AUSTIN Motor Company

 austin_logo21905-austin-auto_1905_logoAustin Motor Company, Longbridge, England, UK, 1905-1952

Austin-ADO-BMC-Hillman-Hudson-Humber-Innocenti-Leyland-MG-Morris-Princess-Riley-Rosengart-Rover-Sunbeam-Vanden Plas-Wolseley

For Austin’s American subsidiary, see American Austin Car Company. For the unrelated American Austin company 1901-1921, see Austin Automobile Company.
The Austin Motor Company Limited
Industry Automotive
Fate Merged, The marque is dormant and may be reused.
Successor British Motor Corporation
Founded 1905
Defunct 1952
Headquarters Longbridge, England
Products Automobiles / Rover / Austin Rover / MG / Morris
Austin Marque
Austin flying A badge.png
Official marque logo, revised by current owners SAIC.
Product type Automotive marque
Owner SAIC
Discontinued 1987
Previous owners Austin Motor Company (1905–1952)
BMC (1952–1967)
British Leyland (Austin Rover) (1967–1986)
BA Rover Group (1986–1988)
Rover Group (1988–2005)

The Austin Motor Company Limited was an English manufacturer of motor vehicles, founded in 1905 by Herbert Austin. In 1952 it was merged with Morris Motors Limited in the new holding company British Motor Corporation (BMC) Limited, keeping its separate identity. The marque Austin was used until 1987. The trademark is currently owned by SAIC after being transferred from bankrupt subsidiary Nanjing Automotive which had acquired it with MG Rover Group in July 2005.


1905-herbert-austinHerbert Austin 1905

“Mr Austin is starting new works,
where he will manufacture Austin Cars
at Longbridge, near Birmingham”

1905–1918: Formation and development

While running the original Wolseley business, which had a highly cyclical sales pattern, Herbert Austin, searched for products with a steady demand. Starting in 1895, he built three cars in his free time. They were among Britain’s first cars. The third car, a four-wheeler, was completed in 1899. By 1901 his fellow directors could not see future profit in motor vehicles and so with their blessing and the backing of the Vickers brothers Austin started a separate car manufacturing business still using the name Wolseley.

In 1905 he fell out with Thomas and Albert Vickers over engine design. Leaving his creation, Wolseley, which he had made Britain’s largest motor vehicle manufacturer, Austin obtained the backing of steel magnate Frank Kayser for his own enterprise. Kayser provided funds through mortgages and loans, debentures and guarantees to the Midland Bank thereby allowing Austin to keep virtually total ownership of his own business through his personal savings. Further assistance came from Dunlop patent holder Harvey du Cros. However, Austin’s great rival, William Morris, was able to enter the industry proper (he first repaired cars) a little later funding his operation entirely from his own resources.

In November 1905 Herbert Austin acquired a disused printing works which was less than ten years old. It was located seven miles south-west of Birmingham in the small village of Longbridge (then still within Worcestershire). The following month The Austin Motor Company Limited was incorporated. In the last week of April 1906 a large body of motorists travelled to Longbridge “where snow lay full three inches deep on the ground and was still falling fast” to see the new Austin car, a conventional four-cylinder model with chain drive. It was available as a 15/20 hp complete at £500 (chassis, £425) and a 25/30 hp for £650 (chassis, £550). The sole concessionaire for sale of the cars was Mr Harvey Du Cros junior.

Two things were noticeable about Austin’s new design. He had parted from the Vickers brothers because he had refused to use the then more conventional vertical engine in Wolseley cars. His new car had a vertical engine and, in all but minor detail, was identical to the English-built Clément-Gladiators assembled in the same factory.

1907-austin-30hp1907 30hp

1908-austin-100hp-grand-prix-race-car-heritage-motor-centre-gaydon1908-austin-grand-prix-9-7-litre-6-cylinder-engine-6-cylinder-9657-cc-171-bhp-top-speed-92-mph-or-148-kph-coachwork-open-racing-body-registration-be3-in-the-winter-of-1907-08-austin1908 100hp Grand Prix Race Car

A further injection of capital was needed in 1906 and William Harvey Du Cros (1846–1918) joined the board of directors. After that Harvey Du Cros junior of the Swift Cycle Co and Austin each held approximately half of the ordinary capital. Herbert Austin remained chairman and managing director.

Editing undertaken: Unsharp Mask
Editing undertaken: Unsharp Mask Austin Motors showroom, Long Acre, London, c. 1910

Austin’s cars, like Wolseley’s, were luxury vehicles. The published customer list included Russian Grand Dukes, Princesses, Bishops, high officials of the Spanish government and a long list of Britain’s highest nobility.

1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913
Turnover 14,771 84,930 119,744 169,821 209,048 276,195 354,209 425,641
Cars 31 180 218 1,107 1,500
Employees 270 1,500 1,800 2,300

Sources Note: in 1912 Wolseley sold 3,000 cars.

In February 1914 Austin-manufactured bodies in tourer, limousine, landaulette and coupé styles could be provided with engines of 15, 20, 30 and 60 hp. Ambulances and commercial vehicles were also provided.

Austin became a public listed company in 1914 when the capital was increased to £650,000. At that time in number of cars produced it probably ranked fifth after Wolseley (still largest), Humber, Sunbeam and Rover.

The Austin Motor Co. grew enormously during the First World War, fulfilling government contracts for aircraft, shells, heavy guns and generating sets and 1,600 three-ton trucks most of which were sent to Russia. The workforce expanded from around 2,500 to 22,000.

