Browsing Tatra Classic Car News

Cars We Remember: Government built Czech Tataplan memories

no comment Posted by smitkees
By Greg ZylaMore Content Now
Q: Hello Greg and I enjoy your articles. I’m wondering if you can give me some information on the T-600 Tatraplan automobile. I remember many years ago I saw an article I think you did on this car, but I have misplaced it. I also know the name Tataplan is really “foreign” to most car fans, but it was a car I do remember as I am retired now. My friend once had a 1947 Tatraplan, and it would be interesting to see what info you can further provide.
— John L., retired and happy at age 84 in Illinois.
A: John thanks much for reading my columns and yes, I did do an article on the Tatraplan about eight years ago that appeared in Auto Roundup Magazine. I explained that the only time I ever heard of a Tatraplan car came thanks to my good friend, and one of the real legends of drag racing namely the late Jack Kulp. Kulp built and raced drag cars in the early days of dragster and gasser competition. Kulp especially loved running foreign cars like Simcas and Triumphs, sometimes to the chagrin of the racing associations.
Kulp informed me he would have loved to run a Czechoslovakian-built Tatraplan, but he never really had access to one that he could turn into an AA/Gas Supercharged drag strip terror.
To your question, the Tatraplan cars were assembled by the Tatra car company from 1946 to 1952. The predecessor of the T-600 was a model 107, so your friend’s 1947 model received either the nomenclature of 107 or the newer T-600. The car was a result of a government sponsored, “centralized economic” communist plan in Czechoslovakia.
The Tatraplans were streamlined full-size family cars that came with a 1952cc inline horizontally opposed flat four-cylinder air-cooled engine placed between the rear axles. The body had a coefficient aerodynamic drag of 0.32, which was great for that era and the main reason Jack Kulp wanted one to race. The wheelbase was 110-inches.
Overall, some 6,432 T-600’s were sold from 1947 through 1952, but in late 1951, the Czech Department of Defense, which controlled all production of cars and trucks, informed Tatra they would now build trucks and that all cars would be built under the Skoda brand, the latter one two other government run car companies in the country at the time. The third car company in the Czech Republic was Praga.
In 1954, however, Tatra re-joined car building with a large passenger car with an air cooled V8 engine and transaxle. The V8 T603-engine had previously been developed and tested on the race track in Tatra experimental and race cars. It was used in the Tatra-603, and went on sale in 1955 and remained in production until 1975. In its’ 18 years of sales, a total of 20,422 T-603’s were built.
Following my article years ago, I also received a nice letter from a gentleman in Australia named Craig who pointed out some very interesting facts about the 1947 Tatraplan models. As he was rebuilding a 1950 model at the time, he noted that the 1947 Tatraplan could be a model 107 or a T-600.
Craig explained the differences noting that the T-600 was essentially the same vehicle as the 107 but featured a vertically mounted fan whereas the 107 had a horizontally mounted fan and just one carburetor instead of two on the T-600. Craig also has a 603 Tatra with the air cooled and rear mounted V8 and we thank him for his input.
Today, Tatra is still in business and ranks among the oldest car and truck manufacturers in the world with more than 116-years of continuous activity. Tatra still impacts the auto and truck industry in the Czech Republic and abroad.
In ending, it is also very notable that since March of 2013, the Tatra Trucks Company is now owned by Czech shareholders, a big change in the philosophy of free enterprise.
Thanks for your letter John.
— Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now, BestRide.com and other Gatehouse Media publications. He welcomes reader questions on old cars, auto nostalgia and old-time motorsports at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, Pennsylvania 18840 or at greg@gregzyla.com.
T600MargoliusBirmingham
By Greg ZylaMore Content Now
Q: Hello Greg and I enjoy your articles. I’m wondering if you can give me some information on the T-600 Tatraplan automobile. I remember many years ago I saw an article I think you did on this car, but I have misplaced it. I also know the name Tataplan is really “foreign” to most car fans, but it was a car I do remember as I am retired now. My friend once had a 1947 Tatraplan, and it would be interesting to see what info you can further provide.
— John L., retired and happy at age 84 in Illinois.
A: John thanks much for reading my columns and yes, I did do an article on the Tatraplan about eight years ago that appeared in Auto Roundup Magazine. I explained that the only time I ever heard of a Tatraplan car came thanks to my good friend, and one of the real legends of drag racing namely the late Jack Kulp. Kulp built and raced drag cars in the early days of dragster and gasser competition. Kulp especially loved running foreign cars like Simcas and Triumphs, sometimes to the chagrin of the racing associations.
Kulp informed me he would have loved to run a Czechoslovakian-built Tatraplan, but he never really had access to one that he could turn into an AA/Gas Supercharged drag strip terror.
To your question, the Tatraplan cars were assembled by the Tatra car company from 1946 to 1952. The predecessor of the T-600 was a model 107, so your friend’s 1947 model received either the nomenclature of 107 or the newer T-600. The car was a result of a government sponsored, “centralized economic” communist plan in Czechoslovakia.
The Tatraplans were streamlined full-size family cars that came with a 1952cc inline horizontally opposed flat four-cylinder air-cooled engine placed between the rear axles. The body had a coefficient aerodynamic drag of 0.32, which was great for that era and the main reason Jack Kulp wanted one to race. The wheelbase was 110-inches.
Overall, some 6,432 T-600’s were sold from 1947 through 1952, but in late 1951, the Czech Department of Defense, which controlled all production of cars and trucks, informed Tatra they would now build trucks and that all cars would be built under the Skoda brand, the latter one two other government run car companies in the country at the time. The third car company in the Czech Republic was Praga.
In 1954, however, Tatra re-joined car building with a large passenger car with an air cooled V8 engine and transaxle. The V8 T603-engine had previously been developed and tested on the race track in Tatra experimental and race cars. It was used in the Tatra-603, and went on sale in 1955 and remained in production until 1975. In its’ 18 years of sales, a total of 20,422 T-603’s were built.
Following my article years ago, I also received a nice letter from a gentleman in Australia named Craig who pointed out some very interesting facts about the 1947 Tatraplan models. As he was rebuilding a 1950 model at the time, he noted that the 1947 Tatraplan could be a model 107 or a T-600.
Craig explained the differences noting that the T-600 was essentially the same vehicle as the 107 but featured a vertically mounted fan whereas the 107 had a horizontally mounted fan and just one carburetor instead of two on the T-600. Craig also has a 603 Tatra with the air cooled and rear mounted V8 and we thank him for his input.
Today, Tatra is still in business and ranks among the oldest car and truck manufacturers in the world with more than 116-years of continuous activity. Tatra still impacts the auto and truck industry in the Czech Republic and abroad.
In ending, it is also very notable that since March of 2013, the Tatra Trucks Company is now owned by Czech shareholders, a big change in the philosophy of free enterprise.
Thanks for your letter John.
— Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now, BestRide.com and other Gatehouse Media publications. He welcomes reader questions on old cars, auto nostalgia and old-time motorsports at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, Pennsylvania 18840 or at greg@gregzyla.com.
June 27th, 2016

