Wartburg 311 sedan, 1958

And yet another Wartburg 311. Originally a 1958 Wartburg, at some point the original frame was fitted with a replacement body. Sometime after the fall of the Wall, the car went to the Netherlands until it returned to Germany in the early 1920s. It no longer made sense to dismantle it, so the owner decided…


The Wartburg 311 is a charming chapter in automotive history, celebrated not only for its engineering but also for the joy and heritage it represents. Built between 1956 and 1965 in the GDR, this car embodies a period of German history that was characterized by both technological advances and the longing for individuality in a time of collectivism.

With its distinctive design and robust construction, the Wartburg 311 offered a breath of fresh air for mobility for many East Germans. The car came in a variety of models – from the simple sedan to the chic convertible to the practical station wagon. This diversity ensured that the Wartburg 311 had an answer for almost every lifestyle and need, a true all-rounder on the road.

Under the hood was a two-stroke engine that, despite its modest size, was surprisingly powerful and gave the 311 rapid acceleration. Admittedly, the engine’s characteristic sound was equally unmistakable.

But it wasn’t just the technology that made the Wartburg 311 something special. Its design, a mix of pragmatism and elegance, reflected the optimism and forward movement of the 1950s and 60s. The rounded shapes and generous glazing gave it an appealing yet functional aesthetic that continues to delight fans and collectors to this day.

For many East Germans, the Wartburg 311 was more than just a car; he was a symbol of freedom and adventure. Owners often talk about excursions and vacations taken with the Wartburg, stories that testify to the special relationship between vehicle and driver. In a world where cars seem to be becoming more and more homogeneous, the Wartburg 311 reminds us of the joy that lies in diversity and character.