As we went for an all-too-short walking tour of Dresden this week, amongst all of the modern Volkswagens, Toyotas and BMWs was one sad little sedan. At first glance, it looked like an old Fiat or Lada. A closer look at the badge on the rear end revealed it to be a Wartburg. While Trabant is the better-known motoring icon of the former German Democratic Republic (a.k.a. East Germany), the Wartburg actually managed to find an export market outside of the Soviet bloc.
For a time, Wartburgs were exported to the U.K., South Africa and a few other countries. Like its compatriot, the Trabant, the Wartburg derived its "propulsion" from a two-stroke engine, in this case a 993cc three-cylinder with about 50 horsepower. Also like the Trabi, Wartburg faded into history after the fall of the Berlin Wall. But clearly, some do live on.