1. Mithras

    Mithras Puttering Along Moderator

    Found this on Car Gurus. Aside from being outside my price range, it's an 88, which means I would never be able to register it in California. That said, Wartburgs seem to be rare as Hen's teeth, so maybe somebody here might be able to make this their dream car.

    I have no connection whatsoever to the auction. Just sharing with the community. As the seller says, CarGurus lacks a category for Wartburgs, so while the listing reads as a Trabant 601... it isn't.

  2. Steve

    Steve Loyal Comrade

    Yeah but the car is in Hungary! $8000 bucks plus shipping doesn't seem like a great deal to me. I'm sure in the old Communist European states you could get a much better deal by trawling the car selling sites in those states.
  3. RogerDerSchrauber

    RogerDerSchrauber Premium Member Forum Donor

    I see these all the time. They are utter BS.

    I agree with Steve. Just go to mobile.de and start shopping. Much easier.
    Steve likes this.
  4. BillB

    BillB Loyal Comrade Administrator Forum Donor

    Based on the ad search finding the 601 Universal that's been up and then removed so many times, gots to agree with Roger and Steve.
    Too many red flag potentials
    www.mobile.de and search away.
    Steve likes this.
  5. Mithras

    Mithras Puttering Along Moderator

    Don’t shoot the messenger, guys. I just thought I’d share it. No clue about mobile.de. How does it work? Will they ship to the US? Is it something I’d have to fly over and arrange, myself?
    BillB likes this.
  6. BillB

    BillB Loyal Comrade Administrator Forum Donor

    Mithras, no shots fired :) Appreciate your sharing. I think we were trying to warn more than anything. Hate to see anyone get a bad deal/bad car.

    www.mobile.de is just a used car website (like www.autotrader.com or similar) to find cars being sold by individuals or dealers.
    It seems to be one of the better ways to locate/contact a car in most of central Europe.
    Beyond the starting point of finding something listed, you're on your own.
    I know there are issues in California on registration, but one option might be to look on this side of the pond.
    The owner of this site @Justin is selling a really nice car for a very reasonable about and it's a lot closer.


    I gotta think having a clear Texas title would make life a bunch easier.

    Good luck on your search.
    Mithras likes this.
  7. Mithras

    Mithras Puttering Along Moderator

    Totally understood. Thanks:) I don't mean to be touchy. I have found, in my defense, that people tend to be touchy regarding their particular interests (me too)online, so I just wanted to make sure I hadn't offended anyone:)

    Are there any tips you lot might have for looking out for potential scams with these sorts of things? The Wartburg listing seemed a bit odd, but I couldn't put my finger on it, and I'm amazed that car in Florida is still up, but I suspect that perhaps it's something about the car potential buyers are discovering.

    My father was quite literally a prodigy when it came to automobiles, mechanical issues, etc, but unfortunately the only thing I inherited from him in that regard was an appreciation for unusual automobiles and a slowly growing ability to identify them on sight.

    (On the other hand, I -can- drive a T-55, though that isn't much help when it comes to cars.;) )

    My wife is German, and she's been helping me with looking through listings over at Mobile.de. Interestingly enough, she's been able to understand most of the listings. Just about every one I've looked into has been "not running" or "complete, except for ABCDEFG" which is not at all dissimilar from listings I used to see in the UK, or the ones I'm seeing here in the US!

    BillB likes this.
  8. Mithras

    Mithras Puttering Along Moderator

    Oh, as for Justin's car, it's a very fair price, and I'm sure he wouldn't steer me wrong. Unfortunately, California's laws are ironclad regarding certain vehicles built after, I believe it's 76 now, and before 2000. Essentially, anything that wasn't directly sold to the US market between those dates is just about impossible to register. Occasionally you see exceptions (for instance, there are a couple of Nissan Paos here and I've seen at least one Lada Niva with California plates... I've got no clue -how- they made that work.), but not very many. Frustratingly, there is no central "list" of cars that count and don't count, and so the DMV gets all sorts of leeway when making interpretations: and it seems to lean, mostly, toward refusing to register.

    There are workarounds, people who can "make things happen," but those are usually options for people who have more money or political influence than a poor enthusiast like myself.

    Wife is also a lawyer. It's an interstate commerce clause issue, but apparently it's only been challenged successfully once, and the judgement was that California would lose a portion of the highway fund. Something the state agreed to.

