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Tatra T603
aka Type aka here, not up there
Production 1956–1975
Class denote market class
Body Style 4-door, 5-seat RR layout saloon
Length 5065 mm (199.4 in)
Width 1910 mm (75 in)
Height 1529 mm (60.2 in)
Wheelbase 2748 mm (108.2 in)
Weight 1400 kg (3100 lb)
Transmission transmission + drive
Engine 2.5 litre (2472 cc) air-cooled V8
Power N/A hp @ N/A rpm
N/A lb-ft of torque @ N/A rpm
Similar similar (competition)
Designer Designer (lead designer if it was a team effort)

The Tatra 603 is a large rear-engined luxury car manufactured by Tatra in the former Czechoslovakia.

The model replaced the T600 Tatraplan model in 1956. Three versions of the model T603 were manufactured successively between 1956 and 1975. These cars are designated T603-1, T603-2 and T603-3, though the -3 was not an official designation used by Tatra. The T603-1 is easily distinguished by its three headlamps enclosed beneath a clear glass cover. The T603-2 had four headlamps mounted within a long oval grill, while the unofficial -3 omits the grill and places the headlamps flush with the car's front fascia. To complicate matters, as Model T603s were returned to the factory to be exchanged for "new" model T603s, the older cars would be disassembled and rebuilt to the current styling. These cars were then returned to use as "new" T603's. As a result, most T603s are of the later -3 styling, regardless of their original production date.

See Wikicars' comprehensive Tatra T603 Review.

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Design quirks and oddities

The Model T603 was allocated only to senior members of the political and industrial establishments. Small numbers of T603s were exported to most of the central European countries allied to Czechoslovakia at the time and to Cuba. Sales to private individuals were not normally possible, although a few T603s appear to have been privately owned in East Germany. During the car's twenty year production run, 20,422 cars were built, mostly by hand. To the west of the Iron Curtain the car was unknown, though some were used by Czechoslovak embassies in western capitals. The model T603 was replaced by the T 613 in 1974.

Low volume production levels and the resulting lack of production automation meant that "one off" adaptations were relatively easy to accomplish. Former Cuban President Fidel Castro is believed still to own a white T603 featuring air conditioning.


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See Also

image (between 170-190 pixels)


Cars: T11 · T12 · T17 · T57 · T75 · V570 · T77 · T77a · T87 · T97 · T107 · T600 Tatraplan · T603 · T613 · T700

Trucks: T111 · T141 · T805 · T138 · T813 · T148 · T815 · Tatrapan · T163 Jamal · T816


V570 Prototype ·

Hans Ledwinka

Ignác Šustala Corporate website independent

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