A second edition of the Hans and Erich Ledwinka Buch?

no comment Posted by smitkees

LedwinkaHansErichBuch

Die Autopioniere Hans und Erich Ledwinka, Ihr Leben, ihre Technik

Authors:  Günther Nagenkögl und Hans Stögmüller

320 Pages

23 x 27,51 cm

language: German

Price € 29,90 (second edition will be slightly more expensive)

ISBN 978-3-9503964-3-0

Die Autopioniere Hans und Erich Ledwinka, Ihr Leben, ihre Technik
Authors:
Günther Nagenkögl und Hans Stögmüller
320 Pages
23 x 27,51 cm
Price € 29,90 (second edition will be slighly higher)
ISBN 978-3-9503964-3-0

Book impression: http://www.akaziaverlag.at/buecher-details/items/die-autopioniere-hans-und-erich-ledwinka-ihr-leben-ihre-technik.html

Regrettably, the book was published in very low numbers and has been sold out of several months. You are lucky if you have one! Due to a high demand, the publisher, Akazia Verlag, is considering a second print but want to play safe.  If you want to order a second edition book, please order it at the publisher!

You can contact:

Publisher: Akazia Verlag

Grüner Hang 2,  A-4293 Gutau, Austria

Contactperson: Mrs Regina David

Tel.(Austria):  0650 / 451 51 52

Tel. (From abroad): 0043/650 / 451 51 52

Mail: office@akaziaverlag.at



Die Autopioniere Hans und Erich Ledwinka, Ihr Leben, ihre Technik

Autor/in:

Günther Nagenkögl und Hans Stögmüller


320 Seiten

23 x 27,51 cm

Preis € 29,90

ISBN 978-3-9503964-3-0Vielen Dank für Ihr Interesse an diesem Buch!


