1. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    I've ran into a couple of people who remember the 311. One said guy he had one when he was a kid and drove it around in a field.

    Were these cars ever actually imported into the US back in the 1960s?

    One guy who grew up in East Germany said the rumor was that they were sent to the US and used as taxis.
  2. Wartburg353W

    Wartburg353W Loyal Comrade

    Yes in 1959 about 1,000 were shipped to a distributor in California, Willy Witkin. I have a brochure that lists an east coast dealer as well, but have seen no other evidence that they ever actually sold any in the east. They even ran ad in Playboy magazine. US brochures are available on ebay. There is a gentleman named Victor who has several of the original US Wartburgs, but only one is roadworthy, a beautiful convertible. There is a video on youtube of a guy giving it a road test. Victor has a website, he has all the surviving data and records from Witkin's company, including many hate letters that Americans sent to him decrying his attempt to sell commie cars in America.
  3. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    To add to the story, I was at PetSmart one day and a guy came up to me to look at my Trabant. He said he had never seen or heard of one before.

    Then he said when he was a kid growing up in rural Ohio in the 1960s, his father had an old beat up unregistered Wartburg and he drove it around the farm for fun. I told him his Wartburg was also made in East Germany and gave him a brief history lesson about how the BMW and Audi factories were seized by the Soviets after the war and they started building different cars in their old factories.

    So it made me wonder how these Wartburgs got here in the first place.

    I think I seen that video of Victor's car your talking about. It's a guy from Jalopnik who is test driving the car.
  4. Wartburg353W

    Wartburg353W Loyal Comrade

    Small world ain't it.

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