1919–1939: Interwar success

1919-20-austin-twenty-allweather-coupe1920 Twenty 3.6-litre allweathercoupé

1926-austin-seven-saloon1926 Seven box saloon

After the war Herbert Austin decided on a one-model policy based on the 3620 cc 20 hp engine. Versions included cars, commercials and even a tractor, but sales volumes were never enough to fill the vast factory built during wartime. The company went into receivership in 1921 but rose again after financial restructuring. Though Herbert Austin remained chairman he was no longer managing director and from that time decisions were made by committee.

Critical to the recovery was the appointment in 1922 of a new finance director, Ernest Payton with the backing of the Midland Bank, and a new works director in charge of car production, Carl Engelbach, at the insistence of the creditors’ committee. This triumvirate of Austin, Payton and Engelbach steered the company’s fortunes through the inter-war years.

In a quest to expand market share, smaller cars were introduced, the 1661 cc Twelve in 1922 and, later the same year, the1922-austin-seven-1922Seven, an inexpensive, simple small car and one of the earliest to be directed at a mass market. One of the reasons for a market demand for a cars like the Austin 7 was the British tax code. In 1930 every personal car was taxed by the engine size, which in American dollars was $2.55 per square inch of piston displacement. As an example the owner of an Austin 7 in England, which sold for approximately $455.00, would have to pay a yearly engine tax of $39.00. In comparison, the owner in England of a Ford Model-A would have to pay $120.00 per year in an engine tax. And this system of engine displacement tax was common in other European nations as well in the 1930s. At one point, the “Baby Austin” was built under licence by the fledgling1930-bmw-dixi-15-ps1930 BMW Dixi 15 PS BMW of Germany (as the Dixi); by the Japanese manufacturer1937-datsun-16-sedan1937 Datsun 16 Sedan Datsun; as the1939-bantam-convertible1939 Bantam Convertible Bantam in the United States; and as the1928-rosengart-lr41928 Rosengart LR4.jpg Rosengart in France. And in England the Austin was the most produced car in 1930 (the American Austin Car Company operated as a largely independent subsidiary from 1929 to 1934, and was revived under the name “American Bantam” from 1937 to 1941).

With the help of the Seven, Austin weathered the worst of the depression and remained profitable through the 1930s, producing a wider range of cars which was steadily updated by the introduction of all-steel bodies, Girling brakes, and synchromesh gearboxes. However, all the engines retained the same side-valve conformation. Deputy chairman Ernest Payton became chairman in 1941 on the death of Lord Austin. In 1938 Leonard Lord joined the company board and became chairman in 1946 on the death of Ernest Payton.

1938 Austin Seven Ruby Motor Centre, Gaydon.jpg
 Austin Seven Ruby


In the early 1930s Datsun later known as Nissan Motor Company of Japan built cars infringing Austin patents. From 1934 Datsun began to build Austin Sevens under licence and this operation became the greatest success of Austin’s overseas licensing of its Seven. This marked the beginning of Datsun’s international success.

In 1952 Austin entered into another agreement with Nissan for that company to assemble 2000 imported Austins from partially assembled sets and to sell them in Japan under the Austin trademark. The agreement called for Nissan to make all Austin parts locally within three years, a goal Nissan met. Nissan produced and marketed Austins for seven years. The agreement also gave Nissan rights to use Austin patents, which Nissan used in developing its own engines for its Datsun line of cars. In 1953 British-built Austins were assembled and sold, but by 1955, the Austin A50 – completely built by Nissan and featuring a slightly larger body with 1489 cc engine – was on the market in Japan. Nissan produced 20,855 Austins between 1953 and 1959.

1939–1958: War years and post-war years

Austin A30 1954
 1954 A30

During the Second World War Austin continued building cars but also made trucks and aircraft, including the Lancaster bombers of 617 squadron, better known as the Dambusters.

The post-war car range was announced in 1944, and production started in 1945. The immediate post-war range was mainly similar to that of the late 1930s but did include the 16 hp, significant for having the company’s first overhead valve engine.

Austin of England

From late 1950 to mid-1952 products, brochures and advertisements displayed in flowing script Austin of England as if in response to Morris’s Nuffield Organisation. It fell out of use with the financial merger with Morris in BMC.


In 1952 The Austin Motor Company Limited merged ownership, but not identity, with long-term rival and equal Morris Motors Limited in The British Motor Corporation Limited with Leonard Lord, who had been managing director of Morris from 1932 to 1936, in charge. William Morris (Lord Nuffield) was first chairman but soon retired. Leonard Lord, who had stormed out of Morris declaring he would “take Cowley apart brick by brick”, ensured Austin was the dominant partner and its (more recently designed OHV) engines were adopted for most of the cars. Various models followed the Morris policy and became badge-engineered versions of each other.

1951-austin-a40-roadsterAustin A40 Sports, ca 1951

1955-austin-az-andrassy-ut-94-elott-az-1950Austin on Blvd Népköztársaság (today Andrássy avenue) in Budapest, end of 1950s


Also in 1952, Austin did a deal with Donald Healey, the renowned automotive engineer. It led to a new marque,

1952-austin-healey-100 1952-austin-healey-100-4 1954-austin-healey-100-pt-24-35 1954-austin-healey-100 1954-austin-healey-bonneville-record 1954-austin-healey-record-earls-court 1954-austin-healey-record 1954-austin-healey 1955-austin-healey-100-ad 1955-austin-healey-100m 1956-austin-healey-100-six 1956-austin-healey-100-6-blue-white-ad 1956-austin-healey-rekord-100-6-ad 1957-austin-healey-100-6 1957-austin-healey-sebring 1958-austin-healey-100-six-brochure 1958-austin-healey-100-6-twee-zitter 1958-austin-healey-100-6 1958-austin-healey-frogeye-ad 1958-austin-healey-sal-v-nassau 1958-austin-healey-sprite-8 1958-austin-healey-sprite-2 1958-austin-healey-sprite-ad 1958-austin-healey-sprite-b 1958-austin-healey-sprite-frogeye-bw 1958-austin-healey-sprite-model-an5 1958-austin-healey-sprite 1958-austin-healey


