Engine: 119 cu. in. (2L)
4-cylinder, air cooled
Output: 52 HP
Transmission: 4-speed Manual
Wheelbase: 106 in.
Overall Length: 178 in.
Top Speed: 81 MPH
No. Produced: 6,342
Original Price: 11,700 SFR
Manufacturer: Tatra and Skoda


Paul Jaray, the creator of the teardrop structure of the Zepplin, considered that shape the “Ideal streamlined form for a body close to the ground.” His attempt at car design, the Lorelei, failed but caught the attention of Hans Ledwinka who incorporated Jaray’s ideas into the rear-engine Tatras. TheT-600’s four doors are hinged on a central pillar. Luggage compartment is in the front, along with the spare tire. Another spare is tucked in behind the rear seat to isolate the engine noise from the passengers.

The T-600 was introduced at the 1947 Prague Auto Salon.  Following World War II, Tatra’s chief designer was Julius Mackerle who incorporated many elements of the T-87 into the T-600.  Smaller and more economical, the T-600 was easier to drive due to its lighter weight.  From 1947-51, more than half of the Tatraplans produced were exported to countries all over the world. In 1951 production moved to Skoda and after 1952, when production ceased, no luxury cars were made in Czechoslovakia.



  • Only government officials/state security services could own the car. Their other options were the Zaporoshets, Volgas, and Trabants with heated rear window which warmed the hands of the person pushing the car.
  • Cars have a flat floor plan and torsion bar front suspension. Rear suspension is a swing axle design.
  • After World War II, Tatra found itself stranded behind the Iron Curtain. Hans Ledwinka was accused of collaborating with the Nazis and was imprisoned from 1945-51.
  • In 1951 the Czech government decreed that Tatra would have to concentrate on building trucks.
  • The first 2100 T-600s were produced at the Tatra works, the rest were made at the Skoda factory.
  • All Skoda cars were built for export. Estimates are as few as 168 came to N. America, 50 are known to have been shipped to Canada.
  • Jaray owned a U.S. patent on streamlining and ultimately sued Chrysler for infringement when they released the Air Flow. He won and was awarded $5,000 plus royalties but by then the Airflow had flopped.
  • in 2010 British enthusiasts voted the T600 as the classic car of the 40s. For one brief moment it was proper to say, “Move over Porsche, Ferrari and Fiat-the Czechs are coming.”



On loan from the Lane Motor Museum, Nashville, TN