TATRA Car Manufacturer

Tatra boekje

Tatra (company) Automobiles, wagons,carriages, trucks 1897 – Present Czech Republic


Not to be confused with Tata Motors or ČKD Tatra.
Industry Automotive
Founded 1850
1897 as a car manufacturer
Founder Ignác Šustala
Headquarters Kopřivnice, Moravia, Czech Republic
Key people
Ronald Adams (CEO)
Hugo Fischer von Roeslerstamm (designer)
Hans Ledwinka (designer)
Julius Mackerle (designer)
Products Automobiles, wagons,carriages, trucks
Revenue IncreaseCZK 3.7 billion (2014)
Number of employees
845 (2014)
Website http://tatratrucks.com/
homepage German:http://www.tatra-lkw.de/

Tatra Präsident on the Kopřivnice coat of arms.

Tatra is a Czech manufacturer producing vehicles in Kopřivnice, it is owned by Tatra Trucks company, based in Ostrava. It is the third oldest company producing cars and has an unbroken history after Daimler and Peugeot. The company was founded in 1850 as Schustala & Company, later renamed Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau-Fabriksgesellschaft when it became a wagon and carriage manufacturer. In 1897, Tatra produced the first motor car in central Europe, the Präsident automobile. In 1921, it changed its name to Kopřivnická vozovka a.s., and in 1919 changed from the Nesselsdorfer marque to the Tatra badge named after the nearby Tatra Mountains on the Polish-Czechoslovak border at the time (now this range is on the Polish-Slovak border).

During World War II Tatra was instrumental in the production of trucks, and tank engines for the German war effort. Production of passenger cars ceased in 1999, but the company still produces a range of primarily all-wheel-drive trucks, from 4×4 to 18×18. The brand is also known as a result of Czech truck racer Karel Loprais: in 1988–2001 he won the off-road raceDakar Rally six times with the Tatra 815.

Early years

Nesselsdorf Wagenbau Fabriks Gesellschaft circa 1900

Nesselsdorfer Automobile logo

Ignác Šustala, founder of the company

1897 NW Präsident1897 President First CarPräsident, the first factory made car in Central and Eastern Europe in 1897

1900 Nesselsdorf model II vehicle1900 NW Rennzweier 1Rennzweier, the first race car made by the company in 1900

Ignác Šustala (1822–1891), founder of the company in Kopřivnice, Moravia, started the production of horse-drawn vehicles in 1850. In 1891 he branched out into railroad car manufacture, naming the company Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau-Fabriksgesellschaft, and employed Hugo Fischer von Roeslerstamm as technical director in 1890. After the death of Šustala, von Roeslerstamm took over running the company and in 1897 he bought a Benz automobile. Using this for inspiration, the company made its first car, the Präsident, which was exhibited in 1897 in Vienna. Orders were obtained for more cars and under the direction of engineers Hans Ledwinka and Edmund Rumpler, ten improved cars were made.

The first car to be totally designed by Ledwinka came in 1900 with the Type A with rear-mounted 2714 cc engine and top speed of 40 kilometres per hour (25 mph), 22 units were built. This was followed by the Type B with central engine in 1902 but then Ledwinka left the company to concentrate on steam engine development. He returned in 1905 and designed a completely new car, the Type S with 3308 cc 4-cylinder engine. Production was badly hit in 1912 with a 23-week strike and Hugo Fischer von Roeslerstam left the company.

Tatra concept

1924 Tatra T-11aTatra 11 of 1924

Main article: Backbone chassis

After World War I Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau was renamed Kopřivnická vozovka, and in 1919 the name Tatra was given to the car range. Leopold Pasching took over control and in 1921 Hans Ledwinka returned again to develop the revolutionary Tatra 11. The new car, launched in 1923 featured a rigid backbone tube with swinging semi-axles at the rear giving independent suspension. The engine, front-mounted, was an air-cooled two-cylinder unit of 1056 cc.

The Tatra 11 was replaced in 1926 by the similar Tatra 12 which had four-wheel brakes. A further development was the 1926 Tatra 17 with a 1,930 cc water-cooled six-cylinder engine and fully independent suspension. In 1927 the company was renamed Závody Ringhoffer-Tatra a.s.

Tatra 87-old

Streamlined Tatras

Tatra V570Tatra V5701931, 1933Tatra T 77aTatra T771933–19381941 Tatra T87, sn 49870 and engine no 12786345Tatra T871936–1950Tatra T97 redTatra T971936–1939Tatra 600 TatraplanTatra T600 Tatraplan1946–1952Tatra 603 in Veteran ArenaTatra T6031956–1975

Prewar streamliners

Tatra T 77 (16353835847)Tatra T77, the world’s first production aerodynamic car

Tatra 97 in KopřivniceTatra T97

Tatra’s specialty was luxury cars of a technically advanced nature, going from air-cooledflat-twins to fours and sixes, culminating (briefly) with the OHC 6-litre V12 in 1931. In the 1930s, under the supervision of Austrianengineer Hans Ledwinka, his son Erich and German engineer Erich Übelacker, and protected by high tariffs and absence of foreign assemblers, Tatra began building advanced, streamlined cars after obtaining licences from Paul Jaray, which started in 1934 with the large Tatra T77, the world’s first production aerodynamic car. The average drag coefficient of a 1:5 model of the fastback Tatra T77 was recorded as 0.2455. It featured (as did almost all subsequent big Tatras) a rear-mounted, air-cooledV8 engine, which was in technical terms very sophisticated for the time.

