£5k Heroes – Wartburg 353 W
I don’t really know how/why this car made its way into my eBay watchlist, I’m blaming its resplendent zitrusgelb paintwork.
353 production ran from 1966 until 1988 with over a million cars produced. This car is a first year 353 W, which was produced from 1975 onwards. The 353 W gained desirable features like front disc brakes, rollbelts and a collapsible steering column (Just like those dedicated western pig’s cars).
The most famous part of the Wartburg is its engine, a 993cc two stroke that had only seven moving parts. Shockingly simple but awful in every way, with emissions comparable to a T-10 Heavy tank.
It really doesn’t matter though; this is a time capsule back to another world. Just imagine driving this through a city in 2020, you’re likely to get a few smiles, even if they are out of pity.
£5k gets you this incredibly tidy example, complete with original DDR paperwork! Just 43k miles and a recent restoration have left this car looking better than it did when it left the factory. I doubt you’ll ever see one this clean ever again, I mean who actually buys these now?
I’m glad someone has spent the time and money on this car though, it’s a wonderful juxtaposition. Never has something so terrible looked so good. Buy it, enter it into a concours and watch as your peer’s Ferraris and Lamborghinis drop in value as they are covered in plumes of 2 stroke fumes.
If you fancy a trip back to the eastern bloc the car is available here - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Exceptional-Wartburg-353/124362497995