1959-austin-healey-3000-2seater-ad 1959-austin-healey-frogeye-sprite-an5 1959-austin-healey-frogeye-sprite-white 1959-austin-healey-frogeye-sprite 1960-austin-healey-1960-sebring-sprite-for-le-mans 1960-austin-healey-3000 1960-austin-healey-rally-london 1960-austin-healey-sebring-sprite-for-lemans 1960-austin-healey-sprite 1961-austin-healey-3000-mk-i 1961-austin-healey-3000-4seater 1961-austin-healey-3000-mk2 1961-austin-healey-le-mans 1962-austin-healey-3000-coupe-speziale-22-di-carozzeria-pinifarina-da-turino 1962-austin-healey-3000-mark-ll 1962-austin-healey-3000-mk-ii 1962-austin-healey-3000-mk1 1962-austin-healey-3000 1962-austin-healey-drawing 1963-austin-healey-3000-mkii 1963-austin-healey-3000-poster 1963-austin-healey-ad 1963-austinhealy1963nl801 1964-austin-healey-sprite-3000-mkii-bj7-22 1964-austin-healey-sprite-mk-iii 1964-austinhealeysprite1964nl1201 1965-austin-healey-mk3-sprite-at-the-gymkhana-event 1965-austin-healey-sprite-mk3-ad 1965-austin-healey-3000%e2%80%85mk%e2%80%85iii 1966-austin-healey-sprite-ad 1966-austin-healey-3000-convertible 1967-austin-healey-ad 1968-austin-healey-3000mk3 1968-austin-healey-mk4 1971-austin-healey-sprite austin-healey-a austin-healey-b-healey-museum-plasticon austin-healey-sprite-b austin-healey-sprite-mk-i austin-healey-sprite2

Austin-Healey, and a range of sports cars.

1959–1969: Era of revolution

With the threat to fuel supplies resulting from the 1956 Suez Crisis, Lord asked Alec Issigonis, who had been with Morris from 1936 to 1952, to design a small car; the result was the revolutionary Mini, launched in 1959. The Austin version was initially called the Austin Seven, but Morris’ Mini Minor name caught the public imagination and the Morris version outsold its Austin twin, so the Austin’s name was changed to Mini to follow suit. In 1970, British Leyland dropped the separate Austin and Morris branding of the Mini, and it was subsequently simply “Mini”, under the Austin Morris division of BLMC.

The principle of a transverse engine with gearbox in the sump and driving the front wheels was applied to larger cars, beginning with the 1100 of 1963, (although the Morris-badged version was launched 13 months earlier than the Austin, in August 1962), the 1800 of 1964 and the Maxi of 1969. This meant that BMC had spent 10 years developing a new range of front-drive, transverse-engined models, while most competitors had only just started to make such changes.

The big exception to this was the Austin 3-litre. Launched in 1968, it was a rear-wheel drive large car, but it shared the central section of the 1800. It was a sales disaster, with fewer than 10,000 examples being made.

BMC was the first British manufacturer to move into front-wheel drive so comprehensively. Ford did not launch its first front-drive model until 1976 (in Britain), Ford-Germany in 1962 with the Taunus 12M(P4)), while Vauxhall’s first front-drive model was launched in 1979 and Chrysler UK’s first such car was launched in 1975. Front-wheel drive was popular elsewhere in Europe, however, with Renault, Citroen and Simca all using the system at the same time or before BMC. East Germany’s Trabant used the system from 1958.

In September 1965 BMC completed the purchase of its major supplier, Pressed Steel. Twelve months later it completed the purchase of Jaguar and in December 1966 changed its name from BMC to BMH, British Motor Holdings Limited. In early 1968 under government pressure BMH merged with Leyland Motors Limited and Austin became a part of the large British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC) combine.

1970–1979: Era of turbulence

austin-maxi-1750-hl1979 Maxi

By 1970 Austin was part of the British Leyland combine. Austin’s most notorious model of this era was the 19731975-austin-allegro-registrationAllegro, successor to the 1100/1300 ranges, which was criticised for its bulbous styling which earned it the nickname “Flying pig” as well as the doubtful build quality and indifferent reliability. It was still a strong seller in Britain, although not quite as successful as its predecessor.1978-austin-princess-1800-hl-b-series-engineThe wedge-shaped 18/22 series was launched as an Austin, a Morris and a more upmarket Wolseley in 1975. But within six months, it was rechristened the Princess and wore none of the previous marque badges, becoming a marque in its own right, under the Austin Morris division of British Leyland that had been virtually nationalised in 1975.

The Princess was not quite as notorious as the Allegro, and earned some praise for its practical wedge shape, spacious interior, and decent ride and handling, but build quality was suspect and the lack of a hatchback (which would have ideally suited its body shape) cost valuable sales. It was upgraded at the end of 1981 to become the Austin Ambassador (and gaining a hatchback) but by that time there was little that could be done to disguise the age of the design, and it was too late to make much of an impact on sales.

By the end of the 1970s, the future of Austin and the rest of British Leyland (now known as BL) was looking bleak.

1980–1989: Austin Rover era

1983-british-leyland-austin-metro-autoMetro, launched in 19801982-austin-maestroMaestro, launched in 19831984-austin-montego-goldMontego, launched in 1984

The Austin Metro, launched in October 1980, was heralded as the saviour of Austin Motor Company and the whole BL combine. Twenty-one years after the launch of the Mini, it gave BL a much-needed modern supermini to compete with the recently launched likes of the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Nova, VW Polo and Renault 5. It was an instant hit with buyers and was one of the most popular British cars of the 1980s. It was intended as a replacement for the Mini but, in fact, the Mini outlived the Metro by two years.