Die Auflage ist leider komplett vergriffen. Derzeit keine zweite Auflage geplant. Das Verlag koennen Sie hilfen durch eine Bestellung direkt am Verlag zu machen.

Verlag : Akazia Verlag

Grüner Hang 2, A-4293     Gutau

Kontaktperson: Frau Regina David

Tel.- Inland :  0650 / 451 51 52

Tel.-Ausland: 0043/650 / 451 51 52

Mail: office@akaziaverlag.at

Hineinlesen: http://www.akaziaverlag.at/buecher-details/items/die-autopioniere-hans-und-erich-ledwinka-ihr-leben-ihre-technik.html


Zwei Autoren schrieben ein Buch über die beiden Autopioniere Hans Ledwinka (1878-1967) und dessen Sohn Erich (1904-1992), die in Steyr, Nesselsdorf/Kopřivnice und Graz ihre Meisterleistungen vollbrachten. Hans Ledwinka war für das erste in Steyr produzierte Auto verantwortlich und leitete dann das Tatra-Werk in Mähren (Tschechien) bis 1945. Sein Sohn Erich konstruierte nach beruflichen Einsätzen in Nesselsdorf, Berlin, München und Steyr in Graz den Steyr-Puch Haflinger und den Steyr-Puch Pinzgauer.

„Den Anstoß, das Buch zu schreiben, gab die Schenkung des schriftlichen Nachlasses der beiden Konstrukteure durch Hans Ledwinka an das Stadtarchiv Steyr“, sagt der Journalist Hans Stögmüller, der gemeinsam mit dem Techniker Ing. Günther Nagenkögl Autor des Bandes ist. Der promovierte Chemiker Hans Ledwinka lebt in St. Ulrich bei Steyr und ist der Sohn Erichs und der Enkel von Hans Ledwinka.

Mehr als zwanzig Schachteln voll mit schriftlichen Unterlagen, Plänen und Fotos umfasst der Nachlass Ledwinka. Er wurde von Mitgliedern der Historiengruppe der Redtenbacher-Gesellschaft Steyr geordnet und dem Steyrer Stadtarchiv übergeben.

Das Buch gibt einen perfekten Überblick über Leben und Schaffen von Ledwinka Vater und Sohn. Hans Ledwinka, der am 14. Februar 1878 in Klosterneuburg bei Wien geboren wurde, besuchte nach einer Schlosserlehre die Werkmeisterschule in Wien und ging dann als Konstrukteur nach Nesselsdorf in Mähren. Er wirkte bereits beim ersten Auto mit, der als „Präsident“ 1898 vorgestellt wurde.

Nach einer kurzen Zeit bei einem Wiener Dampfwagen-Erzeuger war er ab 1906 als Leiter der Abteilung Automobilbau in Nesselsdorf beschäftigt. Dann kam 1916 der Ruf nach Steyr, wo er die Automobilfertigung aufbaute und den ersten Wagen, den Typ Steyr II, entwickelte. Weitere Typen folgten, doch Ledwinka übersiedelte 1923 wieder nach Nesselsdorf, wo er Werkschef wurde.

Es folgte eine Vielzahl von Personenwagen, darunter die epochale Entwicklung des Tatra 11 mit luftgekühltem Zweizylinder-Motor, Zentralrohrrahmen und Pendelachse, aber auch Stromlinienautos, Lastwagen, Eisenbahnfahrzeuge und Flugzeuge. 1945 wurde Ledwinka verhaftet und wegen Staatsverrats sechs Jahre einsperrt. Anschließend lebte er in München.

Sein Sohn Erich kam 1930 nach dem Maschinenbaustudium an der TH Wien zu seinem Vater nach Nesselsdorf, wo er an der Entwicklung einiger Autos mitarbeitete. 1937 bis 1940 war er beim Flugzeugbauer Bücker in Berlin tätig, um dann wieder zu Tatra zurückzukehren. Ihm gelang rechtzeitig die Flucht vor den Sowjets. Nach freiberuflicher Tätigkeit in Bayern kam er 1950 zu Steyr-Daimler-Puch nach Steyr. Er wurde dafür auserkoren, einen Kleinwagen zu entwickeln, aus dem nach mehreren Varianten der Steyr-Puch 500 mit Fiat-Karosserie entstand.

