GDR Towcar Champion.

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The photos I took this afternoon are of a Wartburg 353 1 litre three cylinder two stroke, complete with towbar . It is in outstanding condition both outside and inside. I saw it out over Christmas and it sound lovely with its high pitched exhaust.

The GDR Towcar competition pitched the Wartburg against Moscovitch, Niva, Polski Fiat, Skoda Estelle. So why is it the winner. Well it’s still running and looking good.

The owners daily run around is another slightly more modern classic. It is a medium sized hatch that taught British, French, German and Asian makes that cars can be reliable and not dissolve at the first drop of rain. Any guesses?

696C7EA2-CFBA-414B-814F-E655FA215C19.jpeg57514676-A1CC-4EDE-B0D9-C782A5243B95.jpeg2F2A7166-8271-488B-B9F5-E86E6657754D.jpeg
 
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That’s a nice old girl and quite rare I’d bet.
Anyone from here with an interest in the classic car scene?
I have a 1965 Singer Vogue.

Kev
 
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In 1991. On a business trip to Gottingen, Germany. Our hosts took us on a very interesting trip to the east. After the old fences, look outs (full of graffiti), and no-mans land, we came to a town.

Many west Germans were making the trip. So, this town, which looked medieval. Had an equal mixture of cars. BMW’s, Trabants, Mercedes and Wartburgs. The contrast hit us and demonstrated the differences made in progress by both sides of the border.

The Wartburg in the picture looks in much better condition than the ones we saw 30 years ago.

John
 
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In 1991. On a business trip to Gottingen, Germany. Our hosts took us on a very interesting trip to the east. After the old fences, look outs (full of graffiti), and no-mans land, we came to a town.

Many west Germans were making the trip. So, this town, which looked medieval. Had an equal mixture of cars. BMW’s, Trabants, Mercedes and Wartburgs. The contrast hit us and demonstrated the differences made in progress by both sides of the border.

The Wartburg in the picture looks in much better condition than the ones we saw 30 years ago.

John

I went via Germany to Switzerland with my now wife in the mid 60s. What surprised us were the hoardings in some towns that totally rejected division and looked forward to a unified Germany. Parts of our wider family finished in Munich after the war, but on reunification have returned back to their land in what was east Germany, although the youngsters preferred Munich. I used to enjoy my business visits to Germany. There’s still a difference between the old east and west which we noticed on a holiday tour driving to Prague and Krakow and returning via Dresden. A country well worth visiting whatever your mode of transport.

PS was the medieval town Quedlinburg. A beautiful,place totally unspoilt.
 
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I went via Germany to Switzerland with my now wife in the mid 60s. What surprised us were the hoardings in some towns that totally rejected division and looked forward to a unified Germany. Parts of our wider family finished in Munich after the war, but on reunification have returned back to their land in what was east Germany, although the youngsters preferred Munich. I used to enjoy my business visits to Germany. There’s still a difference between the old east and west which we noticed on a holiday tour driving to Prague and Krakow and returning via Dresden. A country well worth visiting whatever your mode of transport.

I agree that east west differences went on for a long time, perhaps still are. The 1991 trip I mentioned was around the Sunday that the banks merged, 1 year after reunification.

Like you, we drove, (towed, Citroen XM with an Abbey) to Prague around 1998, we stopped overnight in the east. So many shell suits. We also returned Dresden way. we could see it in the distance. Went through Czech forests which had lots of places selling lemonade, big gnomes and toilet paper, as well as young ladies spaced about every 200 metres, and not really dressed for the forest. All to service the Germans.

Then over the Hartz mountains. Forced to due to diversions for about 20 miles. The German word Umleitung, sticks in my head, we even had to negotiate Umleitung within Umleitung’s. That was a stressful day. Had a couple of nights at the Mohne dam after that.

