• Germany's news in English
Trabi totalled on Autobahn after skidding on snail slime
Photo: Paderborn police

Trabi totalled on Autobahn after skidding on snail slime

The Local · 29 Jun 2016, 17:07

Published: 29 Jun 2016 17:07 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Jun 2016 17:07 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

It is hard to tell who the underdog was in this story: the tiny snails trying to crawl across the road or the famously unreliable jewel in the crown of East German engineering.

Whatever the case the car was totaled, while some of the snails managed to get out alive, police report. The driver also luckily escaped unharmed.

The incident took place shorty before 7am on Wednesday morning when a young Trabi enthusiast took his wheels out for a spin on the A33 near Paderborn in western Germany.

But when he drove over what the police described as a “whole caravan” of snails, he lost control of the car in the snail slime.

The Trabi then smacked into the side railings of the Autobahn, leaving it totaled.

“Some of the animals could save themselves in the nearby grass,” police report.

The snail trail has been dried out by the sun and no longer poses a risk to drivers.

(East) German engineering

The Trabi, full name Trabant, used to be the pride and joy of communist East Germany.

But because they were produced so slowly, people had to wait years before they could get their own – and old ones were famously more expensive than new ones.

In total over 3.7 million of them rolled off the production line over five decades.

Story continues below…

But they were never the most environmentally friendly of vehicles. Nor were they much to compare with their West German equivalents.

To West Germans they were a slightly charming symbol of the dysfunctionality of their communist neighbours.

The top speed was 100 km/h and the fuel insertion system meant that in the event of a crash, a fire breaking out was highly likely.

Nonetheless Trabis have become collectors' items in recent years as the phenomenon of Ostalgie - nostalgia for East Germany - has increased with the passage of time.
One company has even started refitting them with electric motors.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd