Watch This Guy Rallycross His Trabant

This 601-S channels its rally roots, but not very well.

For those not well-versed in Cold War history, the only truly memorable car to come out of Communist East Germany was the Trabant. Despite its name roughly translating to “companion”, this car is no friend to the driver and considered by many to be one of the worst cars ever made. It holds this title for many reasons; its horrible two-stroke engine making 26 horsepower, bare-bones interior, lack of any real changes despite 30 years of production, and the fact that it’s made from a crude blend of plastic and cotton called Duroplast are just some of the problems this car had. 

None of these issues stopped car reviewer Aging Wheels from buying a 1981 Trabant 601-S and taking it to a rallycross course. Just like autocross, this type of racing lets anyone bring almost any car they want, except it takes place on a dirt course and has fewer restrictions. That’s why AW’s Trabant is allowed to play, despite the inherent rollover risk that actual rally-ready Trabants suffered from. 

Against all odds, Aging Wheels managed to get the mighty Trabant around the course five times without any issues. Surprisingly, AW said that the car suffered no noticeable damage during this demanding day. We suspect that the car’s front-wheel drive system and slow speed contribute to the reason the Trabant didn’t roll or spin, but remember that our driver’s goal was to get around the track in one piece, not set blistering lap times. 

The moral of this video is that if someone can bring an underpowered, Soviet bloc classic car to a Rallycross event, you have no excuse not to take your own performance vehicle to one of these ridiculous track days.