Tatra and the conception of the Volkswagen Beetle

Both Hitler and Porsche were influenced by the Tatras. Hitler was a keen automotive enthusiast, and had ridden in Tatras during political tours of Czechoslovakia. He had also dined numerous times with Ledwinka. After one of these dinners Hitler remarked to Porsche, “This is the car for my roads”. From 1933 onwards, Ledwinka and Porsche met regularly to discuss their designs, and Porsche admitted “Well, sometimes I looked over his shoulder and sometimes he looked over mine” while designing the Volkswagen. There is no doubt that the Beetle bore a striking resemblance to the Tatras, particularly the Tatra V570. The Tatra T97 of 1936 had a rear-located, rear-wheel drive, air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engine accommodating four passengers and providing luggage storage under the front bonnet and behind the rear seat. Another similarity between this Tatra and the Beetle is the central structural tunnel. Tatra launched a lawsuit, but this was stopped when Germany invaded Czechoslovakia. At the same time, Tatra was forced to stop producing the T97. The matter was re-opened after World War II and in 1965 Volkswagen paid Ringhoffer-Tatra 1,000,000 Deutsche Marks in an out of court settlement.

War years

After the 1938 invasion of Czechoslovakia by NaziGermany, Tatras continued in production, largely because Germans liked the cars. Many German officers met their deaths driving heavy, rear-engined Tatras faster around corners than they could handle. At the time, as an anecdote, Tatra became known as the ‘Czech Secret Weapon’ for the scores of officers who died behind the wheel; at one point official orders were issued forbidding German officers from driving Tatras.

1951 Tatra T600 Tatraplan1951 Tatra T600 Tatraplan

Postwar management

The factory was nationalised in 1945 almost three years before the Communist Party came to power and renamed to Tatra Národní Podnik. Although production of prewar models continued, a new model, the Tatra T600Tatraplan was designed—the name celebrating the new Communist planned economy and the aeroplane inspiration (Colloq. Czech: aeroplán). It went into production in 1948. In 1951, the state planning department decided that the Tatraplan should henceforth be built at the Skoda plant in Mladá Boleslav, leaving Tatra free to concentrate on trucks, buses and railway equipment.

The Tatra T603

Main article: Tatra 603

Tatra T603Tatra 2-603 featuring four headlights

In 1953, amid much dissatisfaction among Communist party leaders with the poor-quality official cars imported from Russia, Tatra was again given permission to produce a luxury car, the Tatra T603. Much like Tatra’s prewar cars, it was driven by a rear-mounted, air-cooled V8 and had the company’s trademark aerodynamic styling. Uniquely, the Tatra T603 initially featured three headlights and the first prototypes had a central rear stabilising fin, though this feature was lost on production vehicles. It was also fitted with almost American-style thick chromebumpers with bullets (a.k.a. Dagmar bumpers). Almost entirely hand-built, Tatras were not for everybody; normal citizens were not permitted to buy them. They were reserved for the Communist Party elite, industrial officials, as well as being exported to most other communist nations as official state cars. Notably, Cuban President Fidel Castro had a white Tatra T603, custom-fitted with air conditioning.

Tatra T603s were built until 1975, a twenty-year reign as one of Communism’s finest cars. Numerous improvements were made during its production run, although not all vehicles built were actually new but rather reconditioned. In exchange for a newer model year car, the older vehicle was returned to the factory. There, it was upgraded to current model year specifications, refinished, and sent out again as a putatively new vehicle to replace another older T603. This makes it difficult to trace the history of surviving vehicles.

1970s makeover—the Tatra T613

Main article: Tatra T613

1976TatraT-613Tatra T613 (1976)

In 1968 a replacement was developed; the Tatra T613. It was styled by the Italian styling house of Vignale and was a more modern, less rounded shape. It was not until 1973 that the car went into production, and volume production did not begin until the following year. Although the layout remained the same, the body was all new, as was the engine, being equipped with four overhead camshafts, a higher capacity motor (3495 cc) and an output close to 165 bhp (123 kW; 167 PS). In addition, it had been moved somewhat forward for improved balance. These cars were built in five series and went through several modifications until production ceased in 1996. It is a tribute to Vignale’s styling that they did not look dated until rather late in that time period. Over 11,000 cars were built, and sales slowed to a trickle of just a few dozen per year towards the end of production as Tatras began to seem more and more outdated.

1990s Tatra T700

Main article: Tatra T700

Tatra 7001996 Tatra 700 at a museum

The Tatra T700 was a large luxury car released in 1996 by Tatra. Essentially a heavily restyled version of the Tatra T613 model it replaced, with updated body panels and detailing. The T700 was offered as both a saloon and coupé with either a 3.5 or 4.4 litre 90° air-cooled V8 petrol engine. The model was neither successful nor produced in large numbers, having produced a total of 90,000 cars. The T700 was the last passenger car made by Tatra with production halting in 1999. At this point, Tatra abandoned automobile manufacturing in order to concentrate on truck design and manufacture.

1990s Tatra MTX V8

Tatra MTX1991 Tatra MTX V8

The Tatra MTX V8 was the fastest Czech car of all time. Production started in 1991 in Kopřivnice. Under the hood was a Tatra 623 V8 motor, with the injected version producing 225 kW at 6500 rpm. 0–100 km/h taking 5.6 seconds. Maximum speed was 265 km/h. It was the work of legendary Czech designer Václav Král. Only 5 units of this car were ever produced.


