From veterans acknowledge other luxury limos, but few are as comfortable sitting back just as in Tatra 603. After Stalin’s death in 1953, namely also in the Eastern bloc eased somewhat “manners” and at least comrades were allowed to enjoy the convenience and prestige. Engineers reasoned like this in Kopřivnice, when developed this car.
Of course, the currencies have not been and needed all the production in Czechoslovakia. This generates small technical shortcomings of this otherwise exceptional car. Comfort and generosity in no way lag behind Mercedes’s.
Tatra 603 is the last vehicle in Kopřivnice from many famous aerodynamic vehicles, which started in 1933 known Tatra 77. It had a body set up under patents Swiss designer of Hungarian origin, Paul Jaraya and was combined with the technique of Tatra air-cooled eight-cylinder engine in the rear section . This concept remained loyal to the Tatra 603rd
To understand the time in which Tatra 603 was created, it should be recalled that in 1951 was the government’s decision in Kopřivnice stopped production of passenger vehicles Tatra 600 Tatraplan. Then they insensitive moved to the premises of Skoda Mlada Boleslav, despite the dissatisfaction of both automakers.
After prior termination of production of older models of T-87 and T-57b manufactured before World War II, he remained Tatraplan at that time only produced by car Tatra. All manufacturing capacities Koprivni- plant be used for the production of heavy trucks. The long tradition of production of Tatra passenger cars has thus interrupted and decision provoked a wave of protests, but that was due to the then strict political situation hidden.
At that time already they worked in Tatra successor to T-600. It was prepared entirely new V8 engine under the original proposal Ing. Mackerle of 1948. The new engine, structurally The completed Jiri Klos 1949 already bear the designation T-603 and is designated as a new passenger car, which had Tatraplan replaced.
Since the in Tatra discussed the tradition of aerodynamic car with rear engine, most of the proposals for a new vehicle based on this reference. The gradual shape the future of Tatra 603 is nice to see the shape of the model in 1:10 scale by which to measure left Tatra drag in the wind tunnel Aeronautical Research and Test Institute in Letnany. According to the ideas of designers should have a new car slightly sporty character and generations new front axle which would enable a front luggage compartment. It also foresaw the powerful engine, the prototype of which already at that time showed very promising results in tests in racing single seaters T-607th All of these plans should be in accordance with the government’s decision to end production of passenger cars in the Tatras frustrated. It can not therefore surprising that the work on future passenger car continued in secret despite the ban.
Quickly it formed a small design group which, because of its ease of confidentiality actively participated in the Prague design office Tatras and which led Kopřivnice Ing. Mackerle. In addition to him, the future of a new vehicle involved significant and leading Prague design Vladimir Popelář. This group continued to develop new passenger vehicles in addition to their official activities until 1953, when the Ministry of engineering, experiencing a lack of representative vehicles throughout Czechoslovakia rescind its previous ban and authorized the Tatra national team by developing a new six-car, powered by a V8 engine.
Drafts vehicle T-603 is so Kopřivnice went back to where they had to lean body original proposal adapt to new requirements. At that time also it appeared on some of the proposals of the new vehicle marking Currency. Among the many options but ultimately prevail draft elaborated even in Prague, whose authors were mainly industrial designer Francis Kardaus and the already mentioned Vladimir Popelář. In the final phase, the final draft was also involved Zdenek Kovar.
The first scale model of the new car at 1: 1 was formed in early 1955 and the first prototype was built later in the same year, the main difference fins at the back of the body, which resembled the tradition of previous aerodynamic vehicles, but never at them did not appear. Monument to it is not visible at all T-603 with a decent center ribbed, stretching from the back of the roof between the two rear windows to the rear hood. The shape of the body, particularly her back, still slightly altered. Relatively quickly lost the rear wheel housings.
Tatra 603 was produced in the world and the next 20 years, during which went through several modernizations, such as appearance, as well as technical. Production of this, in the history of motoring, and exceptional in its own way an unique car, was completed in mid 1975. Thus ended the story overall aerodynamic production vehicles Tatra, which was for many years an essential part of our road.
Eight cylinders cools
Tatra 603 was designed as a 6-digit streamlined passenger car with air-cooled V8 engine in the rear of the body. At his suggestion, the emphasis was on the deficiencies typical of previous models, namely: limited rearward vision, a useless trunk in front of the vehicle and unfavorable weight distribution between the axles.
