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Cult Commie Car Exhaust Canned

DW staff (mry)
July 19, 2005

An enterprising German has canned the malodorous exhaust fumes of East Germany's once maligned and now cult Trabant car, selling the scent to those nostalgic for the former communist state.

Ahhh, the smell of East GermanyImage: www.osthits.de

"The smell is something very special and scarce nowadays," Thorsten Jahn, whose cans of "Trabi" exhaust sell online for 3.98 euros ($4.81), told the Reuters news agency. "I wanted to preserve the past in an original way."

Fifteen years after reunification, nostalgia for East Germany has been running strong as fond memories of the communist state's social safety net, holiday camps and quaint consumer products like the tiny, plasticky Trabants increasingly eclipse the negative aspects of the oppressive authoritarian state.

As fewer Trabis ply the streets of unified Germany in favor of VWs, Mercedes and BMWs, the canned fumes appear to be just the ticket for those Germans yearning for the socialist motoring days gone by. A friend of Jahn produced 1,800 cans in four days by holding pieces of cotton wool into the exhaust pipe of his Trabi. Jahn said that inhaling the scent would pose no danger as the cotton wool filtered out toxic particles.

People in the former German Democratic Republic usually had to wait for years for the delivery of a Trabant. Many that remain on the road are often customized with bigger engines, convertible roofs and eye-catching paintwork.

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