Wartburg Coupe and Cabriolet (1957 – 1966) Review

Wartburg Coupe and Cabriolet (1957 – 1966) At A Glance


+Great stying, advanced specification, a real headturner

-Smoky and slow

During the 1950s, Wartburg was producing a range of attractive saloons and coupes – a far cry from the modern perception that the marque’s output was painfully square, smelly and noisy. The two-stroke Wartburg 353 Knight is the reason for the ‘smoker’ reputation. The first post-war Wartburgs had been built by the state-owned IFA Company in 1950, and were badged as the F9.

When a replacement was devised, it was decided to revive the Wartburg name, which had been used for cars built at Eisenach in East Germany until production had ceased in 1904. Using the same DKW-inspired 900cc three-cylinder two-stroke engine used in the F9, power was boosted from 30bhp to 37bhp. Another hangover from the old car was the four-speed gearbox and innovative front-wheel drive layout. That meant that although the Wartburg looked all new, it was almost unchanged under the skin. The Coupe and Cabriolet didn’t major on interior space, but they looked good.