Our car was originally a 1984 Wartburg 353 Tourist. First we were planning to go with a Trabant, but then we found an ad for that Wartburg, and decided to have a more comfortable trip and bought it for 250 Euros instead. However, after we picked up the car, we figured out, that it was not only rusty beyond recognition, but also that the VIN on the car's frame did not match the papers we got with the car. So we were essentially driving around without proper paperwork.
Since this might not be the smartest thing to do, especially when you’re planning to cross some complicated borders, we decided we’d have to get a new car. Since we named our team after the car, it would have to be a Wartburg again. Since we didn’t find an adequate Tourist (the estate version), we ended up with a normal 1988 Wartburg - still much spacier than most of the other contestant’s vehicles.
The Wartburg 353 started production in 1965, and is equipped with a 993cc three-cylinder two-stroke engine delivering a power output of 50hp. This made the Wartburg the luxury choice of car in former east Germany, much superior to the common Trabant.
According to an old east german repair manual:
Due to the continuously increasing real incomes in the German Democratic Republic, and the correlating increase of individual transportation, the service capacities of the garages inevitably cannot be raised to keep up with the required amount, so it will be increasingly necessary for the Wartburg driver to be able to perform repairs on his vehicle himself.
Those were the days.
For rally preparations we plan to add a roof rack, and an extra loud horn. Possibly some fancy extra headlights. And the usual amount of spare tires, fuel canisters and spare parts most likely to break down (which usually serves as a warranty that those parts will in fact not break down, unlike everything else in the car).
Our Wartburg