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Trabi totalled on Autobahn after skidding on snail slime

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Trabi totalled on Autobahn after skidding on snail slime
Photo: Paderborn police
17:07 CEST+02:00
A vintage East German "Trabi" car has come unstuck after its driver hit a snail trail on the Autobahn.

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.

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.
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