Anschließend war Erich Ledwinka Technischer Direktor in Graz, wo er für den Haflinger und den Pinzgauer verantwortlich zeichnete. Auch an der Entwicklung des Geländewagens Puch G war er beteiligt, der heute noch in Graz als Mercedes G erzeugt wird. Erich Ledwinka promovierte an der TU Graz zum Doktor der Technischen Wissenschaften.

Hans Ledwinka wurde mit dem Dr. h. c. geehrt und wie auch sein Sohn mit vielen Ehrungen überschüttet. Vorläufiger Höhepunkt war 2007 die Aufnahme in die Ruhmesgalerie (European Automotive Hall of Fame) in der Eingangshalle des Genfer Autosalons. Neben Ferdinand und Ferry Porsche ist Hans Ledwinka der dritte Österreicher in der illustren Runde von Autokonstrukteuren.

Die Autoren:

Günther Nagenkögl, geb. 1946 in Steyr. Von 165 – 1970 bei Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG als Motorenkonstrukteur. Ab Herbst 1985 Gruppenleiter „Neue Motorenprojekte“. 1990 Eintritt in das Motorenforschungsinstitut AVL-List GmbH in Graz. Leitung des Konstruktionsbüros für Nutzfahrzeugmotoren am Standort Steyr. Ab 2009 im Ruhestand. Selbständiger Konsulent für Dieselmotorenkonstruktion.

Hans Stögmüller, geboren 1949 in Steyr, war Redakteur einer oberösterreichischen Tageszeitung. Er beschäftigt sich seit langer Zeit intensiv mit der Geschichte der Eisenstadt Steyr und ihrer Umgebung. Er verfasste die Bücher »Wehrgraben. Führer durch Geschichte und Arbeitswelt« (1987) und zusammen mit Gerhard Sperl und Werner Tippelt den Kulturführer »Österreichische Eisenstraße« (1992). 2010 erschien sein Buch »Josef Werndl und die Waffenfabrik in Steyr«. Als Mitglied des Vereins »Freunde der Geschichte der Stadt Steyr und der Eisenwurzen« ist er auch regelmäßig Autor für das Jahrbuch des Stadtarchivs Steyr.


June 26th, 2016

Tatra T 613-3, the movie star. (Video)

no comment Posted by smitkees

T613-3Moviestar

This video maps performing Tatra 613-3 ( CSSR 1986-1992) in Czech and foreign films , TV series and music videos . This is a publication of samples ( patterns ) of these film images.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSHxU6o05Xs

June 26th, 2016

T 77 recreation shines at CZ 1000 miles rememberance rally

no comment Posted by smitkees

T77Recreation2016-1

T77Recreation2016-2

June 20th, 2016

T 603 Las Vegas desert wedding

no comment Posted by smitkees

T603BarnettDesertWedding2016

Published under Tatra Classic Car News
June 1st, 2016

PHOTOS: 1968 Tatra is beauty from behind the Iron Curtain

no comment Posted by smitkees

Charles Gould owns this 1968 Tatra T603 which is featured in the Dec. 13 installment of “My Ride, My Story” in the MetroWest Daily News. The car is from the Czech-Republic but now resides in Hudson.

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/photogallery/WL/20151212/NEWS/121209997/PH/1

Charles Gould owns this 1968 Tatra T603 which is featured in the Dec. 13 installment of “My Ride, My Story” in the MetroWest Daily News. The car is from the Czech-Republic but now resides in Hudson.
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/photogallery/WL/20151212/NEWS/121209997/PH/1
December 13th, 2015

T 85/91 bus restored

no comment Posted by smitkees

T85-91-1938

This well restored T 85 with a T91 diesel engine made its first public appearance recently

http://www.busportal.cz/modules.php?name=article&sid=12789&secid=7

September 8th, 2015

Tatra feature in the February 2014 edition of Classic & Sports Car magazine, out today

no comment Posted by smitkees

T87eaClassic&Sportscar2015

Tatra. Andrew Roberts becomes well acquainted with four of the firm’s finest exports, a T87, T603 and brace of T613s, charting the models’ development from 1936 through to 1995. Each of these rear-engined leviathans boasts a thumping air-cooled V8 engine, but which is the more dynamic to drive? Dave Richards puts his foot down to find out.

Published under Press, Tatra Classic Car News
January 7th, 2015

10 years of Lane Motor Museum

3 comments Posted by smitkees

One of the best-kept secrets of the automotive world is the Lane Motor Museum, a collection of about 400 (mostly European) classic cars that will celebrate its 10th anniversary this weekend. A 132,000-square-foot former Sunbeam Bakery, it’s now a spruced-up display space for the eclectic and impressive collection that has been put together by Jeff Lane, a mechanical engineer who grew up outside Detroit and inherited his dad’s love of British sports cars.