In February 2008, Tatra announced the world’s first and only air-cooled engine meeting the then forthcoming Euro 5 emissions standards. The press release claims 7.5 times lower emissions of particulates and 3.5 times lower emission of nitrogen oxides compared to the previous engine. Further, production of air-cooled engines should significantly reduce the production of greenhouse gases due to the absence of liquid cooling systems. All Tatra vehicles from February 2008 onwards should use the new engine.
A month later, Tatra CEO Ronald Adams told The Prague Post Tatra could return to producing passenger cars, saying: ‘We would not come back to compete with the large automobile mass producers such as Volkswagen, Škoda, Toyota etc. But we might come back with a replica of the old Tatra cars using a current undercarriage and driveline from one of the major automotive producers.’ The company has launched a feasibility study, hoping to produce one thousand replicas of their legendary Tatraplan and 603 cars in 2010.

In July 2008 pictures of a fuel cell concept car designed by Mike Jelinek, the Tatra 903, were shown.

Tatra in the West

1923 Tatra T-111923 Tatra T11 at the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville

Unlike most Soviet Bloc manufacturers, Tatra enjoyed modest sales success in Western Europe, where its truck line had a reputation for simplicity and durability. No effort was made to distribute Tatra’s unusual automobiles in the West, though a small number did find their way to collectors in Western Europe, and even to the United States. The fall of the Soviet Union did not help Tatra’s fortunes, as the company made no inroads in Western Europe’s already crowded automobile market. Worse, the introduction of competitors, such as Mercedes-Benz and Peugeot into the Czech Republic, further eroded Tatra’s sales. Production of the passenger cars ended in 1999.

Among western collectors, Tatra automobiles remain largely unknown. The largest display of Tatra vehicles in the United States is at the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. The museum’s eclectic automobile collection contains 12 Tatra models, including a T-613 ambulance. When talk show host and car collector Jay Leno visited the museum, the founder picked him up in a 1947 Tatra T-87, prompting Leno to purchase one himself. Leno soon become an advocate for the brand. In the United States, the few Tatra clubs are closely associated with Citroen clubs, as many Tatra collectors also collect Citroën DS series cars.

A Tatra T87 is on exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.


1898–1914 beginning

NW 1st lorry1 Replica of the first lorry of Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau, in Tatra Technical museum.NW 1st lorry1The replica of the first truck manufactured at Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau

The first truck manufactured at Kopřivnice in 1898 was a flatbed with 2 liquid-cooled side-by-side-mounted two-cylinder Benz engines each at 2.7 L capacity with total power output of 8.8 kW (12 hp) placed after the rear axle and cargo capacity of 2.5 ton. The unique feature of the engines setup was that the engines could be operated sequentially depending on the load requirements. No 1 engine was started via a cranking handle and had a flywheel attached and No 2 engine without the flywheel was connected via a gear clutch and started by the first engine already running. The second truck manufactured was once again a flatbed R type of 2.5 ton cargo capacity built in 1909. Powered by liquid-cooled petrol four-cylinder engine of 4.1 L capacity and power output of 18.4 kW (25 hp) with the engine placed above front axle which is the conventional design to this day. The vehicle featured solid rubber tyres and semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension. In 1910 Tatra manufactured its first bus the Omnibus type SO with total production of 5 units.

1914–1922 serial production

The first true serial truck production at Tatra was instigated by the beginning of World War I. In the year 1914 there were only 2 trucks made, type T 14/40 HP, however by the 1915 end the production jumped to the total of 105 TL-2 units and the following year 1916 the numbers rose to total of 196 TL-2 and 30 TL-4 truthe time peaked in 1917 with 19 TL-2 and 303 TL-4 models, after that production declined and the similar amount of vehicles of one type manufactured in a year was not achieved or surpassed until 1936 with the T 27 model. Technically models TL-2 and TL-4 were almost identically designed, in fact TL-4 evolved from TL-2 where both had liquid-cooled OHC engines of max power output of 25.7 kW (35 PS; 34 hp). The TL-2 had a GVM 2,100 kg (4,630 lb) and 4,000 kg (8,818 lb) GCM, TL-4 had 2,700 kg (5,952 lb) GVM and 6,700 kg (14,771 lb) GCM respectively. Both types remained in production in small series until 1927. The TL-4 is considered the first truck to come out of NW (Nesselsdorfer Wagen-bau) to carry the name Tatra in 1919.

1923–1938 Tatra concept

T93Tatra T93

1932 Tatra, 1155 ccm, 20 PS Marxzell-TatraTatra, year 1932, 1155 ccm, 20 PS

After the introduction of Tatra 11 and Tatra 12 cars with their distinctive backbone tube design and swing axles, Tatra introduced its first truck on the same basis,[21] the light utility Tatra 13 powered by 2-cylinder air-cooled petrol engine with power output 8.8 kW (12 hp) and 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) cargo capacity. Further models followed and in 1926 T23 and T24 were introduced nicknamed “bulldogs” which could be considered Tatra’s precursors to COE designed trucks. Improved version T13 introduced as T26 with more powerful 4-cylinder flat air-cooled engine and in six-wheeler chassis created capable offroad light utility truck which later evolved into T72 model which was heavily used by Czechoslovakian army at the time and was also manufactured under license by the French company Lorraine-Dietrich. In 1933 Tatra build limited series of T25 heavy artillery hauler with 4 and 6-cylinder petrol engines. The most popular Tatra truck before World War II was type T27 powered by 4-cylinder petrol or diesel engines and remained in production for nearly 17 years (1930–1947) with total production of 7,620 units, by adding an extra axle to the rear the type T28 was created however, it was not successful and only limited production resulted in a mainly bus chassis. In the period from 1931 to 1938 Tatra also built a small utility truck based on the chassis from T30 named Tatra T43 which remain popular with small business owners. T72 model successfully continued the line to T82 built mainly for military in cargo and personnel transport between 1935 and 1938 and further to T92 and T93 built for the Romanian army from 1938 to 1941 which were identical except T93 had also a driven front axle.

