Wartburg is a car brand from Eastern Germany. It was launched right after the GDR was founded, and they died almost simultaneously. It didn’t catch on outside of Eastern Germany and some communist countries, but these cars can still be found in Germany even today.

Meaning and History

The brand ‘Wartburg’ was launched in Eisenach, Thuringia in 1955. It was called so after the historic castle located right outside the city. This fortress was featured on all logos of the Wartburg brand. Actually, they only ever had one emblem, although it had a few variations.

1955 – 1991

Wartburg Logo

Since its creation and right until the purchase by Opel in 1991, Wartburg had just one notable car emblem.

It depicted a silhouette of a mentioned Wartburg castle – a solid fortress with just a few towers. Right below it was a plaque that said ‘AUTOMOBILWERK EISENACH’ – an owner company. The text basically means ‘Eisenach car factory’. The font was in thin capital letters, nothing too special.

Below it was a downward triangle and the foundation of the castle with the letters ‘VEB’ on it. They described the type of the facility in question. In this instance, it means that the factory is under government administration. From the bottom and to the right and left sides also stretched two rays, as if by projectors.

This entire composition, alongside a background of different colors behind, was encased into a double-shaped frame. The lower half resembled a wide triangle, while in the middle of the top side stood the round shape. This exact circle held the castle image.

Different variations of this logo had different color palettes. Some beige, white and black, some – red, white and blue, and some were just black and white. They can’t really be considered different logos, because the composition was exactly the same, and the only detail that stood out was the coloring.

Emblem and Symbol

Wartburg Emblem

The castle-featuring emblem was on the majority of cars produced as part of Wartburg car family. The colors changed, but the composition of the logo itself never did. The palettes didn’t just swap for different cars, but for different colors of the cars as well.

Some car badges looked different. For instance, some Wartburg 353 models had small rhombs at the front with the name ‘Wartburg’ written in a kind of bookish cursive beside them. But really, they were and still are very rare.

The Legends

The most prominent car by this manufacturer is easily a Wartburg 353 and all its variations. They made a lot of them since mid 60s all the way to mid 80s. It was somewhat outdated, but still was very powerful (with maximum speed of 170 km/h). Notably, this car was terribly on demand throughout Eastern Europe.

They even made a race car version of it, which wasn’t too unsuccessful on trek. Even now these cars and their modifications are considered a notable relic and treated with nostalgia.