In 1982, most of the car division of the by now somewhat shrunken British Leyland (BL) company was rebranded as the Austin Rover Group, with Austin acting as the “budget” and mainstream brand to Rover’s more luxurious models. The MG badge was revived for sporty versions of the Austin models, of which the MG Metro 1300 was the first.

Austin revitalised its entry into the small family-car market in March 1983 with the launch of its all-new Maestro, a spacious five-door hatchback that replaced the elderly Allegro and Maxi and was popular in the early years of its production life, although sales had started to dip dramatically by the end of the decade.

April 1984 saw the introduction of the Maestro-derived Montego saloon, successor to the Morris Ital. The new car received praise for its interior space and comfort, but early build-quality problems took time to overcome. The spacious estate version, launched in early 1985, was one of the most popular load carriers of its era.

In 1986 Austin Rover’s holding company BL plc became Rover Group plc and was privatised by selling it to British Aerospace (BAe).

Plans to replace the Metro with a radical new model, based on the ECV3 research vehicle and aiming for 100 mpg, led to the Austin AR6 of 1984–1986, with several prototypes tested. The desire to lose the Austin name and take Rover “upmarket” led to this project’s demise in early 1987.

In 1987, the Austin badge was discontinued and Austin Rover became simply the Rover Group. The Austin cars continued to be manufactured, although they ceased to be Austins. They became “marque-less” in their home market with bonnet badges the same shape as the Rover longship badge but without “Rover” written on them. Instead any badging just showed the model of the car: a Montego of this era, for instance, would have a grille badge simply saying “Montego”, whilst the rear badges just said “Montego” and the engine size/trim level. The Metro was facelifted in 1990 and got the new K-series engine. It then became the “Rover Metro”, while the Maestro and Montego continued in production until 1994 and never wore a Rover badge on their bonnets in Britain. They were, however, sometimes referred to as “Rovers” in the press and elsewhere.

Possible revival

The rights to the Austin name passed to British Aerospace and then to BMW when each bought the Rover Group. The rights were subsequently sold to MG Rover, created when BMW sold the business. Following MG Rover’s collapse and sale, Nanjing Automobile Group owns the Austin name and Austin’s historic assembly plant in Longbridge. At the Nanjing International Exhibition in May 2006, Nanjing announced it might use the Austin name on some of the revived MG Rover models, at least in the Chinese market. However, Nanjing is for the moment concentrating on reviving the MG brand. The MG brand is traditionally used for sports cars and Nanjing has no rights to the Rover name, so a revival of the Austin name would seem a logical brand for selling more standard cars. It might also be argued that a British name would be more respected in the European market than a Chinese name. Nanjing Automobile Group itself merged into SAIC Motor.

Austin Motor Company Limited

A new “Austin Motor Company Limited” was incorporated in July 2012 by Steve Morgan of Birmingham who also owns the last Mini to leave Longbridge, but was dissolved in 2014.

In 2015, the “Austin Motor Company” and the 1930s “Flying A” logo name and patents was purchased by John Stubbs in Braintree, Essex. The company intend to start manufacturing an all new Austin car in 2016.


austin_motor_company_longbridgeAustin’s Longbridge plant

Main article: Longbridge plant

Austin started his business in an abandoned print works at Longbridge, Birmingham. Due to its strategic advantages over Morris‘s Cowley plant, Longbridge became British Leyland‘s main factory. Following the Austin marque’s discontinuance in 1989, Rover and MG continued to use the plant. The collapse of MG Rover meant it was not used from 2005 until MG production restarted in 2008.



1946-austin-12-august-1946-1465cc1946 12 (1465cc)

1975-austin-1800-ado711975 1800 (ADO71)

Small cars

1911-austin-7-h-p-tourer-lo-7562-engine-number-70541910–11 Austin 7 hp1922-austin-7-shanghai-automobile-museum1922–39 Austin 71959-austin-seven-mini1959 Austin Seven Mini 1959–61 Seven, as BMC1963-austin-mini-850-mk11963 Austin Mini 850 mk1 1961-69 Mini, as BMC1986-mini_metro_with_5_doors_in_spain_19861980–90 Metro, as Austin Rover

Small family cars

1913-austin-101911–15 Austin 10 hp1932-austin-ten-four-dvla-first-registered-17-june-1932-1141-cc1932 Austin Ten-Four DVLA First registered 17 June 1932, 1141 cc 1932–47 Austin 101946-austin-8-4-door-saloon1946 Austin 8 4-door Saloon 1939–47 Austin 81954-austin-a30-4-door-saloon1954 Austin A30 4-door saloon 1951–56 A30black-austin-a35Black Austin A35 1956–59 A35austin-a35-vanAustin A35 van1961-austin-a35-countryman-wagon1961 Austin A35 Countryman Wagon 1956–62 A35 Countryman1959-a-right-hand-drive-convertible-austin-metropolitan1959 A right-hand drive convertible Austin Metropolitan 1954–61 Nash Metropolitan/Austin Metropolitan1960-austin-a40-farina-mki-front1960 Austin A40 Farina MkI front 1958–61 A40 Farina Mk Iaustin-a40-farina-mark-ii1961–67 A40 Farina Mk II1972-austin-1300gt-registered-june-1972-1380cc-sic-dvla1972 Austin 1300GT registered June 1972 1380cc (sic DVLA) 1963–74 1100morris-1100-mark-ii-2-door-saloonMorris 1100 Mark II 2 door Saloon 1967–74 13001975-austin-allegro-registration1973–83 Allegro1932-austin-16-westminster-saloon-dvla-2107ccSixteen Westminster saloon 1932

