Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

Wartburg 311 and 312 (1956 - 1966)

Last updated 1 September 2013

Impressively comfortable and great to look at
Parts availability isn't the best
were produced
Read Owners' Reviews


The Wartburg 311 and 312 are proof positive that it was possible to produce handsome and well-engineered cars from behind the Iron curtain. First shown at the 1956 Leipzig Spring Fair, the 311 was a well-engineered (if slightly old-fashioned) car with a superbly designed body. Similar in many respects to the Borgward saloons of the same era, the 311 was sold in either a four-door saloon or two-door estate form (known as the Kombi) – although later, pretty cabriolet and a coupé versions were introduced.

Suspended by transverse leaf springs at both front and rear, there was no doubt that the underpinnings were long in the tooth – even for 1956. However, when the 312 replaced by the 311 in 1964, a new chassis and gearbox were finally introduced to Wartburg. However, as the bodyshell was unchanged, all the benefits of all-round independent coil sprung suspension were lost on the car’s customers because of the familiar style. Service intervals were impressive – 30,000 miles between visits to the garage - good by 21st century standards. When the 353 replaced the 312 in 1967, the chassis was carried over while the bodyshell was updated.