30th Mar 2010, 11:53

The Wartburg knight/353 is a very good car and a worthwhile classic, but they only do about 70mph flat out, so 100mph or over is not possible.

30th Mar 2010, 14:31

To the poster of 19th Feb 2009, 17:40:

- Downhill, no. Dropped out of a bomber, yes.

15th Mar 2013, 04:29

I seem to remember that the two-stroke and later four-stroke tear-drop shaped Saabs of that era had freewheels too; and I'm pretty sure a friend's Rover 60 had one. But I think the reason why cars don't have them now, might be that if the brakes fail downhill, then you wouldn't want a freewheel operating (unless it can be overridden), as you can slow the car down somewhat by revving up and changing down.

2nd Mar 2014, 18:19

Depends on condition. Some ramshackles probably top 70mph. Some others still rally race today. So for them 100mph is actually quite in order. Mine is 30 year old, and somewhere in between the heap of junk and the maintained racer. Tops 90+ on the highway. 80 with ease.

1st Nov 2016, 16:27

Best car I have driven but never owned!

2nd Nov 2016, 09:36

Sounds like me with all the car rentals I have tried but never owned. Some better than ones I own.

14th Jan 2017, 00:31

Wartburg 353 Tourist

It's tuned mildly and I raced a 6.7-litre Ranchero - we were seeing 110 mph. His Ranchero got hot and set fire to itself - I kept on going and left it on the hard shoulder on fire with its owner doing a dance. My old Wartburg, it just came back for more punishment.

Until you driven one, do not criticise them, they're a good, solid car and reliable too. More reliable than any VW. I picked up a guy coming from Birmingham in very heavy rain; his VW Bug had broken down in the rain, so I gave the man a lift to get his mate's low loader.

Yes, I would buy another Wartburg. It's the best car I've ever had, but the best laugh ever is when I went to buy a double bed and the salesman said we charge £65 for delivery and it will be 5 days before you get it delivered. So I said to him OK, I'll put in my car. What car is that then?? His face changed when I loaded it into the Wartburg Tourist with ease too and saved £65 and delivered on the same day. Now that's a car mate.

20th Feb 2017, 14:58

Yes I can believe that it would do a ton downhill; the free wheel device meant that there was no engine braking going down hill, and you literally coasted and the car would easily pick up speed. As an owner of two Wartburgs, which I took on holiday to Devon, it was a struggle to keep it from running away; Porlock hill was a doozy !

20th Feb 2017, 22:10

The reason for the freewheel was to maintain proper lubrication of the 2 stroke engines. They would die if they were used for engine braking. The DKW Junior was equipped with 4 disk brakes for that reason.