View Full Version : Studebaker and Tatra: interesting parallels

05-12-2006, 11:41 AM
I was reading about the Czech company Tatra the other day and a few things popped out at me. The company started as a wagon works in the 1850s and successfully got into the car business about 1900 (I think 1897 was the date of their first car). One of their first cars, if not THE first was called the Präsident (President)!

The company took the Tatra name in the 1920s or 30s and made cars until 1997. They still make trucks and are best known in that market in eastern Europe and third world countries. Interesting cars.

05-12-2006, 12:15 PM
They made a "luxury" rear engined sedan in the 50's and 60s.
A broad (very broad) anology would be sort of a commie-Tucker....:D
They're very much a "cult" thing in Europe.
I hear they were probably the best cars to come out of Eastern Europe during that period.

63 Avanti R1 2788
1914 Stutz Bearcat
(George Barris replica)

Washington State

05-12-2006, 01:29 PM
Naturally because they're not easy to find in the U.S. I want one. A place in Canada sells and restores and services used ones. If you ever see the movie A Series of Unfortunate Events you'll see a Tatra used as one of the main props. A T-603, I think. I'm also pretty sure that the big models had rear mounted V8 engines.

05-12-2006, 04:29 PM
I read an article in Motor Tend awhile back about this Czech make. It seems Porche was so interested in the design of the Tatra's rear engine design, that he incorporated it into the first Volkswagen Beetle, and Porche was sued for doing so by the engineer who developed the Tatra. I believe that the article said that the Tatra was a much better performing car than the "Bug".

05-12-2006, 06:17 PM
Your right Scott the Tatra had an air cooled V8 engine mounted in the rear.

1961 Lark

05-13-2006, 09:05 AM
The story I've heard is that Tatra did sue, but the lawsuit was ignored as it came from behind the "Iron Curtain". Once eastern European countries became "deocratised", the story goes on to say a settlement was reached out of courts.
Could be true, the rear engined Tatra does have quite a few features later found in the V-dub.

05-13-2006, 10:08 AM
Just for fun here are couple of pictures of a T603 and one of a T700, which was the last car Tatra built - 1998, actually. Yeah, the 603s are wierd looking, but they do have a V8 and look very comfortable. After this, back to Studebakers.