- 1967 Tatra 603-2 restored to exacting standards
- Immaculate throughout with original engine in place
- Designed and manufactured by second-oldest automotive brand in the world
- Auction starts on Feb 5th
London, 31 January 2023 – Leading classic and niche vehicle website Car & Classic’s breadth and depth of reach extend well beyond British soil and marques, as a remarkable Tatra 603-2 in immaculate condition and with a matching-number engine is offered on its auction site.
Originally designed and manufactured in the Czech Republic for senior government officials, the 603-2 was the top-drawer executive saloon in the Eastern Bloc. This particular example was imported to Holland from its birthland in the ‘80s and then moved to Denmark, whence the current owner bought it before taking it to Slovakia.
Unlike many Tatras of its time, the 603-2 auctioned by Car & Classic has benefited from a nut-and-bolt restoration, whilst retaining as much of its original interior, exterior and moving parts as possible. Like when it was new, immaculate patterned velour, vinyl and an abundance of carpeting triumph inside, whilst the dashboard houses all the original instrumentation.
The recent restoration carried out by the current vendor, with a photographic portfolio to support it, extends to the exterior, now in glossy black, perfectly suited to the size and styling of the luxury saloon, imposing even though it was developed with the help of wind tunnel testing. Four closely-spaced headlamps instead of the three featuring in the original version reveal the car’s identity: this 603 is a ‘2’, the first model’s facelift.
The biggest surprise, alongside the position of the engine (rear-mounted), is the unconventional air-cooled 2,472cc hemi V8, designed and built by Tatra. This specific car boasts the original power unit and Jikov carburettors; like the rest of the car, the mechanicals have been recommissioned to high standards.
“This is not simply a car produced by and for the Eastern Bloc,” says Car & Classic Head of Editorial Chris Pollitt. “Tatra is synonymous with innovation, boundless creativity and off the beaten track. The aerodynamic lines, revolutionary engine and unusual styling set the model apart from everything else, but this particular car is even more desirable because of the high standards of its thorough restoration and overall originality.”
The 603-2 is the first Tatra to be offered for auction by Car & Classic, amidst a growing interest for historically significant classic cars from Central Europe.