1939–1956 World War II and beyond

Main article: Tatra T111

Vojenská Tatra1942 Tatra T111

Following the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia the production at Kopřivnice was annexed by the Germans for the supply of trucks needed by the Wehrmacht. Apart from the existing line up of T27, T92/92 a new heavy truck the T81 commenced production featuring liquid-cooled 12.5 L V8 diesel engine with a power output of 118 kW (160 PS; 158 hp), in 6×4 axle configuration. This vehicle evolved in 1942 into the legendary T111 which continued in production until 1962, with the total of 33,690 units made. The T111 also featured Tatra’s first air-cooled diesel engine, a massive V12 originally designed for the armoured SdKfz 234 Puma. In the latter stages of World War II Tatra was instrumental in the development of air-cooled diesel engines for German tanks. In late 1944 General Heinz Guderian ordered that production of the Type 38(t) Hetzer tank be modified to incorporate a Tatra Type 928 V-8 air-cooled diesel engine, though this order was delayed so production could continue uninterrupted. After the war the T111 contributed heavily to the rebuilding effort in Central and Eastern Europe and a memorial was built at Magadan, Siberia for its exploits in the Far East of the USSR.

1957–1982 moving forward

Main articles:
Tatra 138 S3 oder S3M
Tatra T138 CAS firefighting vehicle
Tatra 148 lorry
Tatra T148 Military
Tatra T148 (firefighting car), Slovakia
Tatra T 148 (1009) mit ČKD-Kran

Tatra T 813 8x8 Armee

Tatra T813 KOLOS military specs with dozer bladeTatra T813 ‘KOLOS’Tatra 813 4x4 craneTatra 813 4×4 crane
Tatra T813 tugging Tu-104 civil
Tatra T813 tugging Tu-104 civil
1979 Tatra T813TP
1979 Tatra T813TP.jpg
Tatra T813 fire engine
Tatra T813 fire engine
Tatra T813 der NVA mit einem GAZ 63 der sowjetischen Armee huckepack
Tatra T813 der NVA mit einem GAZ 63 der sowjetischen Armee huckepack
Armored czech Tatra T813 truck as rocket launcher RM-70
Armored czech Tatra T813 truck as rocket launcher RM-70
Tatra T813 reprodukcia z ročenky Armády SR, 122.4 mm raketomet vz.70
Tatra T813 reprodukcia z ročenky Armády SR, 122.4 mm raketomet vz.70
Brno, Řečkovice, Tatra T813
Brno, Řečkovice, Tatra T813.JPG
Minister ON w 1 Mazurskiej Brygadzie Artylerii on Tatra T813
Minister ON w 1 Mazurskiej Brygadzie Artylerii on Tatra T813
Tatra T813 at Truck trials @ Mohelnice, Czech Republic, May 2007
Tatra T813 at Truck trials @ Mohelnice, Czech Republic, May 2007

The decision to replace the reliable but ageing T111 was taken in 1952 based on central planning economy of socialist government where directive was made to Tatra N.P. that it should concentrate on the manufacture of 7 to 10 ton capacity commercial vehicles and in 1956 first T137 and T138 trucks were exhibited at Czechoslovak machinery expo in Brno. The production of T111 however continued alongside T138 series until 1962. T138 itself continued in production until 1969 when it was replaced by improved T148 where designers main target was an increase in power output, reliability and product improvements.

In 1967 Tatra began production of one of its famous off-road trucks the T813 using its modular construction technology; the model incorporated the latest trends in commercial vehicle design such as cab-over-engine (COE) and wide profile tyres. It featured a new V12 engine and all military versions had a central tyre inflation/deflation system as standard equipment. The T813 was designed to tow loads up to 100 ton GCM and it was a familiar sight on the roads in Czechoslovakia hauling large often over-sized loads.

1982–2008 T815 and beyond

Main articles:
Tatra T815, T815-2, TERRN°1 Tatra1021
2010 Tatra T815 TERRno2
2010 Tatra T815 TERRno2
Tatra TerrNo1 Brno, Autotec 2008, Nákladní automobil Tatra
2008 Tatra Terrno1 Brno, Autotec 2008, Nákladní automobil Tatra.jpg
Tatra T815 8x8 crane with low cab Autojerab-AD30-8X8
Tatra T815 8×8 crane with low cab Autojerab-AD30-8X8
2008 Tatra T815 TERRN°1 4x4 fire engine
2008 Tatra T815 TERRN°1 4×4 fire engine
Tatra T815 NVA military troop and cargo carrier
Tatra T815 NVA military troop and cargo carrier
Sri Lanka Army MT-55A Armored Vehicle-launched Bridge pulled by Tatra T815 Truck
Sri Lanka Army MT-55A Armored Vehicle-launched Bridge pulled by Tatra T815 Truck
2006 Tatra T 163 Jamal
2006 Tatra T 163 Jamal Tatra T 163,
Tatra T-810 Czech Army 01
Tatra T815 rally raid 4x4Tatra 815, multiple winner of Dakar Rally

