Wartburg 311/1000 Review

1964 Wartburg 311/1000 311 1.0 from UK and Ireland

Model year1964
Year of manufacture1964
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 1.0 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10

Summary:

Superb classic car that's now rare

Faults:

Nothing. Always starts first turn of the key, whatever the weather. Wish modern cars were as simple and reliable.

General Comments:

Superbly made car, way over -engineered for its time.

These cars were the first new model made in the old Pre-WWII BMW factory in Eisenach, East Germany.

The same workforce who had been making luxury BMW's were responsible for this car, and it shows in this car's rounded lines and quality of fit and finish.

Later Wartburgs were not as well built, nor as visually appealing as the 311. The 353, which came after the 311 was still a good car, but by this time the East German economy was imploding and fast heading for disaster, and the morale of the workforce wouldn't have been the same, nor as skilled as the afore mentioned.

The 311 handles brilliantly, and has no body roll when cornering thanks to a great chassis and its leaf spring suspension, which won it many rallies.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th June, 2011

17th Jun 2011, 14:45

I remember back in the early 70's borrowing a friends Wartburg, in Eastern Europe. It was a 2 cycle. Took it up a bit steeper hill, and it fouled up big time, and died on the grade going up. Had to stop here and there, and swap out the plugs, while the 3 passengers walked about the woods. Must have been a common occurrence, as the friend had spare plugs in the trunk. Not exactly what one would call a modern car, even back in that day.

14th Jul 2011, 06:22

I think plug fouling was more common with the poor quality, low octane fuel that was prevalent in Eastern Europe then.

I've had 3 Wartburgs, and never had an issue with the plugs fouling. Maybe how they're driven has something to do with it.

I know that when two stroke cars are fitted with electronic ignition and an electric fuel pump, their reliability factor matches and surpasses many modern cars.

20th Jan 2013, 22:19

Yes, the Wartburg 311 camper and 313 sports car were the best ever made car in the world. Better than a Rolls Royce. They're reliable in any weather and easy to maintain, and the engine was very easy to rebuild. Even now there are loads of spare parts out there to buy.

As for rust, well they all do this, but the Wartburg did not rust as quick as the western made cars did; that's why there are lots still around in east Germany. The young guys in Germany love their Wartburg cars, and they can do anything to them, like customizing them with a modern look, and they fit all most any engine in. They do look good when they're finished, but the classic look is a very good look today.

Yes, they're the best car ever, and are worth every penny spent on them. I have even seen an electric conversion done on these cars, and it was a very good job. The car performs very well, but with a classic look. What can anyone say? They're just one very well built car.

Average review marks: 8.0 / 10, based on 1 review