Wartburg 353 Limousine

Friday 23 October 2009
The Wartburg 353, known in some export markets as the Wartburg Knight, is a medium-sized family car, produced by East German car producer Wartburg. It was the successor of the Wartburg 311 and was itself succeeded by the Wartburg 1.3. The Wartburg 353 was produced from 1965 to 1988, becoming the longest-produced Wartburg model ever. During its lifetime it saw several changes and improvements, the most notable of these coming in 1985 with a slight front facelift and a new one-step carburetor. The Wartburg 353 was the creation of the former German BMW production facilities (called EMW under Soviet occupation). It was based on a 1938 chassis and powertrain, and used a two stroke engine with very few moving parts. Internally it was used for government transportation; sometimes as a police car, consumer product often taking ten to fifteen years to deliver. As an export it was popular in the United Kingdom (UK) in the 1960s: like other Eastern European cars it was known for its cheap price, and, by comparison, well-equipped design and mid-rank size. The Wartburg had an unusual approach to road handling, often displaying understeering in the clear, and a disarming disinclination to make turns in the wet. Wartburgs were exported to the UK, Cyprus, Malta, and South Africa (possible partly because right-hand drive models were already in production for the UK). Famous, though, for its remarkable reliability and mere maintenance. Even today referred to by its owners as "Trustworthy Hans" or "Farty Hans" after his durability, and after the immense emissions exhausted by it when cold or overoiled. Nicknames are due to its simplified design, dependability, presence of chassis, forward wheel drive, rear ABS and a front placed two-stroke engine, huge 525 litre trunk, not to mention innovative electronic gauges (after 1982), thus the well-known saying "Maintaining a motorcycle, you drive a car.".

Technical data:
- engine: 3 cylinders
- capacity: 992 cc
- horsepower: 50 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 130 km/h

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