1934-austin-16-6-carlton-saloonSixteen Carlton 7-seater 1934

1936-austin-20-mayfair-saloonTwenty Mayfair 1936

1938-austin-18-6-norfolkEighteen Norfolk 1938

Large family cars

1912-austin-15-hp-wellington-tourer1913–14 Austin 15 hp1928-austin-twelve-1660-cc-1861-cc1922–40 Austin “Heavy” 121929-austin-16-6-burnham1927–38 Austin 16 (16/18)1932-austin-light-twelve-six1931–36 Austin “Light” 12/61936-austin-twelve-new-ascot1933–39 Austin “Light” 12/41938-austin-fourteen-goodwood-dvla-first-registered-31-december-1938-1939-cc1937–39 Austin 141939-austin-18hp-norfolk-saloon1938–39 Austin 181946-austin-12-august-1465cc1939–47 Austin 12 1948-austin-16-bsi-saloon1945–49 Austin 16 hpaustin-a40-devon-saloonAustin A40 Devon saloon1947-1949-austin-a40-dorset1947-1949 Austin A40 Dorset 1947–52 A40 Devon/Dorset1952-austin-a40-devon1952 Austin A40 Devonaustin-a70-herefordAustin A70 Herefordaustin-a70-hampshire-produced-1948-50-big-brother-to-the-similarly-styled-a40-dAustin A70 Hampshire produced 1948-50, big brother to the similarly styled A40 Devon 1948–50 A70 Hampshire 1950–54 A70 Hereford1952-austin-a40-somerset-saloon1952 Austin A40 Somerset Saloon 1952–54 A40 Somerset1956-austin-a40-cambridge1956 Austin A40 Cambridge1956-austin-a40-2Austin A40 1956 2austin-a50-cambridge-frontAustin A50 Cambridge front

Austin A50 Cambridge
Austin A50 Cambridge

austin-a50-coupe-utilityAustin A50 Coupe Utilityaustin-a55-cambridge-frontAustin A55 Cambridge frontaustin-a55-cambridge-sideAustin A55 Cambridge sideaustin-a55-coupe-utilityAustin A55 Coupe Utility1971-austin-vod-179j-panel-van-2012-hcvs-tyne-tees-run1971 Austin (VOD 179J) panel vanmorris-half-ton-van-license-plate-1970-based-on-pre-farina-austin-cambridge-saloMorris half ton van license plate 1970 based on pre Farina Austin Cambridge saloon 1954–58 A40/A50/A55 Cambridgeaustin-a90-six-cyl-westminster1954 Austin A90 Six cyl Westminster1954-austin-a90-westminster-front-2639cc-c-series-bmc-engine1954 Austin A90 Westminster front 2639cc C series BMC engineaustin-a105-westminster-the-6cylinder-a55-cambridge-longer-bonnet-bigger-engine-better-carAustin A105 Westminster, the 6cylinder A55 Cambridge. Longer bonnet, bigger engine, better car1956-austin-a105-westminster-front1956 Austin A105 Westminster frontaustin-a95-westminster-frontAustin A95 Westminster front

1957-austin-a105-westminster-front1957 Austin A105 Westminster front1957-austin-a105-six-side1957 Austin A105 Six sideaustin-with-vanden-plas-detailingAustin with Vanden Plas detailing 1954–59 A90/A95/A105 Westminster1956-austin-a95-westminster-countryman-sales-brochure 1956-austin-a95country-december 1958-austin-a95-westminster-countryman1956–59 A95 Westminster Station wagon.1958-austin-westminster-a105-211958 Austin Westminster A105 21 1956–59 A105 Westminster1957-austin-a55-cambridge-front-cambrian-north%e2%80%85america1957 Austin A55 Cambridge front Cambrian (North America)1959-austin-a55-cambridge-mark-ii-saloon1959 Austin A55 Cambridge Mark II Saloon 1959–61 A55 Cambridgeaustin-a55-cambridge-mark-ii-estateAustin A55 Cambridge Mark II Estate1961-austin-westminster-mar-1961-2912cc1961 Austin Westminster Mar 1961 2912cc 1959–61 A99 Westminster1962 Austin Cambridge Sedan1962 Austin 60 Cambridge Sedan 1961–69 A60 Cambridge1962-austin-a60-wagon1962 Austin A60 Wagon1966-austin-a110-westminster-beige1966 Austin A110 Westminster beige 1961–68 A110 Westminster1970-morris-1800-mark-ii1970 Morris 1800 Mark II 1964–75 1800/2200 (ADO17)1969-austin-1800-automatic1969 Austin 1800 Automatic1969-wolseley-18-85-107949723951969 Wolseley 18-851973-austin-1800-mk-iii-1798cc-first-reg-jan-1973-rear-three-quarters1973 Austin 1800 Mk III 1798cc first reg Jan 1973 rear three quartersaustin-2200-automaticAustin 2200 Automatic1972-wolseley-six-automatic1972 Wolseley Six Automatic1968-austin-1800-utility-50801852611968 Austin 1800 utility (5080185261)1971-austin-3-litre-dvla-first-registered-20-august-1971-2912cc-at-svvc-extravaganza1971 Austin 3-Litre (DVLA) first registered 20 August 1971, 2912cc at SVVC Extravaganza 1967–71 3-Litre1970-austin-maxi-mki-left-and-austin-maxi-mkii1970 Austin Maxi MkI (left) and Austin Maxi MkII 1969–81 Maxi1975-austin-1800-ado711975-75 1800/2200 (ADO71)austin-ambassador-front1982–84 Ambassador1983-austin-maestro1983–94 Maestro1986-mg-maestro-efi-this-car-had-a-115bhp-2-0-litre-efi-engine1984–94 Montego

