn/Freeway & walked away with a small scratch on my hand! The car was nothing more than a ball of crushed metal.
  20. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    About ten years ago I bought two Yugo parts cars. The white one has been stripped of useable parts and the body is gone but I have not had a chance to strip the red one down yet!

    Both cars had low miles on them but had been sitting for about 15 years. They only saw about 2 years of use before they were wrecked. No doubt the bald tires on the fronts had something to do with how they ended up in an accident. Back in those days insurance companies would not issue you a "collision" policy on Yugos because if they were involved in an accident they cost more to repair than they were worth.

    I don't know the story behind both cars but it's obvious the white one was rolled. I was amazed that the only glass that was broken was the windshield. The red one suffered a major blow to the front end but from the firewall back is OK. I'm thinking about cutting the front end off, inserting a piece of angle iron under the fake driveshaft tunnel and making an enclosed trailer out of it.


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