Friday, June 25, 2010

Tatra 603

Marques like Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Lotus, Jaguar, etc. are usually so well known, that they become yardsticks, or adjectives. For example: I was recently at home, sick with the flu, and I turned on the TV. One of those incredibly irritating infomercials was on, (the ones that promise so much for so little, but you can't help thinking that there's something hidden) and the announcer said 'blah, blah, the Rolls Royce of knives'
You also hear people say 'as fast as a Ferrari' But I have never, in my whole life heard anyone use the car marque, Tatra, in a sentence.

This is strange, because Tatra is a very old car marque. It was even around before Enzo Ferrari was even born. And yet Tatra made some of the most groundbreaking cars ever. Take the Tatra 603. It was hugely ahead of its time. While most cars had huge great V8s up front, razor sharp fins at the back, and interiors large enough to host rock concerts, the 603had a rear-mounted 2.7 litre V8. It also had a Porsche 911 style profile, because of that rear mounted engine.

But the main reason behind the 603's wonderment, was the coolness of the car. It's a thing that can only really be applied to French and East-European cars only, and it's the assassin factor. In 1953, the 603 was being used as a way of getting Mafia officials to their secret hide-outs in the woods, or wherever. The Tatra's closely placed together quad headlamps gave it a frontal image like no other.

Rarity also plays a part in the 603's heritage. This car is so rare, that you could even struggle to find one in the very country that built them, let alone in NZ. This is sad really, because the 603 is a car that would only suit a small number of people. It may look like a jellybean on wheels with four yellow spots on the front, but it's one that should definitely be preserved in the fossils of automotive greatness.  


  1. or,
    you killed him better than a Tatra full of tonys could!

  2. no wait,
    A Tatra a day makes the cops go away