Large Cars

1907-austin-30hp-heritage-motor-centre-gaydon-the-oldest-austin1906–07 Austin 25/301906-austin-15-20-25-30-hp1906-07 Austin 15/201908-austin-18-24-hp-with-herbert-austin-at-the-wheel1908 Austin 18-24 hp with Herbert Austin at the wheel


1908-austin-18-24-norfolk-single-landaulette1908 Austin 18-24 Norfolk single landaulette1910-austin-18-24-speedily-phaeton42999078051910 Austin 18-24 Speedily Phaeton(4299907805) 1907–13 Austin 18/241907-austin-40hp-york-landaulette-43621735091907 Austin 40hp York landaulette (4362173509)1912-austin-40-vitesse1912 Austin 40 Vitesse1912-austin-40-f-and-i-191211091912 Austin 40 f and i 1912-austin-40-r-11091912 Austin 40 r1912-austin-40-rr-11091912 Austin 40 rr1910-401908–13 Austin 40 hp

1906-austin-model-lxr-60-hp-factory-photo 1906-austin-model-lxt-60-hp-factory-photo 1906-austin-motor-co-60-hp 1906-06-30-austin-motor-co-first-finished-car 1907-austin-6-cylinder-60hp-liz16 1908-9-7-litre-6-cylinder-austin-grand-prix-production-60hp 1908-austin-phaeton-six-cylinder-60-hp 1909-austin-60-hp 1910-wolseley-60-horsepower-v8-aero-engine1908–10 Austin 60 hp 6-cylinder + Wolseley1911-austin-50-pullman-limousine1910–13 Austin 50 hp 6-cylinder1914-austin-20-hp-vitesse1914 Austin 20 hp Vitesseaustin-20-hp-dual-cowl-2 austin-20-hp-ranelagh-a1912–18 Austin 20 hp1914-austin-30-hp-vitesse-tourer1914–16 Austin 30 hp1920-austin-allweather-coupe-1919-1920


1918 Hudson Super Six 1920-austin-20-tourer

1920 Austin 20 tourer1919-austin-20-tourer1919 Austin 20 Tourer1919-austin-20-tourer-rear1919 Austin 20 Tourer rear1922-austin-twenty-used-by-a-e-filby-in-1932-and-1935-to-drive-from-london-to-cape-town-and-back1922 Austin Twenty Used by A.E. Filby in 1932 and 1935 to drive from London to Cape Town and back1926-austin-mayfair-36-litre-with-aftermarket-bumper-86695565421926 Austin Mayfair 3,6-litre with aftermarket bumper 86695565421927-austin-20-tourer-dvla-first-registered-10-may-1927-3600-cc1927 Austin 20 Tourer (DVLA) first registered 10 May 1927, 3600 ccaustin-nineAustin nine1927-twenty-four-mayfair-saloon-3-6-litre1927 Twenty four Mayfair saloon 3.6-litre1931-austin-20-raleigh-34-litre-limousine1931 Austin 20 Raleigh 3,4-litre limousine1935-austin-20-6-ranelagh-2-1-43793207991935 Austin 20 6 Ranelagh 2.11936-austin-six-registered-december-1936-3377-cc1936 Austin Six registered December 1936 3377 cc1936-austin-20-mayfair-saloon-1923784791936 Austin 20 Mayfair saloon 192378479 1919–38 Austin Twenty1939-austin-twenty-eight-otrebusy-41938–39 Austin Twenty Eight (28/6)1947-54-austin-a125-sheerline-ds1-front-3993cc-engine1947-54 Austin A125 Sheerline DS1 front 3993cc engine1947-austin-a120-princess-july-ad 1947-austin-a125-sheerline-ds1-head 1947-austin-a125-sheerline-ds1-rear

1947-54-austin-a125-limousine 1949-austin-sheerline1947–54 A110/A125 Sheerline1947-54-austin-a125-sheerline-and-princess1947-54-austin-a120-a125-sheerline-and-princess1946–56 A120 Princess

1946-austin-a135-princess-ii-ds31946 Austin A135 Princess II (DS3) 1947–56 A135 Princess1958-princess-iv-3995cc-april-19581958 Princess IV 3995cc, April 1958 1956–59 Princess IV

Limousines and Landaulettes

1906-06-30-austin-motor-co-first-finished-car1906–07 Austin 25/301906-austin-15-20-25-30-hp1906-07 Austin 15/201906-austin-18-24

1908-austin-18-24-hp-with-herbert-austin-at-the-wheel 1908-austin-18-24-norfolk-single-landaulette1907–13 Austin 18/241907-austin-40hp-york-landaulette-registration-k-3253-car-62-engine-61-07 1910-40 1912-austin-40-f-and-i-1109 1912-austin-40-r-1109 1912-austin-40-rr-1109 1912-austin-40-vitesse1908–13 Austin 40 hp1908-austin-phaeton-six-cylinder-60-hp 1909-austin-60-hp 1910-wolseley-60-horsepower-v8-aero-engine1908–10 Austin 60 hp 6-cylinder1911-austin-50-hp-pullman-limousine1910–13 Austin 50 hp 6-cylinder1912-wolseley-16-20hp-landaulette 1913-15-landaulet 1914-austin-20-hp-vitesse 1914-austin-20-hp-02-1 1912–18 Austin 20 hp1914-austin-30-hp-vitesse-tourer1914–16 Austin 30 hp1920-austin-20-tourer1919–38 Austin Twenty1929-austin-16-6-burnham1927–38 Austin 16 (16/18)1938-austin-18-6-norfolk1938–39 Austin 181939-austin-ranelagh-28-6cyl-limousine1938-39 Austin Twenty Eight1947-54-austin-a125-sheerline-ds1-front-3993cc-engine1947–54 A110/A125 Sheerline1947-austin-a120-princess-july-ad1946–56 A120 Princess1946-austin-a135-princess-mkii-ds3-front1946 Austin A135 Princess MkII DS3 front 1947–56 A135 Princess1958-princess-iv-3995cc-april-19581956–59 Princess IV

