April 1, 2010

U2 Fan Has A Dream Come True

Click the above title to visit Oregon Live.com where this article was found.


U2 fan finally finds his dream car on eBay: A beat-up Trabant?

By Joseph Rose, The Oregonian

April 01, 2010, 9:26AM
Ah, grown men and their auto fetishes.
Some guys dream of the day that they can zoom down the highway behind the wheel of an expensive, super-charged exotic sports car. Others tell themselves that someday they'll find a 1968 Volkswagen Fastback to fix up (ahem, that would be someone with the initials "JR").

And then there's the North Carolina U2 fan who has had his heart set on something smaller -- much smaller -- ever since he saw the artsy video of "One" back in the 1990's. (The video filmed in Berlin in 1991, not the 2006 version in which Mary J. Blige takes a wrecking ball to the song).

According to Northwest-based fan site @U2, "Chris S." finally has a Trabant — the tiny East German car that was part of the U2 image back in its "Achtung Baby" days -- parked in his front driveway.

Indeed, he got his hands on one of the very cars used by the world's biggest rock band in the "One" video -- the "Uno" model painted by late artist Keith Haring.

Fellow fans thought he was nuts, jokingly wishing him "good luck" in his quest for one of the U2 Trabants, but Chris found the car on sale on eBay Germany.  It's unclear how much he paid for the mini smaller than a Mini, but the BBCrecently put the price of one of the collectibles at about $10,000.

From @U2:

"He made arrangements to have it shipped over from Germany to Baltimore, picked it up there, and hauled it home to North Carolina. 

From what he can tell, Chris says he’s the car’s third owner since the video shoot and he thinks there have been some minor touch-ups on the exterior paint (mainly around the face and hands).

Overall, the car’s not in great shape — the rear window on the driver’s side is missing and the window on the driver’s door is stuck and won’t roll up, so years of rain and snow have damaged the interior."
Still, Hard Drive can relate. We saw the Zoo TV Tour, with its small fleet of brightly painted Trabants on stage, four times back in 1992. The cars recently hung in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland as part of a special U2 exhibit.

A relic of the Cold War, when the Eastern Bloc tried and failed to give consumers Marxist-made luxuries, the Trabant was once the most commonly driven car in East Germany. Wikipedia tells us that it "was in production without any significant changes for nearly 30 years with 3,096,099 Trabants produced in total."

It has since transformed into a symbol of artistic irony and derision and looks of "what the hell?" Good luck finding a mechanic. 

Now, Achtung! Who can help with that Fastback?

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