    In the case I'm not boring you to tears yet, one other side note: there was an effort to change the law here, bring it up by a decade (so, 86 cut off rather than a 76 cut off) at least for people who own only a small number of vehicles (so, those who have large collections or fleets would still go by the original rules)the logic being that the law punishes ordinary consumers somewhat needlessly. Bipartisan measure was introduced to change the rules, but last I heard of it was in 2014. I suspect it died in committee.
    BillB likes this.
  9. BillB

    BillB Loyal Comrade Administrator Forum Donor

    I imported my car directly from Germany, but I cheated (sort of). I work for a company based in Germany and a number of my work counterparts are gearheads. I asked them to locate and inspect a car, I sent the money and then we used a "ro-ro" service to transport to Baltimore (where it cleared customs). The trick is the car must be TUV valid (a road going car) and needs a German export inspection. Ultimately, you need a gearhead buddy in Germany who will help you in your quest.
    On Justin's car (my stupidity asking), could you somehow use the Texas title and get Texas plates? Certainly no law prohibiting Texans driving in Cali, correct?
    There are a few Texas Trabant guys here that might be able to help you with the process. Just thinking out loud, I could be way wrong. I just hate when states say "No, you can't".
    All that said, I see @Rezzato (Matt) driving his in Cali with Hungarian plates!
    Mithras likes this.
  10. Wartburg353W

    Wartburg353W Loyal Comrade

    You just need to find one older than the cutoff year then, it's not that hard. Just be patient and wait for the right one. Join a group and the members can help you find a nice example. There are some nice guys in the facebook groups I am in, for example the group "DDR Fahrzeuge" on facebook has several vehicles for sale right now. Being in California you're always near a shipping port, right?
    Mithras likes this.
  11. Mithras

    Mithras Puttering Along Moderator

    Unfortunately, Bill, California has cut out this loophole as well. As a resident, you are expected to register your car within twenty days. If you are planning to be a non-California resident but operating the car on predominantly Ca roads, you are also required to register it. They even have a program here that encourages people to report cars with out of state/out of country registrations they feel are being used illegally. It's a bizarre thing to be sure, but... that's California for you.

    Wartburg353: Thanks for the tip. I actually joined what I -believe- to be the same group you're referring to, though there are several. Will keep my eyes open.

  12. Mithras

    Mithras Puttering Along Moderator

    Thanks very much, btw, for explaining the TUV situation.
  13. BillB

    BillB Loyal Comrade Administrator Forum Donor

    Mithras, not that the car has to have TUV, but a Ro-ro service is the lowest cost and TUV will be mandatory for Ro-ro.
    A car without TUV can be brought over via container, just more $$$

    A few more FB Trabant pages:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/864023710292231/ Trabant Markt Teile und Auto (over 1,100 items listed at the moment)
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/372098202924071/ Trabant Teilemarkt (over 700 items listed)
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/174075262621423/ Trabant (social group with around 13,000 members, loads of Trabi info)
    Keep poking around FB. Plenty of Trabant/DDR groups and info out there.
    I belong to about 15 at this point.
    Only trouble for me is the language.
    Google translate gets used a lot!
    Mithras likes this.
  14. Lasse

    Lasse Newbie

    Also check the hungarian craigs list, I have bought quite a few stuff there.

    I was born in Hungary but moved to Sweden as a kid so I still speak the language, let me know if you need anything translated.
    Mithras and BillB like this.
  15. Mithras

    Mithras Puttering Along Moderator

    Thank you both:)

    My dad is Hungarian, Lasse, but unfortunately I only remember a few scattered curse words, mostly courtesy of my grandfather. Learning Magyar is a goal.
    Lasse likes this.
  16. RogerDerSchrauber

    RogerDerSchrauber Premium Member Forum Donor

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  17. Mithras

    Mithras Puttering Along Moderator

    Thank you kindly. I've read the buyers guides, and hopefully I can narrow down to some workable vehicles that can be driven as is or repaired with my limited knowledge set. Some of these seem like they'd be ideal for more experienced mechanics. but some might suit my novice skill level.
  18. RogerDerSchrauber

    RogerDerSchrauber Premium Member Forum Donor

    Get as nice a car as you can afford. The better the condition, the fewer repairs, and the less hassle.
    Mithras likes this.
  19. RogerDerSchrauber

    RogerDerSchrauber Premium Member Forum Donor

    BTW compared to western cars, these cars are very easy to fix.
    Mithras likes this.
  20. Mithras

    Mithras Puttering Along Moderator

    Don't suppose there are any basic things you'd look out for, Roger (or anyone else)? I've read the buyers guide, but being new, maybe there some basic "if it says this, stay away; if it says that, don't worry, it's a fifteen minute fix and a fifty dollar part" type stuff?

    Realize this is a huge question, so no worries if it's too much to explain. Just thought I'd ask.

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