1974 Wartburg Knight from UK and Ireland


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 from UK and Ireland


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

1981 Wartburg Knight 353W 1.0 2-stroke from Hungary


A long lasting car with great performance


Brake master cylinder had to be replaced as well as the two rear brake cylinders. Had some problems replacing the master cylinder because it is very well hidden.

Windscreen washer pump replaced.

Water pump bearings replaced. After this the fuel consumption was reduced by 1-2 l/100km.

Clutch cable broke. Real easy job in minutes.

Bit of rust around the body.

Fuel tank had to be replaced after long storage.

Carburettor replaced with a Jikov type. Much better than the old one.

General Comments:

Great car with good accelerating ability.

Pretty comfortable in the inside.

Loads of storage place in the trunk. It is huge compared to new cars.

Fuel consumption is affordable.

This car lasts forever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th June, 2004

28th Oct 2005, 04:05

I first saw a Wartburg (passing us out on the motorway!!!) while on holiday in Vienna a few years back. I didn't know what it was at first. I thought it was a Skoda, but I saw another like it later that week and found out what it really was. I liked the look of it and when I heard the sound of the engine I said to myself "Man I have to buy one of those." In Ireland, where I'm from, a handful of Wartburgs (so I'm told) were built from kits over here, but most were re-exported, and because Eastern European cars are taken as a joke in the West, very few are now left running. Which is a shame because I think they look great, I hear that they're great to drive and they must be very reliable because the engines only have 7 moving parts (3 pistons, 3 connecting rods, 1 crankshaft). Anyway all is not lost - once or twice I have seen Wartburgs advertised for sale (quite cheaply), so if one of these ads comes up when I get my driver's licence and the car is in good shape, I will more than likely go for it.

1986 Wartburg Knight Touring 903 Two Stroke from UK and Ireland


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