What does the dubious soviet people’s car have to do with the Dux Barrel pencil sharpener? Quite a bit actually.
Lets start with the car. The Trabant is possibly one of the most generic looking cars ever made. Only the rare Deluxe models came with any kind of trim, which even then was about as fancy as a riding lawn mower. Primitive would be an understatement when describing the car’s soviet engineering. Although it achieved nearly 35 miles per gallon, the car’s sloppy little two stroke engine belched about 9 to 10 times the amount of hydrocarbons as your average modern European car. Rather than using a fuel pump, the gas tank was placed on top of the engine. This was perhaps an effective incentive to not run into anything.
On the subject of safety, the Trabant was both prone to and poorly equipped for accidents. The car was built on a steel pan similar to the Volkswagen beetle, but unlike the steel bodied beetle, it was made of plastic. Due to steel being a valuable commodity in the Cold War era it was much more affordable to make the bodies of cars out of a resin/cotton compound know as duroplast. Steel was reserved for big-wig party members. Light, strong, and cheap, duroplast could easily be formed in a press like sheet steel. There still exists footage of the Trabby being manufactured, with workers kicking, tugging, and bending the flexible body into its proper form.
Although less than glamourous, the Trabby is one of the most important cars of the 20th century. With over 3 million made during its 34 years production run, it was the most popular car among the hammer and sickle crowd. Many folks fled Eastern Germany in sooty plumes of exhaust in their faithful Trabants.
And there, dear readers, is the connection. The commies literally drove Duroplast all over Europe, popularizing it in other industries (pencil sharpening industry?). And now we offer you the opportunity to purchase a piece of superior soviet material, you capitalist pig dog.
Find it here on our site.
We do not stock Trabants however.