Tatra T815 was designed for extreme off-road conditions, and its road versions are derived from the off-road original. After the 53-rd session of CMEA council a directive that Tatra N.P. would be a sole supplier of off road commercial vehicles of <12 ton capacity for Eastern Block countries, led to a modernization of company and its production models. Following extensive testing at different sites, including Siberia, the type T815 was introduced in 1982 and production started in 1983. Comparing to previous models T815 was made of 142 main assembly components as opposed to 219 main assembly components of its predecessor. The engines power output was increased up to 45% and a new COE tilt-able cabin was introduced. Modular engine designed resulted in V8, V10 and V12 engines with or without turbocharger.

T815 was upgraded to T815-2 with minor cosmetic changes and improved ergonomics and safety – the biggest change was the engine emissions accordance the “Euro0” limits and to Euro1 limits in 1993 (turbocharged V8 engine only since this time for the full legislation. As alternative was offered also the Deutz 513 air-cooled V8 engine). The next facelift in 1997 brought in the new exterior design cabin TerrNo1 with all new interior with better sound and heat insulation however the cabin design is based on the original so it can actually be retrofitted to all T815 built since 1993. In 2000 the TerrNo1 cabin is face-lifted again and for the first time there is an option to fit liquid-cooled engines.

The TerrNo1 model introduced the “KingFrame” rear axles suspension. Another evolution step T3B engine came with the Euro2 emission limit. Following further improvements in 2003 T815 gets new Euro3 T3C V8 engine mated to all new 14-speed range+split gearbox as well as option for engines from other suppliers most notably CAT, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, Deutz and MTU with its “monster” 22.5 Litre V12 and up to 610 kW (829 PS; 818 hp) power output! In September 2006 Tatra introduced its Euro4 compliant turbocharged T3D engine with the SCR exhaust technology and in February 2008 the worlds’s first Euro 5-compliant air-cooled diesel engine based on T3D engine

The evolution of Tatra T815 would not be complete without mentioning its derivates T816 (T815-6) Armax and Force series which had its origin back in 1993 when Tatra participated in the tender process for heavy duty off road trucks for UAE army and after two years of bidding the company was successful in securing a contract worth $180 million.

The resulting model became known as T816 “LIWA” (Arabic for “desert”). The latest model for the military customers is T817(T815-7) marketed as high-mobility heavy-duty tactical truck with low profile cabin for C-130 Hercules transportability for NATO member countries armed services.

Tatra also went back to its roots and decided to produce once again a bonneted CBE heavy duty off road truck to continue the successful line started with T111, so in 1999 the T163 Jamal was put into full production after first prototypes were built in 1997 and followed extensive testing including at Siberia, as a heavy duty dump truck, once again based on proven backbone tube chassis construction with the cabin designed by Jiří Španihel The T163 6×6 is used mainly on construction sites and in quarries.

2008 Tatra T810 truck for Czech armyTatra T-810 for Czech Army

Tatra was also a successful bidder for the Czech Army replacement of aging Praga V3S (with the Tatra I6 air-cooled engine – one half of the T111 V12 one) medium off-road truck with T810 which technically is not a “genuine” Tatra as its origin goes back to when former Czech company ROSS, in partnership with Renault Trucks, obtained a contract to supply the army with medium size off-road trucks, the “ROSS R210 6×6”. The company however went bankrupt in 1998 and Tatra bought full rights to the design, then modernized and reintroduced it as T810 while continuing cooperation with Renault. Under the deal Renault supplies the cabins and the engines and Praga supplied axles and transmissions for the prototypes; however the whole project has been dogged by controversy due to the way Tatra had obtained the contract, its relationship with supplier Praga and the subsequent court case brought on against it by Praga. The serial T810 vehicles are than finally equipped with the new design Tatra rigid axles with the WABCO disc brakes, with the ZF Ecolite transmission and Steyr drop box.

Navistar & Tatra

Tatra T815-7 780R59 military truckTatra T815-7 (T817)

Tatra and Navistar Defence introduced at Eurosatory Exposition in Paris, France (Jun 14-18 2010) the results of their strategic alliance since October 2009, the models ATX6 (universal container carrier) and ATX8 (troop carrier). The vehicles appear to be based on Tatra T815-7 (T817) 6×6, 8×8 chassis, suspension and cabins while using Navistar engines and other components. Under the deal Navistar Defence and Tatra A.S. will market the vehicles in North America, which includes sales to the United States military and foreign military sales financed by the United States government. Tatra will source parts and components through Navistar’s global parts and support network for Tatra trucks delivered in markets outside of North America as well as market Navistar-Tatra vehicles around the world in their primary markets.


The United StatesTerex Corporation acquired the majority ownership (71%) of Tatra in late 2003. As of late 2006, however, majority ownership (80.51%) was in the hands of Tatra Holdings s.r.o., an international consortium comprising Vectra Limited of UK, Sam Eyde of the U.S., KBC Private Equity of Belgium, Meadowhill s.r.o. of Czech Republic and Ronald Adams of the U.S. On 15 December 2006, a contract was signed between Tatra and the Czech Republic for 556 trucks at roughly $130 million, or 2.6 billion Czech crowns. This contract was signed in lieu of replacement of older military vehicles.

