1. frogbros

    frogbros Von Trabi Forum Donor

    Hello from New York
    My name is Andy and I just purchased a 1985 Trabant 601 from a great guy named Len in MD. Just in the process of getting insurance and registration. Going with Hagerty to insure it.
  2. Justin

    Justin Founder Moderator

    Hagerty is a good choice for classics. I have mine with American Modern (AMIG) when looking at cost of replacement, remember to look at what it would actually cost you to replace the car, given that they are few and far between and don't come up for sale often, mine is insured at an agreed value of $10,000. This includes the cost to take time off work fly to Europe, find another and ship it home. :)

    Anyway. Let us know what help we can be and anything you need assistance with. Parts, tech advice, etc are all just a post away :)

    Thanks for joining.
  3. Keri

    Keri Leader

    Welcome to the forum and...

    Hi from Chicago, Andy! :D
  4. vdubbin

    vdubbin Loyal Comrade

    Welcome to the asylum Andy!
  5. frogbros

    frogbros Von Trabi Forum Donor

    Thank you for the warm welcome. So I am all set. Hagerty insurance and NYS plates with a temp inspection sticker. I took her for her madien voyage around my nieborhood. Lots of stares and many conversations about the car. Not to mention all the photo ops and this is just the first day.

    I do have a few questions. Just like Len I would like to replace the front seats. They are taken from a European Ford. They are welded to the original rails but don't function well. The passenger seat doesn't lock in place. Any suggestions?

    License play holders. I do not want to drill holes to accommodate the US plates.

    An lastly for now a found that the Trabi leaks. Left it out in the rain and the next day found puddles on the floor.

    Thanks Andy
  6. Justin

    Justin Founder Moderator

    frogbros Here is what I did on the plates....


    The first post with the tags are mine. Now keep in mind I live in Texas and they have things they are strict about, but I think it is probably a lot more lackadaisical here than it is in NY.

    With that said, I had these plates made and all the numbers after the TX are my actual Texas issued plate numbers. Frankly the car LOOKS like European plates belong in it, and I have only had European plates on my car since I've owned it and so far, (knock on wood) I haven't had any challenges with it and police have been behind me. To be safe I do keep my actual Texas tag in the car too.

    Another option that I have seen people do is the leave the Europlate and frame on there as is and flip the Euro plate so that only the backside aluminum is showing, then drill two holes in the Europlate and bolt the US plate to it.

    As far as the leak goes, most likely that is around one of the A-Pillars, there is actually a discussion going on about leaks now here:


    Most likely culprits are rust or a bad rubber seal. It might be good on a sunny day to get a hose out and try to trace it.

    Now to the fun stuff! I am glad you're enjoying the car, personally I think they are a blast to drive and admittedly, I am a bit of a narcissist so I LOVE the attention. One thing you will QUICKLY learn about your Trabi is you will get lots of looks, questions, photos and videos taken, etc.....They will make a lot of people smile and they may be laughing at the car, but I don't think it's in a negative form. Just get used to the attention because there will be a lot of it. The bulk of the population has no idea what it is. You, like Keri who is in Chicago may have more former Eastern Bloc immigrants, but most people won't have a clue.

    Another fun thing to do is to take it to a show and park it next to something ultra high end (i.e. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, once a new Ford GT40) and see what car brings more attention! @LenB also did some really nice things to the car to make it stand out.

    As for the seats.....I was trying the help @LenB with find something too and I know TNTrabi is looking for a front seat for his car. It may all just come down to patience and waiting until a container comes over.

    We'll get you sorted, you're in the right place.
  7. Len B

    Len B Puttering Along

    Andy, I thought I got all the leaks fixed, I did put black silicone in the window rubber it fixed that. It used to leak uner the glass and into the car, I also found where the winshield warshers are thru the body looked to be leaking, I tried to seal them maybe need new rubber washer und the metal washer. Glad to see you enjoy it. And yes you will be stopped alot and asked what is it.
    As for seats i was going to use seats from an old vw or maybe a MG.
  8. Justin

    Justin Founder Moderator

    MG or VW seats may not be a bad idea and I probably have access to some low back seat frames.
  9. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    Welcome aboard!

    A friend of mine bolted his tag to a piece of aluminum and drilled the aluminum so it bolted to the holes in the car. One of my Fiat buddies has a British spec Fiat X 1/9 and he has ran the original UK plates for over 20 years! He just sticks the Tennessee plate in the rear window. Actually in Tennessee, the plate doesn't have to be bolted to the car as long as it's displayed and can be read. I've seen plates duct taped to the inside of rear windows on pickup trucks. Why? Because they are missing the rear bumper!

