AWZ P70 "Zwickau
hi all is this a early trabant or not?
To me it has more in common with a Wartburg than with a Trabant...a nice find. The piece that makes a Trabant is the materials used for the panels and the air-cooled engine, this looks like it has body construction similarities with watercooled 2 cylinder cousin of the later 3 cylinder wartburg engine. In short, not a Trabant.
the company ran between 1955 and 1959 with the model p70. trabant started 1959 with p50 both made of Duroplast
I read those cars also had wooden floors! Some cars like Llyods also used allot of wood in their construction. Which also caused them to rot quicker. I work with a guy who has an old military Jeep he has been working on for ages and he said those had wooden support beams under the sills or chassis that also rot out.
Speaking of which, if all goes well, I'm going to start the restoration on my Trabant this winter. Like allot of Trabants, the sills are in bad shape so the fenders and quarter panels are coming off. One idea was to weld what I call "hand rail tubing" to the body underneath the sills. It's 1" square tubing about 1/4" thick. I figure anything that can be done to stiffen up the chassis a bit can't hurt.
found this on line
East German car-maker made up from an ensemble of manufacturers that found themselves on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain following the war. Started out producing cheap (but not so cheerful) two cylinder air cooled iterations based on pre-war DKW designs under the brand "IFA", a national group that featured all the automotive and motorcycle brands in the German Democratic Republic.
Production would grow with the F9 model, it now sporting an extra cylinder (3 in all), and being manufactured in EIsenach; the three-cylinder engines would also be used in Wartburgs. Cars manufactured from the Zwickau facility became known as AWZ (Auto-Werke Zwickau), manufacturing the AWZ P70 from 1955, a model that would become the base for later “Trabant” iterations. You get an idea as to the quality of vehicle when you learn that the P stood for Plastic, and the 70 for its 700cc displacement.
The “Duroplast” turned out to be anything but, the ravages of time being evident in a matter of months, let alone years. In 1957 the Trabant P50 would be released, shortly after the AWZ name abandoned in favour of Trabant. Next came the P601, a car that made the bicycle look complex. No valves, no camshaft, no timing belt (as the engine was a two stroke), no oil pump, no water pump, no radiator – at least the gearbox now sported four speeds, and surprisingly there was an electronic ignition.
The marque (somehow that word does not seem appropriate) now boasts a huge following of devotees who fell in love with the foibles of a car that set the bar so low, it made the notion of walking through sleet and snow strangely appealing
To best understand the Trabant, you have to first understand the circumstances from which it was born. Post war Europe, both sides of the iron curtain, needed a form of cheap personal transportation, this demand being met by motorcycles and mopeds (the latter most successfully by the wonderful Vespa's).
But understandably many people wanted something a little more substantial, something that would afford protection from the bitter cold of the winter months.
The micro "bubble car" was soon to be developed in the West, most notably by manufacturers such as Heinkel and Messerschmitt. The P50 was the first of the AWZ's to carry the "Trabant" badge, the design selected from various ideas submitted by its factory workers.
3375mm in length, 1500mm wide and 1395mm high, the Trabant was larger than the Goggomobil T300 Limousine (2900 x 1280x 1310 mm) and even more powerful, and was styled in typical 1950's fashion.
From 1962 the engine size was increased to 600cc, and the exterior received a mild makeover - naturally enough the car was remaned the P60. This version would remain in production until 1964, when it would be replaced by the P601, after more than 132,000 P50's and P60's had been manufactured.
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