Sports cars

1923-austin-20-4-sports-tourer1923 Austin 20-4 Sports Tourer 1920–23 Austin Twenty Sports Tourer1950 Austin A90 Atlantic1950 Austin A90 Atlantic1949-austin-a90-atlantic-convertible-green1949 Austin A90 Atlantic convertible green 1948–50 A90 Atlantic Convertible1951-austin-a90-atlantic-sports-saloon1951 Austin A90 Atlantic Sports Saloon 1949–52 A90 Atlantic Saloon1951-austin-a40-sports-roadster1951 Austin A40 Sports Roadster 1950–53 A40 Sports1956-austin-healey-100-roadster1956 Austin-Healey 100 Roadster 1953–56 Austin-Healey 1001954-austin-healey-100

1954 Austin Healey 1001958-austin-healey-sprite-ad1958–70 Austin-Healey Spriteaustin-healey-30001959–67 Austin-Healey 30001960-austin-healey-sprite1960 Austin-Healey Frogeye Sprite1970-austin-healey-sprite-mark-iv-with-revised-grille-and-cat-alloy-wheels1971 Austin Sprite

Australian Austin carsaustin-lancer-series-11958–62 Austin Lanceraustin-freeway-sedan1962–66 Austin FreewayAustin Kimberley

austin-tasman-151007587511970–73 Austin Kimberley/Tasman

Military vehicles

1919-austin-21-austin-3rd-series-used-by-the-don%e2%80%85cossack-forces-1919WWI Austin Armoured Carniva-1916-4-austin-armored-carsWWII Austin Ten Utility Truckaustin-k21WWII Austin K2/Y Ambulanceaustin-k30-k2-k3-k4-18621WWII Austin K41965-austin-gipsy1958–67 Austin Gipsyaustin-champAustin Champaustin-ant

c. 1968 Austin Ant

1937-austin-12-4-taxi1937 low-loader

London Taxis1935-austin-12-4-london-taxicab-1479cc1929–34 Austin 12 Taxicab High Lot1933-austin-12-4-high-lot-taxi1934–39 Austin 12 Taxicab Low Loader1937-austin-12-4-taxi1938–39 Austin 12 Taxicab Flash Lot1957-austin-fx3-london-taxi1948–58 Austin FX31962-austin-fx4-london-taxi1958–97 Austin FX4London Taxi


Commercial vehicles

1954-austin-lwb-truckLWB truck 19541962-austin-a200ft-truckA200FT truck 19621964-austin-light-vanLight van c. 1964

  • Austin also made commercial vehicles, one of which was the FG, previously the Morris FG. The FG was the workhorse that kept Britain running in the 1960s. These Austin FGs and later the Leyland FGs all had petrol or diesel longstroke engines, producing good torque, but very little in the way of speed (40 mph was a good speed out of these vehicles). Leyland were to take over the FG, but before they did, in 1964, the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) commissioned six rolling chassis FGs to be coach built by a Middlesex company, Palmer Coachbuilders. These six vehicles, registration 660 GYE to 666 GYE, were outdoor broadcast scenery vehicles.


During World War I Austin built aircraft under licence, including the Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a, but also produced a number of its own designs. None of these progressed past the prototype stage. They included:

1917-the-a-f-b-1-pictured-outside-austins-longbridge-worksAustin-Ball A.F.B.1 (fighter)1918-austin-osprey-a-f-t-3-triplane-fighter-prototypeAustin A.F.T.3 (fighter)austin-greyhound-fighterAustin Greyhound (fighter)austin-kestrelAustin Kestrel (two-seat biplane)1918-austin-osprey-a-f-t-3-triplane-fighter-prototypeAustin Osprey (fighter)austin-whippet-replica-at-south-yorkshire-aircraft-museumAustin Whippet (post-war civil aircraft)

Ambulances and Hearses

1916-knockchis-wolseley-ambulance-of-the-madonnas-of-pervyse-belgium1916-knockchis-wolseley-ambulance-of-the-madonnas-of-pervyse-belgium1925-austin-20hp-hearse1925 Austin 20hp Hearse1926-austin-20-4-hearse-thomas-startin-a

1926-austin-20-4-hearse-thomas-startin1926-austin-20-4-hearse-thom11926-austin-20-4-hearse-thomas startin1930-black-vintage-austin-hearse1930-black-vintage-Austin-hearse1930-austin-20-6-landaulette-converted-from-hearse1930 Austin 20-6 Landaulette converted from hearse1934-austin-hearse1934-austin-hearse1937-austin-16-hearse-dottridge-brothers1937 Austin 16 Hearse Dottridge Brothers1938-austin-18-six-cylinder-ambulance1938 Austin 18 Six Cylinder Ambulance
1939-austin-eighteen-ambulance-1939-dvla-first-registered-6-january-19391939 Austin Eighteen Ambulance (DVLA first registered 6 January 1939)1939-austin-six-ambulance-dating-from-1938-1939-dvla-first-registered-6-january-19391939 Austin Six Ambulance (DVLA first registered 6 January 1939)1940-wolseley-hearse1940 Wolseley Hearse1939-45-ambulance-crews-of-the-first-aid-nursing-yeomanry-fanys1939-45 Austin Ambulance crews of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANYs)1940-austin-k2-ambulance1940 Austin K2 Ambulance1942-the-british-army-in-north-africa-1942-e133271942 The British Army in North Africa with Austin K2 Ambulance in 1942 E13327 1943-austin1943 Austin K2 Ambulance1947-54-austin-sheerline-a125

