Last year, they were among the eastern stars of the rally, and they were such a success that this year they will continue: together with the Just4Fun field, 9 Trabant cars will be racing through 8 races on the Mecsek as part of the Zwei Takt Memory (Two-stroke rally memory?) insert programme, and on Friday, we will be able to admire the East German wonders of the past system again on Széchenyi Square.
Those who are at least middle-aged today know the Eisenach “paper jaguars” from their heyday, originally 19 to 26 hp, and let’s admit it, they did a good job in those days. Among other things, they were converted into racing machines, alongside the Ladas and Skodas that were also popular with drivers on rally tracks; albeit with a little bit of a tune-up, up to 50 hp…
Following the idea of Tibor Markó, the professional leader of this year’s Mecsek Rallye, the remaining examples, which are nowadays only used for demonstrations and tours, were brought out of the garages again at the 2018 Baranya Cup to “race” in a lap of honour, painted inside and out. And they were so popular that they could also be used for the Mecsek Rallye; they could spend the whole day on Friday on Széchenyi Square, then line up at the back of the field in the evening and drive through the two Friday races and all the other races the following day. We’re talking about real former racing machines with factory homologous tuning, Gruppe A, not rushing this time, but at demonstration pace.
As Tibor Markó puts it, the aim is not to fight the stopwatch or each other, but rather to gesture, to reminisce and to pay homage to our ancestors, who once earned the respect of rally fans with these glass-sounding cars, who then passed them on to posterity as a real asset. And for younger people, who may no longer remember them, it is a live experience that until now could only be enjoyed on the internet, on a VHS tape or a short film.
One of the participants and organisers of the project is Máté Harth, who used to race one himself at the former rally sprints. Not the same one, but the one we will see now, restored to its original condition.
– I was delighted and the whole Trabant team, all former sprinters, were delighted to have the opportunity to drive our treasured treasures in such a prestigious race. By the way, I drove it for six years from 2001, then I joined Gábor Galambos to navigate a Lada. Nowadays I only take it out for shows as a hobby, but otherwise I keep it in real racing condition, I could easily enter it in the Historic field. It’s a good feeling to know how many people get nostalgically joyful moments with these cars, which bring back their youth – summarises Máté Harth one of his motivations for the old and present trabant driving.