John
 
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My boss had the Wartburg 3 cylinder. I think it the engine was a copy of the DKW 3 cylinder engine. We always knew he was coming due to the amount of smoke coming from the car. On reading the manual I realised that he was putting too much oil into the fuel tank. After that no more smoke. It was quite reliable until the half shaft snapped and no spares.
 
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My wife's uncle in Dresden had a Shiguli VAZ-2101. In case you are wondering what that was, I think it was sold in the UK as a Lada 1300.
Yes tough as old boots. The owner of the Wartburg has a Fiat Tipo as the daily drive. This too is in exceptional condition given its age. With that model Fiat taught the motor industry a thing or two about rust proofing cars. On his drive though is a very old Panda up on blocks . From it’s stickers and general condition it says it has done the Mongol Rally, and returned to tell the tale.
 
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We laugh about heated rear windows etc but these cars were built for operation in a tough environment, both weather and lack of regular servicing by Western standards. FIL had a rear engined Skoda years ago . Its siblings won rallies!
 
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My daughter and her husband are in a local car club and run a 1954 Ford Anglia they call Lizzie. Due to the pandemic their holiday in Austria was cancelled and they toured Wales in it with the car getting plenty of attention.
 
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We laugh about heated rear windows etc but these cars were built for operation in a tough environment, both weather and lack of regular servicing by Western standards. FIL had a rear engined Skoda years ago . Its siblings won rallies!

Our first second car was a Skoda Estelle 105. We chose Skoda as it had no street cred for the kids. We then moved to Cumbria and lived in the sticks. The Skoda did every Cumbrian pass, albeit slowly. When we returned we decided to sell it and went almost immediately. Great little car very reliable. In fact the service manager at my Subaru dealer was a young technician at the same dealership when we bought the Skoda and they are still an authorised Skoda service Center too.
 
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The unfortunate thing about Skoda is in the translation. (But not so bad as Pajero).

When we were in Czechoslovakia in a Skoda museum we were told it translated to mean “What a pity”. Looking on Google translate it means “damage”.


There were some amazing cars in the museum. And they have made some distinctive models.

585E8CA7-126C-4BA6-863D-59D84B25BE86.jpeg



John
 
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The unfortunate thing about Skoda is in the translation. (But not so bad as Pajero).

When we were in Czechoslovakia in a Skoda museum we were told it translated to mean “What a pity”. Looking on Google translate it means “damage”.


There were some amazing cars in the museum. And they have made some distinctive models.

View attachment 1030



John
it looks stunning
 
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On the eastern theme the Lada Niva is still in production after almost 40 years, but a new one with elements of the Duster transmission is due for release in 2021 as part of the GM joint venture with the Russian manufacturer. It looks good but not as functional looking as the old Niva and most likely nowhere near as easy to maintain. Predicted to be more expensive than a Duster, but in what markets isn’t defined. Think I would opt for the Duster with its known performance and dealer network and Nissan underpinnings. But if I wanted to go into the rough and come back out again it would be the original Niva. They are good off roading.

New pre reg Nivas (original) LHD for sale in Germany at €14500 👍👍

New Niva
 
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Is this Dacia still Renault based made in Romania? Years ago a lot of Renault 12 ended up being made in Turkey under a different name. Same as Fiat used to do in the Eastern block.
 
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It’s made in quite a few countries. Here’s the Wikipedia entry. With Renault and Nissan being a joint company it benefits from Nissan’s AWD experience on the four wheel drive variant.

When we were in Bhutan in 2016 it was astonishing how many there were in that country. They were badged Nissan Terrano and most were 4wd. Not surprising as for the most part the roads were akin to a permanent off roading experience. Given that in that country you need reliable transport as a break down can see you miles from any assistance, it impressed on me the capability of what here is ostensibly a budget car.

.
 
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Not the Duster, but the new Sandero...

The new Sandero 3 is nice looking car, which no doubt will further the brands reputation. As well as Romania it is assembled in Morocco and if like the Duster there will be other overseas factories too. Who would ever have thought it a turbo Sandero. JC will be having a fit 😂
 

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