The 1955 MG TF 1500 Lane Motor Museum

A glance across the wide-open space that features a rotating stock of about 150 cars gives you the initial impression that this car guy simply collected one of everything he liked. But after looking at just a few of the cars on display and the informative plaques that accompany each—make, model, year of manufacture, and little vignettes of how and where they were found or donated—you quickly realize that this is a very well-curated collection. And every car has a story.

Perhaps the car with the best story is the beautifully restored 1955 MG TF 1500, in British racing green. It is the first car that Mr. Lane restored, and there’s a picture of him when he began the project at just 12 years old. There’s also a faded picture of him four years later, in 1976, taking his state driving test in the classic British roadster.

While this is one of the best European car collections in the U.S., clearly Mr. Lane has his favorites. Among them: nearly 20 vehicles from Tatra that tell the evolutionary story of the Czech carmaker and its revolutionary designer, Hans Ledwinka. As one panel here explains, Ledwinka was one of the first designers to realize that the automobile would one day become common in nearly every household. As the chief engineer at Tatra beginning in 1921, he revolutionized engine design, suspension systems and aerodynamics.

Among his works on display here is a 1935 T-57—nicknamed Hadimrška, or “swift little lizard.” It was equipped with a 1,256cc, air-cooled, four-cylinder engine that had a top speed of 50 miles per hour and mechanical brakes. There is also a 1938 T-97 that looks remarkably similar to the Volkswagen Beetle that Ferdinand Porsche later designed for Adolf Hitler. During a walking tour of the collection, Mr. Lane explained that production of the T-97 was forbidden after 1939 because it looked too much like Nazi Germany’s “people’s car.”

When the Communists took over from the Nazis, things changed at Tatra again. Shown here is the 1958 T-603 Saloon, one of the large sedans developed and built exclusively for party high officials and export to other Communist countries, such as Cuba. Ordinary Czechs couldn’t purchase it.

Another designer Mr. Lane clearly admires is Marcel Leyat. The museum has dedicated a small alcove to a special exhibit on the French designer and the centenary of the first propeller-driven car he built. The museum also has a re-creation of Leyat’s 1919 Helico, his most successful propeller-driven car, as well as a replica of the unique pilot-training trailer that he developed.

A propeller-driven car? One problem for early aviation, the exhibit explains, was that no plane could carry more than a single person. So how could you teach someone to fly? According to Mr. Lane, most would-be pilots were given instructions on the ground, then forced to solo their first time up. Leyat developed a special flatbed trailer that could be towed behind a car. A flight trainer sat on the trailer and, thanks to the wind generated by the speeding car, student pilots could move controls and feel how an aircraft would react in flight.

As much as some of these early car designers wanted everyone to own a car, not everyone could afford one. This was especially true in economically devastated Europe after World War II. This led to the development of affordable, efficient micro cars, which are highly sought after by Mr. Lane and other fans. One of the most eye-catching is the 1965 Peel P-50, the smallest one-person micro car ever made. The P-50 is just 4-feet-5-inches long, 3-feet-3-inches wide; has a 49cc fan-cooled engine with a top speed of 35 mph; weighs 250 pounds and originally cost just £200 ($318 today). It has no reverse gear, but a “reverse handle” that let anybody pick up the back end and swing it out of a parking space.

Mr. Lane has developed a network of automobile enthusiasts who both donate cars to the museum, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and volunteer to restore cars. Among the other unique vehicles he has on display are a 1964 German-made Amphicar, the most successful amphibious car ever produced; a 1922 Buick Speedster that participated in the modern-day re-creation of the Great Race; and a 1932 Lancia Dilambda, one of the earliest Italian luxury cars.

What’s perhaps most impressive about this collection is that Mr. Lane says that 95% of the cars are in working order and the staff goal is to drive each one at least twice a year.

“A car is meant to be driven,” he said. “It’s not a painting.”

Maybe so, but they’re great to look at just sitting idle.

Mr. Yost is a writer in Houston.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303376904579135443484561868

Published under Tatra Classic Car News
October 17th, 2013

Video: Croatian T 87 restoration

no comment Posted by smitkees

T87Croatian T 87 restoration

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s65O1VMWgYM

Published under Tatra Classic Car News
March 2nd, 2013
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