The front axle was designed as a suspension with McPherson struts Silent anchored into the body through massive rubber blocks with tilted crank arm. After the introduction of T 2-603 was by the front axle anti-roll bar. Such an arrangement on the front axle enable the creation of a deep luggage compartment between the front wheel arches, the bottom of which is mounted spare wheel, open a separate openable cover. Behind the rear seats remained only a shallow space intended for hand luggage.
The view from the rear of the vehicle was secured by two large-scale panoramic glass, intervening in part to the side of the body. This was made possible mastering the technology of curved safety glass, which was to be held on the windscreen.
With its compact and relatively easy V8 engine with aluminum block and also thanks to mentioning the main luggage compartment at the front it has succeeded in fully laden achieve optimal weight distribution between the axles. This, along with a new front axle has helped improve the directional stability of the vehicle when cornering and reduced sensitivity to side winds.
Suspension vehicle was designed coil springs with a relatively long stroke of wheels in order to obtain a frequency near the frequency of the suspension of the human gait that places a minimum burden on the human body. Tires with a high-profile well help absorb road irregularities and contribute to increased ride comfort even on broken roads. Some Interestingly, specifically for Tatra 603 were national company Red October Barum Otrokovice developed radial tires of size 180 SR 15 OR 17 tread pattern.
In the design of the basic body shape it was based on the then known principles and ideas of the aerodynamic bodywork. New element in vehicles Tatra has not been used is consistent round shape in plan view the body, as it was found to have a significant impact on the overall aerodynamic drag. Similar formation in front of the other vehicles came into mass production until many years later. For the original proposal was considered and the secondary pivoting headlamps. The technical solution has been processed, but its complexity and space requirements are not implemented in production.
The instrument panel too has undergone several changes. In 1966 came Tatra 603 black steering wheel, a speedometer with odometer rectangular and controls and indicators focused on rail to the right and left of the steering wheel. Photo: Adriana Arnold
During production through body appearance several changes, the most significant were the introduction štvorsvetlovej front mask or the introduction of new bumpers shape. The basic shape of the bodywork with a low drag coefficient (cw = indicates the 0,354), thanks to which the vehicle was able to reach high speeds averages at reducing fuel consumption, however, remained throughout the period of production of T-603 unchanged.
The vehicle had initially dual-circuit brake system with drum brakes on both axles. Since at that time have not yet been reliably resolved now commonplace tandem master cylinders, they used the two main brake cylinders in parallel arrangement. The disadvantage of this solution was the failure of one of the double circuit pressure does not rise in the remainder of the circuit under normal pressure to the brake pedal. Therefore, the brake system has been redesigned to single-circuit soon and remained so until the end of production. An interesting feature is the introduction of disc brakes on both axles in vehicles identified as Model’69. The brakes were manufactured under license from Dunlop, which was at that time the only known disc brake system for front and rear axle.
Specific elements of Tatra 603 engine is that when the volume of 2.5 liters has an output of 95 to 105 kV, depending on the year of manufacture of the vehicle. This is-stroke, air cooled OHV V8 engine with the arrangement wherein the two lines of cylinders at 90 °. The engine has a single cylinder head, which facilitates possible repairs. Cooling provided by a pair of axial exhaust fans, powered by V-belts. Cooling air enters the engine compartment through the traps located on the side and rear fenders over the rear fender cavities that act as a sound absorber and the gross intake air cleaner. Through the blinds on the inner wall of the rear fender is part of the cooling air is directed straight down to the oil cooler, positioned on the sides of the engine. Part of the air, intended to cool the cylinder heads, and, to the engine in the area of the carburetor. The heated air rises through the center hole in the rear bumper, giving the rear characteristic appearance. Until the engine reaches its operating temperature, the outlet air from the engine compartment choked valve, thermostat control. The engine is equipped with two twin carburetors catchment JIKOV 32 SSOP. One of the many attractions of this engine is the use of electronic capacitor discharge ignition to the engine compartment to Tatra 603 received already in 1973.
