The name "Wartburg" derives from the Wartburg Castle on one of the hills overlooking the town of Eisenach where the cars were manufactured.
After the WW2 Eisenach became part of Communist ruled East Germany. Production of cars and motorcycles restarted there with modified versions of pre-war BMWs.
In 1956 the new range of cars started production with a wide variety of models based on a common engine/chassis configuration. This included a saloon, two estates, a coupe and convertible, plus a 2 seat sports car and sports convertible, and later a van and pick-up versions plus a 4 door convertible was produced for military and police use.
It had a 900cc 3 cylinder 2-stroke engine with only seven moving parts. It also had a gravity-flow fuel system, thermo-syphon cooling system (no pump) and a manual choke, and a seperate 'perimeter' type chassis with independant suspension by transverse leaf springs.
These cars bore 'Eisenacher' badges and were known as the 'typ Wartburg'. They were built to a very high standard (as one would expect from workers previously used to producing BMWs). Heavy guage steel was used giving strong sturdy construction and much use was made of polished aluminium castings and pressings. Some of the cars featured wood and/or leather trim.
In 1966 a completely new, square bodied, car was announced. This featured a much more modern body but underneath was a perimiter chassis and 3 cylinder 2-stroke engine obviously developed from the previous cars. There were two main models produced: a 4 door saloon and a 5 door estate.
My picture was a 55-56 (I believe) model 311 or 312.
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