Early Riser: 1902 Wartburg

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

People think that this whole "sitting up high" trend only dates back to the rise of the minivan and SUV and carried further by monster trucks, donks, boxes and bubbles. No, friends. It goes back to the carriage. People have always liked sitting up high. It's the fault of the step-down Hudson and the Chicanos in East Los Angeles and Colin Chapman and Duffy Livingstone that we ever thought we were supposed to be low to the ground. Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach AG was established in 1898 Heinrich Ehrhardt, and by 1902, they were cranking out the Wartburg. 8.5hp, 640kg. And no doubt, it's definitely a proto-donk.

Wartburg [team.net]

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The original 'sitting up high' was more the fault of solid front axles and the need for engines to live above (and drivers to see over)them than carriage genes passed along.