WTF Friday: Trabantimino


Skimming through my rss reader I caught a glimpse of a very peculiar looking Trabant playing second fiddle to a sharply dressed model.

Instantly intrigued I set out looking for more and was shocked to discover that the model in the picture wasn’t just a model but was the builder as well.


Detroit artist Liz Cohen is the mind behind this unique Trabant, a build that she started in 2002.

Shortly after acquiring the car Liz knew that it would be the perfect platform for “an exploration of DIY culture and the playful mixing of identities“.

With an idea in her head and zero prior mechanical experience, Liz searched for a shop that would both teach her what she needed to do and let her do it herself.

After becoming an apprentice at a shop in California Liz spent eight years working on the project, occasionally stopping to take pictures along the way.


In addition to expanding and contracting the way it does the  Trabantimino was converted to a FR layout using the better parts of a Chevy El Camino.

The new motor configuration combined with a 114″ final length did pose a few challenges, one of the most complicated was the need for a telescoping drive shaft, conquering that hurdle alone took a full year.


Once all the movement had been sorted out the Trabant was painted, under carriage chromed, and given an interior befitting of a contemporary lowrider.




She’s since shown it at a couple art and car shows where it sounds like it’s received a unanimously warm reception. When asked if she is going to do more with it she has this to say.

“I don’t know if I want to do that,” the artist says with a laugh. “Do I have to be the best lowrider or can I just be really good?”

More info on the Trabantimino can be found here, here, and here. For those who like moving pictures the video below has some words from the artist herself.



  1. Wow…….I’m in love…seriously. Why cant I find a woman like this. Im assuming 3 batteries to the wheel cylinders and dumps, then 36 volts for everything else. In…..Love!

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