Even when the engine T-603 was originally designed for use in large passenger cars, it took a long time to get there. While he was tuned into its final shape, mounted in and piloted it in some carts T-87 and T-600. Also seaters powered T-607 prototype sports car JK-2500, designed by Julius Kubínská talented, but also got into the light off-road military vehicles or powered electric generators. Later we could see him also in Bratislava Tatra prototype vehicles. For each of these purposes the engine has been specifically modified. For example, in the field carts T-805 was cooled supply fan, had only one carburetor, power is reduced to 75 hp (55 kW) and dry crankcase with double oil pump. In contrast, in T-607-seaters power level reached over 200 hp, which was twice the performance of the stock engine, used in passenger cars. It is unbelievable what the different conditions found this engine is its use. In the history of motoring difficult to find a similar universal motor.
Living room on wheels
603 ride-kou are certainly many have experienced. The car is infinitely much space, overwhelming quantity of dashboard lights and the view from the driver’s seat, thanks to thin pillars better than current vehicles. Of course, outside rear-view mirrors are small and flat, so most see if you attach the mirror to the standard panoramic mirror that you could get in the 70’s of last century Tuzex. But then you see really everything. Front and rear bench is a common and corners should be well hold or ride through turns very slowly. Rear backrest has a very steep, so you sit there as “comrade director,” perhaps too comfortably. The work or something like? Impossible. Of course, because at that time were not computers or mobile phones! You start the engine and he will get back to their unmistakable sound that is so typical and original that has become a hallmark. Who heard him, he knows what we are talking about and who is not, let him hear.
We will include the unit – well, when we first posting to succeed! Lever under the steering wheel will move about 5 mm apart and then up. If it’s speed “fits” well. If not, again. The clutch connects evenly, but the engine has to go to get up to speed. Radiate directly behind the engine does not idle – vehicle launched by hopping – So this is for experienced drivers shame! Two already goes quite nicely and the car accelerates uniformly. Then we find that it is quite softly sprung, because it is slightly leaning back and leaning forward when shifting gear. It acts reasonably and nobly status “of government limousines.” Auto holds good direction. Management is a bit “rubbery”, but basically accurate. Cornering the body significantly tilts and swings, but remains manageable. The softness of the suspension also appreciate the broken roads Bratislava. Engineers certainly know that even then were with us more or less all the way. Tatra tested as “sit” in the corners was not tempting. A car with a wheelbase of 3 meters and a length of 5 meters would probably be quickly ended up in a ditch. This car is not for sporty driving! Given this experience, the beautiful Tell hours. The engine will continue to report their typical sound and debate among drivers and traveling companions back is possible only with his voice rising.
Go hundreds of kilometers along more or less straight road is really nice. If you come to the hills and curves, you have to do. The engine is required to “keep the speed.” The brakes work well. Consumption of 12.5 liters was acceptable at that time. Taking into account that Tatra 603 was the Rolls-Royce of socialism, there is some similarity. Tatra is even more spacious.
Original Slovak text and more photos at: http://auto.sme.sk/c/8095885/tatra-603-posledne-zo-slavnych-aerodynamickych-aut-z-koprivnice.html#ixzz3tZEQRxUe
Eastern Europe’s oldest carmaker hopes to advance through DAF-sellers
Trains, planes, cars, trucks: vintage car enthusiasts can indulge in the museum of the Czech Tatra, the oldest car manufacturer in Eastern Europe. Legendary models produced from the group Koprivnice in the northeast of the Czech Republic. The T11 example from 1923, a draft of Tatra godfather Hans Ledwinka. Or the V570 from the early thirties, who years later would be model for the Volkswagen Beetle.
The company built not only cars but also railway carriages for example, the Orient Express and war materials for the Nazis. After World War II, however, the company specialized in complete trucks and limousines for communist party bosses such as Fidel Castro, Josef Stalin and Erich Honecker.
1958: the OT-810. Armored vehicle based on a German model from World War II.
Tatra was during the years of communism known in Eastern Europe, says marketing manager Jiri Kasparek during a tour of the enormous factory. 25 years ago worked here 15 000 people who produce on average the same number of vehicles. Now many buildings are empty or rented. Every year there are only 900 cars made p by about the same amount of employees.
“Since the end of communism has quickly gone downhill,” Kasparek soberly fixed.While other large Czech brand Skoda was swallowed by the Volkswagen Group, Tatra pined slowly away.
