Saturday, November 23, 2013

All I Want For Christmas Is A Wartburg.

Santa, I know what I want this year for Christmas. I want a Wartburg. You might have to look it up. I only just discovered it myself a few weeks ago. I suspect that there won't be many people asking for one, so there shouldn't be much competition. I can even tell you where to look!
It was a few weeks back, when I was in Berlin, that I first discovered the Wartburg 353. It's a fantastically style-less car, a 3-box sedan in its purest form. I was just coming down from the high of the Trabant tour I had taken, and I was going over all of the Trabbis in the parking lot. That is when I stumbled across a handful of strange long sedans. There were several cream-coloured and one red. I had to read the name on the back to figure out what it was (my guess was Lada or Skoda). It was a Wartburg.
The Wartburg 353 was produced from 1965 until 1988. Apparently pickup and van versions also existed, but the sedan was clearly the most popular. The original 3-cylinder 2-stroke engine gave way at the end of its life to a VW engine, though obviously the charm would lie in the original clattery 2-stroke. It was apparently the fall of the Berlin wall and reunification of Germany that spelled the end of the Wartburg. The ancient, low-tech car simply couldn't compete in a global market.
I didn't have much time to look closely, but one peek of a Wartburg is enough to get me hooked. I asked if any were for sale, as they were clearly sitting abandonded surrounded by Trabants. The tour guide told me that he suspected they were, but that I would have to contact the owner. I left an email address without really much hope, but lo and behold, I recieved an email this week! There are 4 Wartburgs for sale! I have requested some more photos and some information...
So Santa, I've done most of the leg work for you. All you have to do is head to Berlin and scoop one up for me. The least rusted one that runs would be great. I'm not picky about colour. I've been a rather good boy this year, and you know that I don't risk any speeding tickets if I get one of these wonderful relics!

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