1947-54 Austin Sheerline A1251948-austin-k2y-hz77982-visser1948 Austin K2Y HZ77982 Carrosserie Visser NL1948-austin-princess-engine-3955-cc-s6-ohv-5851948 Austin Princess Engine 3955 cc S6 OHV 5851948-austin-ziekenauto-kp-84-13 1948-austin-ziekenauto1948 Austin Ziekenauto KP 84 131950-austin-a135-princess-hearse-mkii-ds31950 Austin A135 Princess Hearse MkII [DS3]1949-austin-k2y1949 Austin K2Y Ambulance1950-austin-princess-sheerline-gb1950 Austin Princess Sheerline GB1955-ambulance-austin-a152-ambulance-brochure1955 Ambulance Austin A152 Ambulance brochure1957-ambulance-austin-princess1957 Ambulance Austin Princess1959-austin-fx3-hearse1959 Austin FX3 Hearse1960-princess-4-litre-hearse-alpe-saunders1960 Princess 4-Litre Hearse Alpe & Saunders1960-vanden-plas-princess-4litre-hearse1960 Vanden Plas Princess 4litre Hearse1960s-austin-a60-hearse

1960’s Austin A60 Hearse1964-morris-ld-ambulance1964-morris-ld-ambulance1964-vanden-plas-princess-lijkwagen1964 Vanden Plas Princess lijkwagen1965-morris-minor-hearse1965 Morris Minor Hearse1966-austin-a110-westminster-low-line-hearse1966 AUSTIN A110 WESTMINSTER LOW LINE HEARSE 1957-austin-fx3-london-taxi

1959-austin-taxi-model-fx4d1959 Austin Taxi Model FX4D1965-beardmore-london-taxi1965 Beardmore ‘London’ Taxi1964-austin-princess1964 Austin Princess1965-morris-minor-hearse1965 Morris Minor Hearse1966-vauxhall-vanden-plas-princess-4-litre-r-hearse1966 Vauxhall Vanden Plas Princess 4 Litre R Hearse

There are lots more Ambulances, Hearses, Limousines and so on. I’ll show them in my next blog. There will only be pictures I found on the www.


  1. Jump up^ “Mr H Austin, who has for so many years been associated with the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Company, Limited, and who is starting new works, where he will manufacture Austin Cars, at Longbridge, near Birmingham” Mr H Austin, who has been for so long associated with the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Co. of Adderley Park, Birmingham, advises us that he is leaving the Company, and is starting works on his own account situated at Longbridge, near Birmingham, where he will manufacture vehicles which are to be known as the ‘’Austin’’ Cars. At first Mr Austin will turn out two sizes of tourist cars viz., a 15-20 hp and a 25-30 hp. both of which models will embody the best approved principles in design, and Mr Austin proposes to use only the highest grade of materials in their manufacture. Moderation is to govern the selling price, and Mr Austin hopes to make the car of his name a household word for reliability and good service. Captan Frank Kayser is associated with Mr Austin in the new undertaking and he will be assisted by a specially-selected staff, several of whom have been connected with him in the past. The works are of considerable extent, covering several acres, and are thoroughly suitable for the construction of automobiles of all types. Mr Austin hopes to have his first 25-30 hp car on the road by the 1st of December and to commence deliveries by the end of March 1906. Mr Austin sends us, in a tabulated form, an extremely interesting record gained by the cars which have been turned out by the Wolseley Company during his direction of that Company. This list bristles with gold and silver medals in all the leading reliability and consumption trials, exhibitions etc whilst in the speed events and hill-climbing contests, the number of winners makes a formidable show, these triumphs being in addition to the selection by the A.C.G.B.I. of the Wolseley racers in 1904 and 1905 for the Gordon Bennett Race.‘’The Automotor Journal, November 4, 1905 Page 1366’’


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Roy Church, ‘Austin, Herbert, Baron Austin (1866–1941)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f RAC Rating
  3. Jump up^ Automobile Notes. The Times, Tuesday, 1 May 1906; p. 6; Issue 38008
  4. Jump up^ A Bird and F Hutton-Stott, Lanchester Motor Cars, a History, Cassell London, 1965 p.110
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c The Austin Motor Company (1914) Limited. The Times, Monday, 9 February 1914; p. 13; Issue 40442.
  6. Jump up^ “Austin Motor Company”. The Times. 27 May 1911. p. 21.
  7. Jump up^ “Austin Motor Company”. The Times. 2 October 1912. p. 7.
  8. ^ Jump up to:a b c Sheepish start for the lion of Longbridge. Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.The Times, Saturday, 26 August 1995; pg. 3[S1]; Issue 65356.
  9. Jump up^ “Midget Cars Next?” Popular Mechanics, August 1930 right column, second paragraph
  10. Jump up^ Cusumano, pp. 90–92
  11. Jump up^ Dolan, Andy (13 April 2010). “Austin Allegro fan spends £8,500 restoring £800 ‘flying pig'”. Daily Mail. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  12. Jump up^ “Austin Motor Company Limited”.Company Check. Retrieved30 November 2015.
  13. Jump up^ “£4.99… and I’m the new boss of Austin Motors!”. Birmingham Mail. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 1 March2015.
  14. Jump up^ “News : The final Mini leaves Longbridge”. AR Online. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 2 January2013.

Further reading

  • Sharratt, Barney (2000), Men and Motors of “The Austin”: The Intriguing Inside Story, Haynes Group, ISBN 1-85960-671-7
  • Cusumano, Michael A. (1985), The Japanese Automobile Industry, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-47255-1

External links

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)
homepage German:

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 Normandie