1961 Wartburg 311 Camping – The Vista Cruiser’s Inspiration?

A generous CC reader recently sent me several Auto-Parade Annuals, from the years 1960, 1961 and 1967. I do love these trips down memory lane, as they re-awaken long dormant memories. There I was in bed last night, trying to forget about how to deal with the tricky grade elevation changes on the little house I’m designing, and what do I stumble upon? The Wartburg 311-5 Camping Limousine, with rear windows that wrap right into the roof. Very Vista Cruiser like indeed. Or even more like the 1981 Dodge Ramcharger. Fortunately, more detailed shots of the Wartburg without the distracting ladies are to be found at Wikipedia:

Holy Scenicruiser! There’s a sunroof back there too. Yes, the Wartburg Camping, which appeared in 1959, was quite the little wagon indeed, even if it was named “Limousine”.

The Wartburg was Eastern Germany’s “big car”, compared to the more common Trabant. It was a development of the pre-war DKW, whose Zwickau factury ended up behind the Iron Curtain. That means a smoky 900 cc two-stroke three-cylinder engine, to cast a blue pallor to the great outdoors. Well, East German’s opportunities to go camping were a bit restricted back in the day, so I suspect the Camping was not a high-volume item.

thanks for the books, mk!