In April 2007, Tatra announced that it had already matched its production in 2006 and produced 1,600 vehicles. In 2007, Tatra planned to produce between 2,300 and 2,500 vehicles. In contrast to previous years, Tatra has increased employment by the hundreds within the past two quarters, has reversed previous errors, and was growing again.

In August 2011, DAF Trucks announced it had built up a 19% stake in Tatra, which was to use DAF cabs and PACCAR engines. DAF dealers were to sell Tatra off-road trucks.

In March 2013, Tatra was sold in auction for 176 mil CZK (c. 7 mil euro) due to its debts to Truck Development company based in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Production continues. In 2013 Tatra sold 722 trucks, the most since 2008. Approximately two-thirds of units were exported.

Current truck models

tatra t810 tractortatra t810 tractortatra t810 1r1r36 firefighting 04tatra t810 1r1r36 firefighting 04. Tatra 810Tatra T815-7 aTatra 815-72012 Tatra 815-7 TMB2012 Tatra 815-7 TMBTatra TERRN-1 albumTatra Terrn°1

tatra-816-07Tatra 816-6VWN9T 43 610 8x8.1R

The BRAHMOS Weapon System passing through the Rajpath during the full dress rehearsal for Republic Day Parade - 2005, in New Delhi on January 23, 2005.
The BRAHMOS Weapon System passing through the Rajpath during the full dress rehearsal for Republic Day Parade – 2005, in New Delhi on January 23, 2005.

tatra-816-04Tatra 816 van het Indiase legerTatra 816 Forcetatra-158-phoenix-6x6-agroTatra 158 Phoenix 8x4Tatra-158-Phoenix Horka-7864TATRA-158-Phoenix-Agro-Truck-v-1.0-3Tatra 158 Phoenix


Tatra had a truck-building joint venture in India called Tatra Vectra Motors Ltd, formerly called Tatra Trucks India Ltd. It is a joint venture between Tatra and the Vectra Group from England. In 2009, Vectra announced a new joint venture with Russia’s Kamaz to form Kamaz Vectra Motors Limited to manufacture Kamaz trucks in India., This joint venture replaced the former Tatra Vectra venture. The manufacturing plant is located in Hosur, Tamil Nadu. The fully integrated manufacturing facility includes an engine assembly and testing plant, a cabin welding shop, a frame fabrication shop and a test track. Most Tatra trucks for sale in India are manufactured in collaboration with Bharat Earth Movers Limited.

In 2002, the company received a 1,070 trucks order from the Government of India. Tatra’s growing involvement in India’s defense industry is often cited as an example of growing relations between Czech Republic and India.

In 2010 the Indian Government ordered 788 vehicles from public sector defence equipment manufacturer BEML. The order comprises supply of 498 8×8 vehicles, 278 6×6 vehicles without winch and 12 6×6 with winch.



SPYDER air defense missile system Rafael Tatra Israel
SPYDER anti-aircraft missile system developed by the Israeli company Rafael, fitted atop a TATRA truck.

Reportedly following one of Israeli-Arab conflicts, Israel tested some Tatras captured from neighbour Arab armed forces (Egypt). Israel Defense Forces‘s command was apparently quite impressed with their performance, independence of cooling by air only and their capabilities as military trucks in desert and in wars for long-range raiding operations in such terrains etc., and felt necessary to include these trucks in their arsenal. As direct purchase from oppositely aligned Czechoslovakia was impossible, the lore has it that Israelis used some well-paid services of Nicolae Ceauşescu‘s Romania in cooperation with an American Company called ATC (American Truck Company) to purchase sand-coloured and military trucks, desert-equipped Tatra trucks too, leading to jokes along the line “Romania has a new desert”. Current photos of various Israeli weapon systems, e.g., SPYDER slated, e.g., for India, show new Tatras as the carrier vehicles.

A number of Tatra trucks entered service in the Israeli Army also in many army sectors and as for example anti aircraft missile launcher, with the brand mark of “American Truck Company”, under which Tatras were sold on U.S. market and exported to Israel.

United States

American Truck Company was a quasi-independent company set up by Terex, when they controlled Tatra, to import Tatra vehicles in both knock down kits or fully built and carry out assembly operations, repair and service, body building on chassis in the USA. These trucks were offered to the military and other government organizations and were badged and sold in the USA under the ATC brand. ATC badged Tatras were fitted with American Cummins turbodiesel engines in place of the Tatra’s air-cooled diesel.

Tatra aircraft

1934-39 Aircraft Tatra 131, 190km h, Engine T-100, 72 kW Tatra factory museum KopřivniceTatra T.131, a licence-built Bücker Bü 131 Jungmann.

