East German Wartburgs live miserably in Krakow

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Some of you may remember my Octorber 2011 visit to Eastern Europe. I reviewed the almighty, almost HCOTY winning, FSO Polonez, drove the Lada Niva, checked out some Polish “trucks“, and spotted a rear-engined exotic a Skoda. While recently going over my pictures from that trip I found images of these miserable Wartburgs, the original 311 and the “modern” 353, still living in Krakow, Poland.

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This original 311, a model which I totally do not recall ever seeing in my youth during the early 80s, was parked in the Jewish/Bohemian area of Kazimierz. When I came up to there were two guys leaning against, smoking cigarettes. I asked about and they said that it’s been there for years, except for one day when it mysteriously disappeared, only to come back into the exact same spot about 24 hours later.

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The 353, which, much like the 311, was powered by a 1-liter, 2-stroke 3-cylinder engine, and was still used as a daily driver. These Wartburgs were much liked in Poland for their snow-forging front-wheel drive awesomeness. Like the Polonez, they came in a variety of body configurations such as a wagon and a pickup. I don’t know much else about them, so read the wikipedia entry, that way if they wrong you can’t yell at me. 😛

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