Czechoslovakia’s Tatra stands out from the rest of the badge-engineered Third World cars. Founded in 1850 as a producer of horse-drawn carriages, Tatra eventually branched out into railroad cars. Then, inspired by the purchase of an 1897 Benz, Tatra showcased its first vehicle in Vienna. Austrian engineer Hans Ledwinka’s involvement with that car led to Tatra’s introduction of the Type A in 1900. This time, Hans was completely responsible for its engineering and design.
However, Ledwinka’s crowning achievement was the 1933 Tatra T77, an aerodynamic, rear-engined sedan built on a tube-steel chassis. More notable features were a 3.4-liter air-cooled V-8 with overhead valves and hemispherical heads, independent suspension, and liberal use of lightweight magnesium alloys for the motor, suspension, and body.
The T603 Model was allocated only to senior members of the political and industrial establishments. A third of the T603 production was exported to the central and eastern European countries as well as to Cuba and China. Former Cuban President Fidel Castro is believed to have owned a white T603, sales to private individuals were not normally possible, although a few T603’s appear to have been privately owned in East Germany. During the car’s twenty-year production run, 20,422 cars were built, mostly by hand. The T603 was replaced by the T613 in 1974.
This example is presented in generally good condition. It passed the Italian MOT recently, in July 2017, and is ready to be used. It arrived in Italy in the 90s and is offered here with its Italian registration and the ASI certification.