Perhaps one of the most ubiquitous symbols of the Czechoslovak era is the Trabant, a vehicle popular in Eastern Bloc countries that was once referred to by journalist Richard Leiby as “a symbol of the technological and social backwardness of the East German state.”
Despite its smoky exhaust, high emissions, and low front-end safety, great affection is felt for this car (whose name means “companion” in German) which once lined the streets of Prague and transported an entire generation of Czechs on holiday to Yugoslavia.
Opened yesterday, the Trabant Museum Motol aims to play up to that nostalgia by presenting a complete history of the brand from earliest to latest models, well-preserved Trabant cars, and a fully working garage that lets visitors get behind the wheel of a souped up Trabant.
A display of everyday objects from the former GDR, from toys to electronics, rounds out the exhibit which, in a bid for kid friendliness, has a mini-race track and model Trabant cars for racing.
The same building houses the Prague Autosportklub.
The Trabant has seen a bit of a revival in popularity in recent years; an electric Trabant is reportedly in development and a documentary Trabant at the End of the World was released in 2014 which saw Czech and Slovak adventurers travel through South America in the vintage communist vehicles.
For more information about the Trabant Museum see their website.