Tatra 600

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Tatra 600 Tatraplan
Tatra T600 Tatraplan z01.JPG
Manufacturer Tatra, a. s.
  • 1948–1952
  • 6,342 built
Body and chassis
Class Large family car (D)
Body style 4-door fastback saloon
Layout RR layout
Engine 1952 cc (2.0L) Tatra 600 Flat-4
Transmission 4-speed manual[1]
Wheelbase 2,700 mm (110 in)
Length 4,540 mm (179 in)
Predecessor Tatra 97
Successor Tatra 603

The Tatra 600, named the Tatraplan, was a rear-engined large family car (D-segment in Europe) produced from 1948 to 1952 by the Czech manufacturer Tatra. The first prototype was finished in 1946.


After World War II, Tatra continued its pre-war business of building passenger cars in addition to commercial vehicles and military vehicles. The factory was nationalised in 1946 two years before the Communist takeover. Although production of pre-war models continued, a new model, the Tatra 600 Tatraplan was designed in 1946-47 by Josef Chalupa, Vladimír Popelář, 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).

Tatra 600 Tatraplan in an exhibition
Tatra 600
Tatra 600 engine-bay
Tatra 87 (Foto Hilarmont).JPG

Streamlined Tatras

After two prototypes "Ambrož" (December 1946) and "Josef" (March 1947), 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. This was quite unpopular with the workforce at both plants: as a result Skoda built Tatraplans for one year only before the model was discontinued in 1952.[2]

The Tatraplan had a monocoque streamlined 6-seat fastback saloon body with frontal suicide doors and a drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.32.[2][3][4] It was powered by an air-cooled flat-4-cylinder 1,952 cc rear-mounted engine. 6,342 were made, 2,100 of them in Mladá Boleslav. In 2010, in the UK, Tatraplan had been selected by public vote in the 'Classic Car of the Year' competition as the winner of the 1940s category.



  1. ^ Gloor, Roger (2007). Alle Autos der 50er Jahre 1945 - 1960 (1. ed.). Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-613-02808-1. 
  2. ^ a b http://www.tatraplan.co.uk
  3. ^ Karel Rosenkranz, Tatra, Autoalbum, 2002, page 107
  4. ^ Martin Janik, Tatra, Computer Press, Brno 2005, page 76


  • Margolius, Ivan: 'Tatra T600 – Tatraplan', Architectural Design, vol. 71, no. 5, September 2001, London, pp. 84–88.
  • Field, Ben: 'Smooth Operator', Classic Cars magazine, May 2010, pp. 88–92
  • Margolius, Ivan and Henry, John G: Tatra - The Legacy of Hans Ledwinka, SAF Publishing, Harrow 1990, ISBN 0-946719-06-3
  • Margolius, Ivan and Henry, John G: Tatra - The Legacy of Hans Ledwinka, Veloce Publishing, Dorchester 2015, ISBN 978-1-845847-99-9

External links[edit]