    I opted to redrill my car and will fill in the holes from the original plate before I paint it. My licence plate frame doubles as backup lights!

  10. frogbros

    frogbros Von Trabi Forum Donor

    Hello to all
    Thank you all for the great ideals on mounting the license plate. I also found a device that mounts under the bumper and slides out and up to display the license plate or down and slides under to hide it. Not sure if it will be possible to mount it on the Trabi and they are $100 a piece...

    Len B the Trabi is Great , my sons and I love it....even my wife has warmed up to it. Thanks for the clues on the leaks. I will look into to those but in the meantime just enjoying driving her around.

    Thanks again Len B
    Justin likes this.
  11. trabant601

    trabant601 Loyal Comrade

    Welcome aboard. I used a piece of aluminum and now use an old surgical equipment tray cut down with some frame from plastic/cardboard poster frame. Naturally there is some duct tape on the back to make sure the frame doesnt pop off. Actually, it is gaffers tape, does anyone even know what that is? I shouldnt have used it, it is much more expensive. I say seats are seats. I was going to put some old 4x4 Vista seats in one for fun. East Germans used what they had. I changed my mind because I didnt have time and that project is already over budget and etc. I will go snap of my aluminum and plastic deals that help you avoid drilling. Oh, btw. drilling is not so invasive. I would enjoy a few new holes in there to put some funnny things.
  12. trabant601

    trabant601 Loyal Comrade

    Here they are, Wartburg987654W's dad made the aluminum one for me because he didn't like how I used bike reflectors and tin cans to make one fit. I used his idea and changed it to an easily worked with material. What do you think? IMG_20130818_190155.jpg IMG_20130818_190203.jpg
    Wartburg353W likes this.
  13. trabant601

    trabant601 Loyal Comrade

    IMG_20130818_190125.jpg IMG_20130818_190131.jpg IMG_20130818_190216.jpg
    These were too big so I had to reduce them to 99% of the original so they would fit.
  14. Justin

    Justin Founder Moderator

    That actually looks pretty good
  15. trabant601

    trabant601 Loyal Comrade

    Thanks. I do fear sometimes that the tape and the frame edges will fail and my plate will fall off. I check it and it is always secure. I kind of liked my bike reflector monkey business but this is much nicer. Sorry I don't have any pictures of that contraption.
  16. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    That's a clever idea!

    I Googled to see if there were any sort of bracket adapters used on European cars (like a BMW) to adapt a NA licence plate to the rear or front. So far I haven't found one other than my Yugo.

    Yugo did come up with a solution rather than designing another front bumper to accomodate the smaller NA plates. Thet made a piece that bolts to the European holes then protrudes out a bit. The rectangluar plastic piece secured with the SS screws is an odd size. Maybe to fit plates from other counties?


    After removing the adapter, my replica Serbian plate bolts right up and fills in the holes perfectly. I bought one of those tag frames to go with it which has multple holes so I don't recall having to redrill any new holes in the bumper. But as you can see there are two square holes left over from where the top of the original licence plate bolted to. I cut down some carriage bolts and painted them but I'll need to remove the bumper cover in order to gain access to the backside to tighten the nuts.

  17. trabant601

    trabant601 Loyal Comrade

    That looks great, a European plate size with the USA size in the middle. It gives you some room for some other fun thing. I took another pic or two to show what I did on two other cars. I did drill extra holes in a P600 and a second generation aluminum piece on a 601 so i would not have to drill. Drilling in a P600 frees up the Phenol Resin, which is probably bad for you; drilling a 601 is in steel. Had to bend the plate to fit the P600. IMG_20130822_190800.jpg IMG_20130822_190814.jpg IMG_20130823_173030.jpg
  18. Justin

    Justin Founder Moderator

    frogbros I ran across this on Facebook. Looks like you were spotted! NYCTRABI.JPG
  19. Wartburg353W

    Wartburg353W Loyal Comrade

    DSCN1038 (1024x768).jpg I just attached my US plates to the plastic Euro plate bracket. It isn't pretty but does no harm to the car.
  20. Justin

    Justin Founder Moderator

    You could probably run these style plates on it and get away with it :)


    I run these and (knock on wood) in the almost 2 years I've had these on the car, I haven't had a problem, the cars look like they belong with these style plates. Not TX obviously represents Texas, but GG 47HJ is my Texas issued tag number. Just in case I carry to state issues plates in the car.



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