The Teacher’s Dream

Though many people dreamt about their own sports car behind the Iron Curtain in the 1970s, few were brave enough to go ahead and actually build one. Imre Dongó was one of the few.

The first iteration of the Wartburg GT

Imre Dongó was a high-school teacher in the Hungarian city of Győr. In the early 1970s he decided to go ahead and build his own sports car. He bought a Wartburg, made a lot of drawings and even visited Heinz Melkus to see his 1000 GT!

Dongó built the body piece by piece. There were 1:1 scale drawings on the wall of his workshop and every sheet was matched to the drawings. He even did the upholstery and the painting himself! It took him 10 months to finish the Wartburg GT, which was completed in 1975. However he was not totally happy with the end result. First he moved the headlights to the middle of the front. But as the car was very uncomfortable he ditched the body altogether and built a new one!

The new body of the Wartburg GT

His planning was so thorough that the Hungarian authorities, who usually did not permit one-off creations on the road, made an exception!

Dongó used the car for a few years and then sold it. But he could not sit idle. So he designed a new microcar which was powered by an MZ motorcycle engine. This could not be homologated on the road.


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