Tag Archives: Dixi

Anything Except Grey – Wartburg 311 De Luxe (311/6)

Wartburg is the name of a Castle in Eisenach, Thuringia which first lent it’s name to a motor vehicle in 1898. The Wartburg name was dropped when Automobilwerk Eisenach the manufacturer changed ownership in 1904, and briefly made a reappearance on BMW’s first sports car the 1930 BMW 3/15 DA-3 Wartburg after BMW had taken over Automobilwerk Eisenach, which had been selling vehicles under the Dixi brand, in 1928.

Wartburg 311, Classic Car Show, NEC, Birmingham

After the 1939 – ’45 war the newly nationalised VEB Automobilwerk Eisenach resumed production of pre war DKW designed IFA F9 car in 1950 and in 1956 VEB Automobilwerk Eisenach revived the Wartburg name for the 311 model designed by Hans Fleischer.

Wartburg 311, Classic Car Show, NEC, Birmingham

Fleischer had been an apprentice at the BMW Eisenach works before the war and rejoined the staff at the renamed VEB Automobilwerk Eisenach after his release from a prisoner of war camp. Mechanically the 311 was developed from the IFA F9 with a 900 cc / 54 cui 3 cylinder 2 stroke motor and completely new monocoque / unitary chassis and body.

Wartburg 311, Classic Car Show, NEC, Birmingham

This particular 311 was built in 1965 and delivered to the UK in early 1966, note the wipers are set up for left hand drive. It has been repainted VW Polar Grey to closely match the original, almost all East German vehicles of the 50’s and 60’s were painted utilitarian pastel light colours of beige, grey and light blue and East Germans visiting the West often remarked how colourful vehicles from the West looked by comparison.

Wartburg 311, Classic Car Show, NEC, Birmingham

The 311 was built with 13 different body styles from 1956 to 1965, the 311/6 designation denoting the 4 door De Luxe right hand drive saloon / sedan option of which 450 examples are thought to have been sold in the UK between their UK introduction in 1964 and the end of production 1965.

“Thanks for joining me on this “Anything Except Grey” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Metricated Austin 7 – BMW “Dixi” DA2 3/15 #14187

Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach was founded in in 1896 to manufacture motorcycles and motorcars under the Wartburg brand. The Wartburg brand was discontinued in 1904 and replaced with the Dixi brand.

BMW Dixi DA2 3/15, Silverstone Classic

In 1927 Fabrik Eisenach bought a license to manufacture a Left Hand Drive version of the Austin 7.

The following year BMW wishing to enter the motor manufacture bought Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach which was experiencing financial difficulties.

Over the ensuing years the car was metricated and the engine was updated and upgraded by BMW, the Austin 7 motor’s ancestry can be traced through a range of BMW and later still Bristol six cylinder motor’s.

The 1929 model, seen here at Silverstone Classic, has an all steel body built by Ambi-Budd of Berlin.

This car spent most of it’s life in East Germany near the Polish border and had been off the road for 15 years before a restoration was started with the replacement of the kingpins, starter ring gear, wiring, fan pulleys, belt and blades, brake shoes, propshaft coupling, battery, windscreen and tyres.

Thanks for joining me on this “Metricated Austin 7” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !