TITLE: TATRA 603 Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

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TATRA 603 CAR

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TATRA 603 (1955-1975) CAR HISTORY

Car review on TATRA 603

First sight of the 603, Tatra's bold rear-engine V-eight saloon, came in 1957. There had been no Tatra passenger cars since the demise of the flat-four Tatraplan in 1954, but the new 603 kept the tradition of an air-cooled V-eight rear mounted in a six-seater saloon, the last in a line of streamlined Tatras that started with Ledwinka's Jaray-styled T77 in the 1930s.


The 603 took its name from its hemi-head V-eight, a 2.5-litre unit with pushrods and twin Jikov down-draught carbs (Weber copies) first seen in a single-seater Tatra racer in 1950. Twin belt-driven scavenge-blowers did the cooling, with vents let into the rear wings plus a thermostatically-opening grille in the bumper. Alloy build meant low weight (3731b/169kg), but with a low 6.5:1 compression ratio it packed just 100 bhp, denying the 32401b (1470kg) car sparkling acceleration. On the other hand, top speed was 100 mph (160 kph), testimony to the car's slippery shape: the floor pan was virtually flat with no exhaust or prop shaft to impede clean air flow.


Drive went through a four-speed transaxle with column shift, and early 603s used big hydraulic drums with advanced twin circuits. Dunlop discs, built under patent, didn't arrive until the mid-60s. At the back, trailing arms with coil springs were no surprise, but for the front of the 603 a new suspension system was schemed, a form of MacPherson strut with trailing swinging arms to save space in the big front luggage compartment.


In looks, the 603 couldn't have been anything but a Tatra, somewhere between Jaray's classic brave-new-world modernism and fashionable Detroit kitsch. At the front, three lights peered from behind a one-piece glass panel, giving the 603 the look of a bullet-nosed diesel express train. At the back, the roof line swept down sharply into the engine cover, the panoramic back window split by the remnants of an embryonic dorsal fin that was left off at the last minute.


Through the 60s, Tatra made gradual changes. They toned down styling with a new split, four-light nose. The 603-2 of 1967 had a wider grille with lights spaced farther apart in a glassfibre panel. Accidents or factory refits meant that many earlier 603s gained this later front-end look. Miniature chrome fins evolved on the rear wings, the over- riders were tamed and the car lost its bonnet vent. The roof line became slightly more bulbous too, and front- door windows on these later cars had quarter-light vents. The 603H engine of1969 gave 105 bhp and used electronic ignition, still a rarity on western cars. Initially fitted only at the front, by this time servo discs were used all round. Production ended in 1975 as the 603 began to give way to the four-cam, Vignale-styled 613.



TATRA 603

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

ENGINE TYPE

Aircooled V-eight

CAPACITY

2472 cc

POWER

95-105 bhp

TRANSMISSION

4-speed manual

TOP SPEED

100 mph (160 km/h)

NUMBER BUILT

22,422

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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TATRA 603 CAR

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TITLE: TATRA 603 Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory: TATRA 603 Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Classic, Classic Car, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car

Site Description: TATRA 603 Used Car History reviews and guide on classic and older model cars. Including car designers from Italy and Germany. Learn history of cars from classic, exotic, used, new to prototype model cars.

Cars Topics: TATRA 603 Classic Cars, Price, Prices, For Sale, Part, Restoration,
Classifieds, Classified ads, pictures, muscle car, picture, and photo , AutoCheck, KELLEY BLUE BOOK, USED CAR HISTORY, VIN number, VIN SEARCH, VIN Check