Aircraft Tatra 101.2 (OK-TAO) on Airport in Kunovice, Czech republicTatra T.101 two-seater touring aircraft

The Ringhoffer-Tatra Works ltd. produced several aircraft and aero-engines in the 1930s and 1940s before annexation by Germany, and after under the orders of the RLM. Among the aircraft produced were the following:

Built under licence
Avro RAF 626 Prefect K5063 at Martlesham, July 1935
Avro 626 Mikan of Royal Canadian Air Force
Tatra T.126 (Avro 626 Avian)
Bü 131 Jungmann-Jungmann at Old Warden
Bücker Bü 131B Jungmann
Tatra T.131 (Bücker Bü 131 Jungmann)
Tatra designed and built
Tatra T-001Tatra T.001
Tatra T-002 - [Project] 4-seat light transport a-c, span 17.90 m
Tatra T-002 – [Project] 4-seat light transport a-c, span 17.90 m Tatra T.002
Tatra T-003Tatra T.003
Aircraft Tatra 101.2 (OK-TAO) on Airport in Kunovice, Czech republicTatra T.101
Tatra T-201 OstatníTatra T.201
Tatra T-301Tatra T.301
Tatra T.401Tatra T.401


Passenger cars

Prior the company was renamed to Tatra.
1897 NW Präsident openNW Präsident
1897 NW Präsident replica in Tatra factory museum1897 NW Präsident replica in Tatra factory museum
1900 NW Rennzweier 1NW rennzweier 1 NW A
1900 Nesselsdorf model II vehicle
1900 Nesselsdorf model II vehicle

1901 NW type B (called Vicepresident), Taken in Technical museum Tatra in Kopřivnice, Czech Republic1902-04 Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau-Fabriks-Gesellschaft aNW B


1904 Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau-Fabriks-Gesellschaft Type DNW D

1904-06 Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau-Fabriks-Gesellschaft Type ENW E

NW Elektromobil

1905-06 Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau-Fabriks-Gesellschaft Type FNW F

1907-11 Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau-Fabriks-Gesellschaft Type JNW J





After the name Tatra was adopted
1921 Tatra 10 racecar (NW type U)1921 Tatra type U 10Tatra 10
1923 Tatra T11 cabrio red1924 Tatra T111924 Tatra T-11aTatra 11
1925 Tatra 12 - firefighting car1925 Tatra T-12 Targa Florio1926 Tatra 12 carrossery1926 Tatra 12 Van1926 Tatra 12 Wayman carrossery1926 Tatra 121926-33 Tatra 121927 Tatra 12 Normandie1927 Tatra 12 pickup1927 Tatra T121928 Tatra 12 Sport1928 Tatra Detra - a rebranded Tatra 12 assembled in Germany1929 Tatra 12Tatra 12
1925 Tatra T17 Ostrava Firefighting truck (7234024490)1926 Tatra T17,301926 Tatra T171928-31 Tatra 17-31 Sport, 6 cylinder, 3 carburetors, 29kWTatra 17
Tatra 20 for charles 1 austroking
Tatra 20 as a racecar
1917 Tatra 20 Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau-Fabriksgesellschaft type N or later known as Tatra 20 as an ambulance1917 Tatra 20 Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau-Fabriksgesellschaft type N or later known as Tatra 201921 Tatra 20 type TTatra 20
1930 Tatra T26 30 (T26-30, Type 26 30)
1929 Tatra T26-30, light 6×4 lorry1930 Tatra T26 busTatra 26 – 30
MHV Tatra 30 01
1930 Tatra T30-52
Tatra T30 white with Sodomka bodywork
MHV Tatra 30 02Tatra 30
1934 Sodomka Tatra 52 Cabriolettatra-52-091930 Tatra 52 RW1930 Tatra-52-4tatra-52-041931 Tatra 52Tatra 52 Sodomka KabrioletTatra-52-1


Závodní Tatra 52Z Tatra 52

Tatra 77 at Berlin motorshow, note the enigine at the backTatra T 77, the elegant car Contemporary advertisement1934 Tatra 77, the car of the future Contemporary advertisement1933 Tatra 77 early prototype, 19331933 Tatra 77 maquette 1-10 by Paul JarrayTatra-poster-77Tatra 77Tatra T 77 (16353835847)1935-38 Tatra T 77aTatra 77Tatra 77a1935 Tatra 80 - Luxury car. This one was build 1935 for czechoslovak president T. G. MasarykTatra 80Tatra-t-87-11Tatra 87 advert1947 Tatra T-87 Saloon - Engine Compartment (Lane Motor Museum)1947 Tatra 87 Saloon, showing the identifiable rear 'Sharks-fin' and lack of rear windows1947 Tatra T-87Tatra 87 KopřivniceTatra 87 old1942 Tatra-87 Staff Star Car1939 Tatra Type 87 - 4-door sedantatra 87 VWETatra 87

tatra 97Tatra 97 at the Tampa Bay Automobile MuseumTatra 97 in KopřivniceTatra T-97, Amstelveen

Tatra T97-engineTatra T97-rear1938 Tatra T971936 Tatra T97 en Tatra T87Tatra 97Tatra 600 at the Tampa Bay Automobile MuseumTatra 600 TatraplanTatra T600 Tatraplan met carrosserie van Sodowka, geschonken aan Stalin voor zijn 70ste verjaardagtatra 600 w2Automobile Tatra T-600 TatraplanTatra 6001967 Tatra 603 was originally property of a Czech State plant and is in fantastic shape but has only received paint and chrome restoration

Tatra 603 motor

1960 Tatra T2 603 Rallye1955 Tatra 603 by Zdeněk Kovář (1955 mock-up)Tatra 603 (2008)1967 Tatra 2-603, 2013 Oldtimer Bohemia RallyTatra 603 in Veteran Arenatatra-603-2_01-galeriatatra 603 cab by stephenTatra 603 805 21958 Tatra T-6031967 Tatra 603 B51969 Tatra 2-603,(last modifiation)1966 Tatra 603 X prototype at Transport museum Bratislava, Slovakia1991 Tatra 603 Lauscha

