During WWII the Germans confiscated everything in the process. In addition, 'our bicycles' only came into play at a late stage. But in Czechoslovakia, the Germans found the Tatras with their air-cooled V8 blocks in the stern.
Photos: Bas van der Hoek
Those cars turned out to be dangerous opponents. With a little brave steering, especially on a sub-optimal road surface, the Tatras turned out to be so tail-difficult that they turned many German drivers into pilots. Chunks pilot. The result? The relevant German branch of service prohibited expats in uniform from confiscating and / or driving into Tatras.
After the war
After the war, Tatra continued. How our fashion model ended up in Canada after the war is still unclear. But the silver-gray Tatra belongs to friend Gary of our Canadian friend Bas van der Hoek. And the still futuristic four-wheeler is ridden with respect.
Tatras in the Netherlands
Cars and motorcycles from the Eastern bloc did not gain much foothold in the free west. But a single brand or model succeeded. For example, the Czech brand Tatra had its own importer in our country even before the war. That importership was picked up again after WWII and we also saw Tatra plans driving around here. Not much. Because Tatras were large, gas-guzzling automobiles in a very economical time. They were and are cars with a special construction. The air-cooled V8 (!) Engine was in the back and the streamlining went so far that the Czechs screwed on a vertical stabilizer, just like on a real airplane.
At Tatra, this concept dates back to long before the war and owed its essence to the gifted designer Hans Ledwinka, who once taught Porsche many beautiful things. That Tatra plan was with his air cooled V8 of 3 liters not only striking, but also extremely fast. It ran a good 155 km / h and that was not given many cars at that time.
But taking it hard was an action that fell under the law on games of chance. After all, the Tatra was equipped with pendle axles, the state of the art design in the field of independent wheel suspension at the time. Unfortunately, the concept also meant that cars with such a rear axle construction could face brave bends with a rear axle that could pivot from the center like a lever. Then the already awkward Czech tilted over his axis. And where German fighter pilots in WWII were famous for such a rapid change of course ... well. German drivers were not happy about it. From 1949 the Tatra got a successor in the form of the somewhat simpler 600. It had a four-cylinder boxer in the rear of 2 liters.
Metalex (MTX) is a steel producer that was engaged in adapting and developing new cars in the 70s, 80s and 90s. There is the Skoda MTX Felicia Roadster, a convertible based on the Skoda of the same name. In 1991 MTX entered into a partnership with Tatra to create the MTX Tatra V8. It became the fastest Czech car ever, with a top speed of 265 km / h.