That anything as elegant as the Groma Kolibri should issue from East Germany is frankly astonishing. After all, the GDR spawned the Trabant, admittedly an exotic automobile, but nonetheless a travesty of German engineering. Such is not the case for the Groma Kolibri which, in some senses, surpasses other ultra-slim portables, though it does weigh a brick (this absolutely startled me when I got mine). Still, to possess a Kolobri is to own a museum-quality piece.
Design-wise, however, the placement of the carriage return lever is an immense flaw. Note in the photos below (way below) the pit mark and scratch on the top left panel. The lever rests so low as to invariably scrape the panel; in fact, it is sometimes difficult to find one without this imperfection, though, ironically, this is part of its appeal: a graceful machine with a clumsy lever.
Should you acquire a Kolobri, take care not to push down upon the lever as you draw the carriage. You must treat her delicately.
I am tempted to add other Groma Kolibris to my collection, but they are pricey in today’s market. For now, one will suffice.
The Trabant in action:
The Groma Kolibri (not mine, someone else’s):
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