Thursday 7th November 1957
The first Trabant was produced at the former Horch auto works in Zwickau, East Germany. For the marque’s first model, the designers settled on the name ‘Sputnik’ to commemorate the Soviet Union’s launching of the first artificial Earth satellite a month earlier. The first Trabant, the P50 had a 2-cylinder, 500-cc engine capable of just 18 bhp. In design, it was the archetypal East European car: small, boxy and fragile in appearance. Yet, despite its lack of style and power, the Sputnik and its successors were affordable by the citizens of East Germany and other Soviet bloc countries.