1968 Tatra T603 2.5 air cooled V8 from Australia and New Zealand


Flash Gordon's Cadillac!


I accidentally overtightened a carburettor screw once, which led to a gasoline leak, soaking the engine block. That was an expensive repair, requiring towing of the vehicle and re-cutting the screw mount.

Starting was often hard for no discernible reason.

An electric glitch leeched out battery power, without hope of ever finding the problem, but regular driving would keep the battery alive well enough.

General Comments:

It is amazing to think this car was designed in 1955, as it seems so competent in every respect.

Seating is excellent for six adults, and ventilation is adequate.

Steering is surprisingly light and precise.

Braking is very good and steady for a car that age.

The V8 engine sound is delightful, yet unobtrusive.

This is a wonderful cruiser and tourer.

Acceleration is glacial though, and it is hard to keep the car moving in hilly topography, because the electro-hydraulic column shift transmission is slow and long-geared, and can be tricky to handle. The driver must get in a habit of gearing down very early, maintaining a high level of RPMs that can seem a bit brutal to the uninitiated, to avoid slowing to a crawl on highway inclines.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 27th October, 2010

1961 Tatra T603 air-cooled V8 from Russia


Beautiful luxury for party members only


This car was powerful and strong through harsh eastern winters. The engine rarely suffered from problems, but electrics were always plagued.

General Comments:

The vehicle was awarded by the party to my father when he became a senior official in our region. Very beautiful, an idol on the road, people would know who the vehicle belonged to as such a vehicle was only for party members. The vehicle even had air conditioning and a big powerful engine. My father never drove it, there was a driver, seemed like a waste. Very comfortable interior.

My father died in 1969. The vehicle was left in our possesion, although without the driver, and my mother could not drive, so we returned the car to the party.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2006

20th May 2007, 04:43

The engine used in the Tatra 603 was indeed an air cooled V8. Air conditioning was not fitted, but the cars had an independent heater situated under the front seat.

The car's a pleasure to drive. Great design. Incredibly spacious. Light steering. Excellent suspension. The little 2.5 V8 engine is a gem to look at and it can push the car to quite high speeds, considering it produces only 100bhp. No worries on the motorway with this classic car. Due to the aerodynamics of the bodywork it can do 23mpg when cruising. Which is not bad for such a big old car.

18th Jul 2008, 16:19

I have read that they made one 603 with air conditioning, as an official car for Fidel Castro.

27th Jan 2013, 07:16

Your car was designed and produced in 1961 in (what was then) Czechoslovakia. It is not Russian.