WTF Friday: What the heck is a Wartburg?


Saw this in the ‘Post Insane or Unique Engine Swaps‘ thread over on VW Vortex and it had me a little confused.

I’ve never seen, or heard of, a Wartburg before. However after checking out Wiki it sort of makes sense as they were a car of East German manufacture that never made it’s way to Canada. Their ‘claim to fame’ was the fact that the motors only had 7 moving parts (three pistons, three connecting rods and a crankshaft).

JThw8 on Vortex ditched the 2 stroke three cylinder with bizarre radiator before the engine configuration and managed to drop in a EJ22 (95-01 Imprezza) motor with the help of a VW Bug torsion assembly and trans axle.

Crazy, I can’t imagine how this thing must handle now as I imagine the original suspension wasn’t designed for this but it sure makes for a great conversation piece.

This is what a Wartburg 311 looks like.
The original 7 moving part motor configuration
Overhead fan, weird.
Now unnecessary parts removed from the trunk
EJ22 dropped into place

Site Updates

Once again not much, been a weird past few weeks with Christmas/New Years etc. Been hard enough just trying to maintain a consistent post schedule with all that has been going on 😛

However I have been reaching out to a couple photographers and car owners for features for 2010. Really looking forward to those. One of the features, if everything works out, will take us across the pond and to a type of car I’ve never featured before here.

Don’t worry, it’s low.

Flashback Friday

Being New Years Eve today (and 2011 in some places) it means that tomorrow morning, after festivities tonight, I will be watching the Barret Jackson Auction most of the day.

Which is awesome.

While doing that I will also be putting the finishing touches on the ‘Top Content of 2010’ post, so in anticipation of that here is a link back to last years ‘Top Content Of 2009‘.

Girls with Hot Rides Part 1 remains popular for a couple reasons...

Happy New Years Eve everybody and keep it safe, last thing I want to hear is that some of you wrecked your cars or worse yourselves ushering in 2011.

Don’t drink and drive.


  1. Interesting choice with the EJ22. I actually have a friend who’s preparing to swap one into a Lancia Stratos replica after he’s done with another restoration. Glad to see some eastern bloc love as well.

  2. joe dude get my email from dave and keep me poasted when theat build start sthat sounds awsome is it a hawk? my old man had a wartburg b4 i was born (a newer modle tho)even did a cople of rallys with it he says there indistructable! that seams almost saab 92 ish

  3. Hey! That’s my car! Hi folks, just stumbled across this. You asked about handling as the original suspension was surely not designed for such things. You are absolutely correct. The factory setup was transverse leaf springs front and rear. We kinda put the motor in the middle of where the spring used to be.
    The rear suspension is provided with the VW transaxle and torsion housing, it uses the VW torsion assembly with Porsche 944 brakes. The front suspension has been modified to use 944 lower a-arms and struts with Ground Control coil overs. This car has actually be road raced at Summit Point Raceway in WV and while it still needs some work it does quite well. The big challenge at the moment is finding some sway bars to settle the roll a bit.

    Some other data. She weighs in at 2200 lbs with a full roll cage. Turns a 15 second 1/4 mile on the stock EJ22. Every body panel except for the 2 front doors has been modified. The wheelbase was stretched 4 inches in the rear and 3 in the front.

    She completed a 3000 mile (round trip) road rally ( from NYC to New Orleans and didnt miss a beat (except for the lack of windshield wipers, that sucked)

    Glad to see she’s still making people say WTF 🙂 For our next trick we are building a 5.0 powered MG and I have a 1929 Nash preparing to have some weird added to it. I specialize in weird.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.