What Kind of Person Would Sell a Communist Car?

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
what kind of person would sell a communist car

At the height of the Second Red Scare, a Southern California man named Willy Witkins imported and sold East German Wartburgs and Škodas. The hate mail came rolling in.

I don’t know how anyone could hate the beautiful Wartburg Sports, regardless of its birthplace on the other side of the Iron Curtain, but many patriotic Americans gave Mr. Witkins a piece of their minds.

Thanks to tipster Terrence in Switzerland (who mailed me some 1:87 scale Wartburg 353s), I can share the fascinating Wartburg USA website with you. Enjoy.

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  • Mikey Mikey on Jun 18, 2011

    I got something to add here. I was a Canadian GM autoworker, and back in 1984 we went on strike. Within weeks we had a tiff with the UAW and the CAW was born. Thats another story. Anyway, we were all out on the picket lines. For many of us it was the first real strike we had ever experienced. We were,for the most part,young and full of pi$$,vinigar,and lots of beer. Oh yeah...we had heard all the stories of the 1970 strike and the big one of 56. Well, we were gonn'a make our own mark. So we already had a big bon fire going. Somebody shouts out..."lets find a Lada to burn" Okay, lets remember that we were part of a left leaning orginization. Our local fully supported the NDP party. At that time, the far left NDP sat slightly right of Lennin and Marx. Very slightly. Psar....I know your going to disagree, but I'll move on anyway. So explaining the difference of the degree of political ideology between the NDP, and USSR would have been lost on this beer soaked crowd. So we get the idea to pass the hat and buy an old Lada. That didn't pan out. So doesn't some poor soul pick this moment to drive by the picket line....with a Lada. I'm "thinking this could get real ugly,real fast". My buddy grabbed my arm and I quote.."Mikey! lets get to f outa here,.... right f----en now! We did...and so did the dude with the Lada. Me thinks he had to change his undies,when he got home. Cooler heads prevailed, somebody showed up towing an old Pinto. The general thought was "at least we new it was gonn'a burn" That was a long time ago, but thats my "Commie car" story.

  • -Nate -Nate on Feb 25, 2013

    As usual ; The comments meander all over the map , making this particular site both entertaining and educational . I rather like the lines of both the Rag Top and the Kombi.... -Nate

  • Inside Looking Out This is actually the answer to the question I asked not that long ago.
  • Inside Looking Out Regarding "narrow windows" - the trend is that windows will eventually be replaced by big OLED screens displaying some exotic place or may even other planet.
  • Robert I have had 4th gen 1996 model for many years and enjoy driving as much now as when I first purchased it - has 190 hp variant with just the right amount of power for most all driving situations!
  • ToolGuy Meanwhile in Germany...
  • Donald More stuff to break god I love having a nanny in my truck... find a good tuner and you can remove most of the stupid stuff they add like this and auto park when the doors open stupid stuff like that