Unbelievably rare icon from Cold War era – could be straight from the pages of the Eagle comic!
The Tatraplan T600 is a Czechoslovakian built car with a monocoque, truly streamlined “teardrop” sloped body which is exceptionally smooth. It is set off by a wind-splitting dorsal spine on the roof and deeply skirted rear wheels and is both eye-catching and aerodynamically efficient with a drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.32. It is powered by an air-cooled flat-4-cylinder 1,952 cc rear-mounted engine. Car of choice for members of the Politburo, it was designed in 1946-47 by Josef Chalupa, Vladimír Popelár, František Kardaus and Hans Ledwinka. The name of the car celebrated the new Communist planned economy but also referred to aeroplane inspiration (‘éroplan’ means aeroplane in colloquial Czech). 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 Mladá Boleslav, leaving Tatra to concentrate on truck assembly. Skoda built Tatraplans for one year only before the model was discontinued in 1952. 6,342 were made, 2,100 of them in Mladá Boleslav. This car is the precursor to the VW Beetle and the Porsche 356 and as such is of great historical importance. This 1952 original RHD example was acquired by a senior VW employee while working at the Skoda factory following their merger in 1990. He commissioned its restoration by a local Czechoslovakian expert, Klaus Stuken, in 1996, having yet more work carried out by Peter Bazzile from Cologne upon his return to Germany a year later.
Other than a modern Eberspacher petrol-powered heater under the rear seat (replacing the original unit which enabled the chauffeur to keep warm while his Communist bosses attended lengthy vodka-fuelled Politburo meetings), it is to standard specification. Used for various retrospective rallies, it has a FIVA registration card (now expired) and comes with a factory parts book, workshop manual and a small box of useful parts. Its German papers are also in the file. There is also a 30 min VHS video containing an interview in German with its former owner talking about the car. click here to view. The car won ‘Best Post-war Saloon’ at Dublin’s Terenure Classic Car show last year (the largest Irish car show). It is currently Irish registered. NOVA provided – we will assist with UK registration if required.
- Condition: 1
- Reg number: 52D24
- Date of registration: 01-07-1952
- Mileage: 85,000 (not warranted)
- MOT: None