Tatra 2-6031955 Tatra 603 19551966 tatra 603 aTatra 603 (3)Tatra 603 (2)1969 Tatra 2 6031966 Tatra 2 603 featuring four headlightsTatra 603tatra-613-runaway-tester-clanoktatra-613-rzp-clanok1985 tatra-613-k-clanok1985 tatra-613-k 02-clanokTatra 613 26290 podvozokTatra 613-3 V61984 Tatra 613S1984 Tatra 613-2--1 165 HP, 190 kmh1969 Tatra 613 coupe - prototype Vignale1976 Tatra T-6131981 Czech Tatra 613 ambulance1980 Tatra 613 Special1969 Tatra 613 Vignale1984 Tatra 613 K, cabrio speciaal voor paradesTatra 613Tatra 623Tatra 6231996 Tatra 700 (Ctibor Veleba CZ)1997 Tatra 700 coupé ECORRATatra 700Tatra 700


Tatra 805 - fire brigade T805 hasiči“baby” Tatra T805

1935 Tatra 821935 Tatra 821938 Татrа-85 6x6 19381938 Tatra 85

1936 Tatra 92 AmbulanceTatra 92 ambulanceTatra 92Tatra 92

Tatra t93 01Tatra T931938 Tatra T-93 Velitelský break

Tatra-93-1tatra-93-011938 Tatra-93, 6x6 StaffTatra 93

tatra-111-ckd-hsc-01Tatra 111 tankwagen

Tatra 111

Tatra-111-1Tatra 111‚ 141‚ 147

Tatra 111

Tatra 114 bus1948 tatra 1141947 tatra-114-1947Tatra 114

tatra-115 3Tatra 115

Tatra-128-1Tatra T 128Tatra T-128tatra 128 atatra-128-07Tatra 128

Tatra 138 S3 oder S3M1959 Tatra 138 6x6 VN van expeditie Lambarene

III. výstava československého strojírenství v Brně. Moderní třínápravový valník o nosnosti 12 t - Tatra 138 A - vystavuje Tatra Kopřivnice. *dobový text*

III. výstava československého strojírenství v Brně. Moderní třínápravový valník o nosnosti 12 t – Tatra 138 A – vystavuje Tatra Kopřivnice. *dobový text*Tatra 138

OT-64 SKOT at Airforce Museum in Brno, Czech republicOT-64 SKOT Tatra engine powered 8×8 armored personnel carrier1968 Tatra 141tatra-141-stand-so-43219Tatra 141 02Tatra 141 01Tatra 141 bTatra-141-1Tatra 141 aTatra 141 t141017tatra-141 b 935Schwerlastzugmaschine Tatra T 141 mit Culemeyer-Straßenroller beladen mit einem Privatkesselwagen für den Transport von Essigsäure1957 Tatra 141

Tatra-141-05Tatra 141Tatra 147 aTatra 147 Tatra 805

Tatra 147Tatra 1285530439_T-148NTt_s_n_vesom_NektarTatra T 148 adTatra T 148 (1009) mit ČKD-Kran1972 Tatra 148 S1 in Kdo hledá zlaté dnoTatra 148 S1Tatra T-148 CAPL-15 tanker for propellantTatra 148 lorryTatra 148tatra-158-phoenix-6x6-agroTatra 158 Phoenix 8x4Tatra-158-Phoenix Horka-7864TATRA-158-Phoenix-Agro-Truck-v-1.0-3Tatra 158 Phoenixtatra-163-jamal_03-clanokTatra 163 JamalTatra 163 Jamal1996 Tatra 700 (Ctibor Veleba CZ)1997 Tatra 700 coupé ECORRATatra 700

Tatra T700 Museum 2010 33Tatra T700 Ecorra RacerTatra T700. SaveTatra T700Tatra 700Tatra t-805_perspektivy_rozvoje_konstrukce_151TaTatra T805Tatra T805HZTatra T805 RadiowagenTatra 805 - fire brigade T805 hasiči

1954 Tatra 805 camperTatra t-805_perspektivy_rozvoje_konstrukce_151tatra-805-01Tatra 805 directTatra 805 meetingTatra 805 trutr3Tatra 805 experimenttatra 805 boxTatra 805-fire-engine2012Tatra 805 -SDH_VratíkovTatra 805 rally imagestatra 805_148Tatra-805-(1)TATRA__805__Duha______eskoslovensk__voj_k_1974__._171955 Tatra 805 ambulancetatra-805-021959 TATRA 805 4X4Tatra 805 – výsadkářská verze a valníkTatra 805 f 114Eshop02Tatra 147 Tatra 805Tatra 603 805 2Tatra 805 - Military fire-fighting truck, 75HP, 80kmhTatra 805 - fire brigade T805 hasičiTatra_805_DVS-8military-tatra-805Tatra 805-1Tatra 805 brandweer1959 Tatra 805 off-road voor expeditie van Zikmund en Hanzelka


Tatra 805_RDS_66_(01)Tatra_805_Zikmund_Hanzelka_+_enginetatra-805-10Tatra_805_Winter

TATRA 805 Tatra 805


Tatra 24-58 d1938 Tatra typ 24-671936 tatra 24-67 1Tatra 24 byla rozšířeným typem autobusuTatra 24Tatra 27-91 + MAN Trolleybus in Bratislava1940 Autobus TATRA 27