Tag Archives: Germany

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 !


Maserati 250 F

I apologise to all my Rowdy friends who will have seen this car before on rowdy.com but I have expanded on that original post in this blog in honour of Canadian artist Paul Chenard who very kindly helped me out with another project I am working on. If you like drawings and paintings of old racing cars you’ll love his gallery linked here.

The 250 F was first raced in 1954 by 1951 world drivers champion Juan Manuel Fangio who took a maiden outing win in Argentina and then won again, having missed the 1954 Indy 500, at the following race in Belgium.

Juan then went on to become Champion in 1954 driving for Mercedes Benz for the rest of the season. With Mercedes at the height of their power in 1955, Maserati were locked out of the top spot in Formula One but in 1956 the 250 F was again driven to two victories by Fangio’s former Mercedes team mate Stirling Moss.

Having been crowned world champion from 1955 – 56 the now four time world champion Fangio returned to Maserati for 1957 and promptly won four of the eight championship races to set a four peat world championship record that stood until 2003.

In that 1957 season Fangio drove one of the races of all time during the German GP, having failed to out fox the Ferrari team after a disastrous pit stop, Juan Manuel set 7 consecutive lap records on the 14 mile Nurburgring Nordschleife making up over 48 seconds before taking the lead from the Mike Hawthorn’s Ferrari with a lap to spare and record the 250 F’s 8th and final Formula One Championship victory.

Fittingly JMF drove his last ever race in a 250F at the 1958 French GP coming 4th, winner Mike Hawthorn sportingly refraining from lapping him on the final lap.

The 250 F continued to appear ever more uncompetitively until 1960.

This 1957 250F is the last of the 26 built. Complete with a six cylinder 240 hp engine.
This car is differentiated from most by a short wheelbase Piccolo chassis.
The 250 F is recorded as being the most forgiving of the 2.5 litre (152.5 CUI) F1 cars by Willy Green who has driven every type of 2.5 litre F1 car competitively in historic races.

Hope you enjoyed today’s post and will join me again tomorrow.