1974 Wartburg Knight


Wish I'd kept it


Developed an unhealthy appetite for speedometers! Got through at least 4.

Door cards warped and got ripped by window winder handles.

General Comments:

Solid and reliable. Never let me down on the road. (Apart from the speedometers!)

Used it to push mate's Ford Zodiac 10 miles with the front bumper.

Parts were almost free! £1.50 for a complete headlight. (See Zodiac comment...)

Frighteningly fast on motorways with the free-wheel gearbox. Once overtook a police car at 100mph+ with the engine at tickover!

Body work was only a bit more solid than a beans can though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 8th March, 2008

19th Feb 2009, 17:40

100 MPH with a two-stroke wartburg? Downhill, right? :rolleyes:

9th Apr 2009, 17:03

Many years ago I was begged to take a horsey lady to Tewksbury Car Auctions as she needed another car. (old one needed hundreds of pounds worth of welding to pass the MOT) The desired vehicle was a Volvo estate but they all made big money. The only car within her budget was the Wartburg Knight Estate. This was won for not too much money and it was a super car ideal for carrying bales of hay. I got her to buy a 5 gallon drum of 2T oil and showed her how to dose the petrol. Sadly I seem to remember the cars eventual demise resulted from someone not adding oil. (car lent to a "friend"?) Years later I owned an Audi 100 estate and definitely felt a case of deja-vu, no free-wheel but everything else felt so similar to the Wartburg. Perhaps governments should encourage free-wheels as these will reduce CO2 emissions. No need to spend billions on researching new technology as the old technology worked perfectly!

1975 Wartburg Knight Tourist Estate 1.0


I really slummed it..


Woodruff key on fan drive pulley. Just bought another head and gasket with intact fan mechanism as it was cheaper and easier to fix this way. The woodruff key had damaged the shaft.

General Comments:

A hardy rough car built for the coldness and isolation of European winters. Easy to repair and cheap to repair, which was what was needed in the communist block at the time. However the only reason to wait two or more years in a queue to buy one was the lack of choice. Compared to a Trabi, the Wartburg is a luxury car (Trabi's are cuter though).

Gloomy low rent decor inside and lousy handling. Around a corner it feels like the most non responsive thing I have ever driven, apart from a tractor. Why should the steering be that lousy??

The one I owned had sheepskin seat covers and at least the seats seemed to be OK. Decor though was painted cardboard, and I remember the window winders being particularly slow?? Or hard and slow?? A lot of turns for just up and down...

I have pictures of it which remind me how bad the interior was.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd May, 2007

1986 Wartburg Knight Touring 903 Two Stroke


A two stroke warbling gem


Intermittent front wash/wipe failure.

Gear stick sheared off.

Rear seat broke its mountings.

Oily exhaust on over run.

General Comments:

A real gem with its two stroke warbling.

Starts from cold lovely and will pull away cleanly once the smoke has cleared.

Steady 55 mph cruising with a freewheel facility.

Cooling improved by the fitment of a 'car bra' on the nose with the obvious reduction of front end chipping and fly muck.

Rear tyres last forever. I recommend Kleber tyres for the rears and Woosung on the front to give better initial turn in and through the corner power.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th April, 2001