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1967 TATRA 603

Air-cooled Alloy V8 Rear engine








Hans Ledwinka

The Tatra 603, originating from the era of the Eastern Bloc, was the grand limousine of choice for Communist Party dignitaries and high-ranking officials. With approximately 20,000 units manufactured between 1956 and 1978, the Tatra 603 embodied strength, spaciousness, comfort, and an impressive top speed nearing 100 mph, all powered by a remarkably compact V8 engine. Its robust design made it ideal for navigating the challenging roads of Eastern Europe.

Our meticulously restored Tatra 603 was sold by Tatra as a “pre-owned” car and was originally the property of a Czech State factory. The restoration involved renewed paint and chrome, with a brand-new old-stock engine from Tatra. The rest of the car remains in its authentic, original state.

The intriguing story of the Tatra 603 dates back to 1951 when the Czech government directed Tatra to focus on truck production. Dissatisfied with Russian imports, officials sought a domestic luxury car, leading designers Frantisek Kardaus and Vladimir Popelar to create the Tatra 603. Influenced by the legacy of Hans Ledwinka, the car featured an aerodynamic design and a rear-mounted, air-cooled V8 engine.

Introduced in 1955, the Tatra 603 stood out with its teardrop shape, three headlights under a single pane of glass, and innovative design elements. The car's suspension, rear swing-axle, and light engine contributed to its remarkable performance. Over the years, updates like the 2-603 and 3-603 models brought changes to headlights, grille, and features, extending the Tatra 603's production until 1975.

Remarkably, Tatra 603s were never available to the public but found use as embassy cars worldwide. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, a few made their way to the West, though their popularity was limited due to associations with the Iron Curtain era. Explore the legacy of the Tatra 603, a symbol of automotive innovation and a fascinating chapter in the history of luxury cars.

1967 TATRA 603
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