ⓘ Tatra 600


ⓘ Tatra 600

The Tatra 600, named the Tatraplan, was a rear-engined large family car produced from 1948 to 1952 by the Czech manufacturer Tatra. The first prototype was finished in 1946.


1. History

After World War II, Tatra continued its pre-war business of building passenger cars in addition to commercial vehicles and military vehicles. The factory was nationalised in 1946 two years before the Communist takeover. Although production of pre-war models continued, a new model, the Tatra 600 Tatraplan was designed in 1946-47 by Josef Chalupa, Vladimir Popelae, Frantisek Kardaus and Hans Ledwinka. The name of the car celebrated the new Communist planned economy but also referred to aeroplane inspiration eroplan means aeroplane in colloquial Czech.

After two prototypes "Ambroz" December 1946 and "Josef" March 1947, the 600 went into mass production in 1948. In 1951, the state planning department decided that the Tatraplan should henceforth be built at the Skoda Auto plant in Mlada Boleslav, leaving Tatra to concentrate on truck assembly. This was quite unpopular with the workforce at both plants: as a result Skoda built Tatraplans for one year only before the model was discontinued in 1952.

The Tatraplan had a monocoque streamlined 6-seat fastback saloon body with frontal suicide doors and a drag coefficient Cd of just 0.32. It was powered by an air-cooled flat-4-cylinder 1.952 cc rear-mounted engine. 6.342 were made, 2.100 of them in Mlada Boleslav. In 2010, in the UK, Tatraplan had been selected by public vote in the Classic Car of the Year competition as the winner of the 1940s category.


2. Models

  • Tatra 201 - commercial version of 600, four built in 1947.
  • Tatra 601 Monte Carlo - a 2-door sports car based on the 600, one possibly two built in 1949.
  • Tatra 107 - predecessor of 600, produced from 1946–1947.
  • Tatra 600 Diesel - similar to 600 but with 2.0L diesel engine, three prototypes built in 1949.
  • Tatra 604 - smaller version of 600, one prototype built in 1954.
  • Tatra 602 Tatraplan Sports - a racing car based on the 600, 2 built in 1949.