A Tatra truck racing through the northern Chilean landscape during the South American version of the Paris-Dakar race. Photo: Reuters
There were to mention a few minor successes, such as earnings six times in the famous Paris-Dakar rally. In 2011 there was also a promising cooperation agreement with DAF box and got his Tatra truck model Phoenix international praise, but it could not prevent it going a little worse yet every year with sales. A whole bunch of American investors could not do anything to change that. In fact, according Kasparek they were one of the main causes for the decline.
€ 137 mln
Annual revenue increased in 2014 by 24% compared to 2013
vehicles produced. 8% higher than in 2013. Tatra sold 850 vehicles (+ 18%)
export share. The weak Czech crown bear Tatra according to the positive results of 2014
In 2012-2013, when a major corruption scandal at one of the US former shareholders came to light, the painting appeared to lose ground. But thank God, “says Kasparek, then decided two Czech entrepreneurs to jump into the breach and save the company.
Jaroslav Strnad and René Matera bought the company for € 6.2 million, including debts of around € 30 million. They also strike for € 7 million fresh money into the company, which after a reorganization disbursed directly to a small profit in 2014 a turnover of € 130 million.
1974: T613. The appearance of these luxury car was designed by the Italian Vignale.
‘But Tatra is not there yet, “said Ron Bonsen, who was until recently in the Board of Management of DAF and now works as a commissioner for Tatra. Bonsen is convinced that there are many potential cross in Tatra. “They build good off-road vehicles which is well known. But that you’re not there yet. “
Nearsighted Service sector
The Czech truck manufacturer Tatra’s closer ties with the European network of DAF-sellers.
At 12 sales and maintenance companies in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria are now sold all Tatras. It is the intention that this number later on this year, rising to about 30 dealers. The following years, this number may rise further.
That says Ron Bonsen to this newspaper. Bonsen served eight years on the board of directors of DAF and now commissioner at Tatra. The cooperation between DAF and the relatively small Tatra According to him, a match in heaven “because the two companies complement each other perfectly in terms of product.Tatra is namely only specialized ‘off-road trucks, while the great strength of DAF is more accurate in road transport. Tatra moreover, makes a large part of his lorries use of DAF-motors.
DAF has been working together with Tatra, the oldest automotive brand in Eastern Europe. In 2013, however, a hitch by a corruption scandal in India, which brought the company to the brink of collapse. After a rescue by two Czech investors seems to be the way picked up again. Tatra is one of the few independent truck builders in Eastern Europe remained after the fall of communism.
Tatra according Bonsen had to contend not only with corruption, there is also a cultural problem. The services are poorly developed, and the company relies too much on old networks in the defense industry. “But eventually civil sales that are crucial for survival.”
The defense industry is still by far the most important buyer of large contracts from India, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Bonsen: “The relationship with the orders is approximately 60% defense industry and 40% civilian. To make Tatra full health need that relationship in a few years be the exact opposite. “
To achieve this, and to sell for instance forestry, mining and boost agricultural enterprises, there must be according Bonsen worked hard to improve the service.“Consumers need to be assured that they are helped quickly if something is wrong. Tatra must also be more aggressive products into the market because of sales they have here little sense. “
Finally, a greater ambition. Bonsen: “I recently had a conversation with the production manager who told that as no new orders were taken because he thought they could not possibly handle it. I gave him declared insane. If someone had told me that at DAF when I was on the board, he was flown with a large bow out of the window. “
Quite some hard nuts to crack so, but Bonsen say they believe in Tatra. He joined the company mainly a supporting role. “I act as a mirror for the current management. If they have ideas, they ask my opinion, and of course I give them yourself tips on how they can do things better. “
A very important step for Tatra is again closer ties with the DAF dealer network.“There is unfortunately some persuasion because the dealers have had bad experiences in the past with Tatra. But in itself it is a dream wedding. Tatra sells namely only off-road trucks, often with a DAF engine, while the specialty of DAF is just excellent cars for the road. “
Bonsen thinks it should be possible for Tatra to double production within five years to more than 2,500 trucks per year. If successful, Tatra hear there in the niche of heavy trucks back really fit and it can be glorious past again put honor.
2011: Phoenix T158. In 2011 Tatra developed with the Dutch partner a DAF truck that garnered international praise.