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- Seller: StreetsideNashville
- Phone: 615-930-0600
This 1971 Tatra T603 is a terrific way to get everyone's attention. It was built for the best communists; there are spaceship-like aerodynamics; and there's a hemi V8 mounted in the rear. It makes for a rare dictator -level car that were hand-made by the handful, and even fewer remain this clean and complete today.
Not too many people think of Czechoslovakia when shopping for post-war European classics. Still, we didn't have to mention where this Tatra was from for you to know it's different than the others. Despite its unique style, the T603 is an evolution of tradition. Tatra was already established as a maker of aerodynamic executive sedans, but after WWII, a car like this only got a development blessing if it was going to heads of state. So each one is suspected of having a unique history. This car's paint has a glossy look from a distance. However, its current quality up-close is more likely to get you talking about how you need to be robust to survive behind the Iron Curtain. And while we kind of like how its appearance fits the car's personality, the real attraction here is the completeness and straightness in the overall presentation. It really lets you see how there was true elegance in the design. It's in the way the side marker lights taper to join the side trim, and how that brightwork rockets down the side like it's trying to show the air how to feed the V8 in the rear. And while this was built to transport those who excelled at communism, we bet you won't be able to resist mentioning how this is more successful at a split rear window than a '63 Corvette.
The interior keeps a stock and weathered style. The front split bench seat has a bit more contouring, but since the rear was where the most important person often sat, you have plenty of legroom and a folding armrest back there. Elements like the red cloth seat inserts, matching door panels, and German-band radio (for display) are considered opulent items. So while there is certainly room for improvement if you were looking to restore a car, there is something fun about how this already captures the essence of the era.
This car is all about showing off how different it is, and so you'll love lifting the rear hatch and showing off the 2.5-liter hemi V8. Those big valve covers even remind us of those early Mopar FirePower Hemis. But what you'll really be pointing out in this overall tidy setup are the distinct details, like the Czech-made dual carbs. Having an air-cooled motor in the rear seems like a Porsche trait, and if you don't already know, you'll love investigating and talking about that connection. In fact, you may even pick up hints of early Porsche 911 in the engine note. This one has a surprisingly eagerness to run that just seems to reinforce the hardy nature of the communist worker. So it's a car you can take out on the road to show it off. The column-shifted four-speed manual transmission takes a little mastering, but it will be a source of pride when you get the shifts right. Plus, this has good driving features, like power brakes, front discs, modern Goodyear tires, and a fully independent suspension. The driving experience is not like a sports car or a muscle car, but this Tatra 602 will turn more heads on the road than a Porsche 911 or a 426 Charger any day of the week.
This is a unique classic that's able to showcase pure Czech charm. So if you want to be distinctly different, you need this Tatra. Call today!!!