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Trabant FAQ

 

 

Why should I buy a Trabant from SHOC Auto?

 

Do your Trabants come with a warranty?

 

Are the Trabants street legal in the U.S.?

 

Can I use my Trabant as a daily driver, or does it have to be a "collector" car?

 

Aren't two cycle cars illegal?

 

Hold on, what is a two cycle engine?

 

What's this I read about mixed gas?

 

How do I get my new Trabant home?

 

Who can fix my Trabant?

 

What about parts, where can I get them?

 

Why are some cars listed with 6 volt electrical systems, while others are 12 volt?

 

What condition are your Trabants in?

 

How original are the Trabants?

 

Can I buy an unrestored project car for less money?

 

If Trabants were built until 1991, why are all of your cars from the 60s and 70s?

 

But people are selling newer Trabants in the United States, I saw one on eBay, how is that possible?

 

Is that a Trabant in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets?

 

So has the Trabant ever been used in a movie?

 

Didn't U2 use some Trabants in a tour?

 

 

Why should I buy a Trabant from SHOC Auto?

SHOC Auto, Inc. is a U.S. company and is licensed and bonded as a Minnesota automobile dealership. We are not a foreign company selling cars on eBay, and we do not charge you for shipping from Europe. You can come and visit us and see our cars before you buy it. There are no hidden costs, damage, or shipping hassles with our car. Want to know more? See our contact page and talk to us!

 

Do your Trabants come with a warranty?

YES! SHOC Auto is now including a one year parts warranty on all of the Trabants we import.

 

Are the Trabants street legal in the U.S.?

Absolutely! These cars are legally imported to meet all DOT and EPA regulations. You can title and register your Trabant in any state. Please check local emissions laws before purchasing, however.

 

Can I use my Trabant as a daily driver, or does it have to be a "collector" car?

That's entirely up to you. You can use it as your daily driver, a weekend only car, or lock it up and just admire it. There are no legal restrictions that apply to  a Trabant that do not apply to any other car. 

 

Aren't two cycle cars illegal?

No. New emissions laws are slowly making new two cycle engine obsolete in the few places they still exist, but the Trabant is not a new vehicle. Because of their age, and the fact that most people own older cars as collector cars, not daily drivers, the EPA has exempted them from the emissions laws . This doesn't mean you locality won't still want to test it, however. 

 

Hold on, what is a two cycle engine?

A two cycle, or two stroke, engine is an internal combustion engine, just like the standard four cycle engine found in  all modern cars, lawnmowers and motorcycles. A two cycle engines, in general, are much simpler engines. In general they do not have a standard cam operated valve train, or an oil sump. They use oil injected into the combustion chamber or mixed gas, like the Trabant uses, for lubrication. The name comes from the fact that there are two cycles or strokes between every firing in the engine. The piston goes down after the spark plug fires, it then goes up and the spark plug fires again. In a four cycle engine, the piston goes up and down twice between each firing. 

 

What's this I read about mixed gas?

Because the Trabant engine is a two cycle engine (like outboard motors, dirt bikes and weed whackers) they require mixed gas. Unlike some modern two cycle (or two stroke) engines that have oil injection systems, the Trabant uses mixed gas. Two cycle oil must be added to the gas in a Trabant at a ratio of 50:1, meaning for every 50 gallons of gas, you add one gallon of oil. For a full  6.4 gallon tank of gas you will need to add  about a half a quart of two cycle oil.

 

How do I get my new Trabant home?

Please see our shipping FAQ for shipping options.

 

Who can fix my Trabant?

While there are no Trabant mechanics in the United States, just about any competent shop should be able to work on one. They are extremely simple cars, and there is just not much that can go wrong with them. Even many non-mechanically inclined owners say they can work on their own cars. SHOC Auto is also working on translating the factory service manual for the Trabant and can provide a copy in German with each car purchased

 

What about parts, where can I get them?

SHOC Auto will be happy to work with you for all of your parts needs. Through our suppliers in Germany, we can get any new parts you need. SHOC will also soon be stocking some commonly needed new parts as well as some used parts to repair your trusty Trabant. See our Trabant parts page for available parts and a cross reference chart to find parts in the U.S.

 

Why are some cars listed with 6 volt electrical systems, while others are 12 volt?

All modern cars use 12 volt electrical systems, and newer Trabants fall into that category. Older Trabants, however, were built with 6 volt systems, including all of the cars we are allowed to import. So why are some of our cars 12 volt cars? Many Trabants were upgraded over the years as they needed repairs. The Trabant is so simple, and new cars were so hard to get, that upgrading an older Trabant was a very common  practice. Consequently, some of our cars have been upgraded to 12 volt systems.

 

What condition are your Trabants in?

All of our Trabants are in excellent shape. They are mechanically repaired as needed and are repainted to rebuild them to original condition. Please see our Inventory page to see pictures of each car in our inventory to see what each looks like.

 

How original are the Trabants?

That varies by the car. Some Trabants are very original, others have had extensive updating as they are repaired, and are not very original to the year they were built. If originality is important to you, let us know and we will work with you to find you the right car.

 

Can I buy an unrestored project car for less money?

Yes, but you won't save as much as you think. Shipping Trabants over from  Germany and legally importing them into the United States is a major part of the cost of the Trabants we sell. If you are seriously looking for a project car, let us know, and we'll work with you to get exactly what you want.

 

If Trabants were built until 1991, why are all of your cars from the 60s and 70s?

This is the part of importing cars into the United States, the Government only allows us to legally import cars over 25 years old. Eventually you may see newer cars in the U.S. but not until they are 25 years old.

 

But people are selling newer Trabants in the United States, I saw one on eBay, how is that possible?

Did you see the note about no American title? There are some newer Trabants in the United States, but they are, for the most part, not street legal.

 

Is that a Trabant in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets?

No, although it's a very similar looking car, the obvious give-away that it's not a  Trabant is the unusual b -pillar behind the side windows. That car is actually a Ford Anglia built in England in the early 1960's.

 

So has the Trabant ever been used in a movie?

Actually, there is a movie named after the Trabant: Go Trabi, Go!  A German movie about an East German family coping with reunification in the early 1990s. Sadly, it's not available here in the U.S. A Glacier Blue P601 Universal is also prominently featured in the independent film Everything is Illuminated.

 

Didn't U2 use some Trabants in a tour?

Yes, U2 used several Trabants in their ZooTV tour promoting their Achtung Baby  album. See some of them in out Trabant Pics section. Seven cars were transformed for the tour. Where are they now? From the information I've found, one is in the Hard Rock Cafe in Berlin, three are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and one is for sale in England. I'm not sure about the other two. Check out the links page to see more info.

 


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