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The Wartburg 353, known in some export markets as the Wartburg Knight, is a medium-sized family car, produced by the East German car manufacturer AWE for their Wartburg brand. It was the successor of the Wartburg 311, and was itself succeeded by the Wartburg 1.3. The Wartburg 353 was produced from 1966 to 1988, becoming the Wartburg with the longest production run. During its lifetime it saw several changes and improvements, the most recognizable of these coming in 1985 with a front facelift (as pictured here), slightly different layout around the engine block and a new carburettor. The Wartburg 353 was the creation of the former German BMW production facilities (called EMW under Soviet occupation). It was developed from a 1938 DKW design, and powered by an engine with only seven major moving parts, crankshaft included. This led to a common aphorism among Wartburg owners that "one simply drives a car, but must only maintain a motorcycle".
Domestically, it was used for all types of government transportation, sometimes as a police car. However, due to the nature of the planned economy, deliveries to private owners could take ten to fifteen years. Like other Eastern European cars, it was known for its low price. Because of its forward centre of gravity and front-wheel drive, the car had typical front-wheel-drive road handling, usually displaying significant understeer, especially in wet conditions.
Wartburgs were exported to most European markets and South Africa.

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