Museum Classics: The DAF Museum’s Tatra Experience – Part One, The Cars

Tatra T603 - front

DAF and Tatra are partners in the trucking business and to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Czech manufacturer, a compelling collection of their classic cars and trucks is temporarily on display in the DAF Museum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

April 2 is the last day of the exhibition, then all vehicles and other items will return to their homeland, the Czech Republic.

DAF Museum - three classic Tatra cars

The starting point, a transparent garage in the center of a much bigger garage.

1933 Tatra T57 Hadimrška - 1

1933 Tatra T57 Hadimrška - 2

1933 Tatra T57 Hadimrška - 3

1933 Tatra 57 “Hadimrška”. The type 57 was a series of two-door compact cars, built from 1932 to 1949. There was also a military version.

1928 Tatra T30 - 1

1928 Tatra T30 - 2

1928 Tatra 30. With a front engine, just like the type 57 further above.

1984 Tatra 613 Landaulet - 1

1984 Tatra 613 Landaulet - 2

1984 Tatra 613 Landaulet - 3

1984 Tatra 613 Landaulet - 4

1984 Tatra 613 Landaulet. Saying it’s rare is an understatement, as only five of these were built. The one in the DAF Museum had never left the Czech Republic before.

Just like the 613 sedan, it has an air cooled, 3.5 liter V8 in the rear and good performance to boot.

Now about that miniature model of an ambulance, sitting next to the Landaulet, here’s the real thing.

Tatra scale models

Some other downsized classic Tatras.

Tatra T603 - 1

Tatra T603 - 2

Tatra T603 - 3

Tatra T603 - 4

Tatra T603 - 5

Tatra 603, more specifically a 603-1, given its three headlamps. The center lamp rotates when cornering, the outsiders are fixed. The 603-series was introduced in 1956.

1933 T77 engine-transmission prototype - 1

1933 T77 engine-transmission prototype - 2

1933 T77 engine-transmission prototype - 3

1933 T77 engine-transmission prototype - 4

Nothing to add here, a wonderful piece of technology. The type 77 was the first of the legendary Tatra streamliners.

1948 Tatra T87 - 1

1948 Tatra T87 - 2

1948 Tatra T87 - 3

1948 Tatra T87 - 4

1948 type 87, Tatra’s magnum opus. Its production run started in 1936 and ended in 1950.

Tatra 700 - 1

Tatra 700 - 2

Tatra 700 - 3

Tatra 700 - 4

Tatra 700 - 5

Tatra’s last stand in the passenger car market was the 700, which was merely a restyled 613. Only a small number was built in the second half of the nineties and Tatra rolled into the new millennium as a dedicated truck maker, specialized in sublime off-roaders for civil and military use.

Tatra brochures and ads

The Wall of Fame, yet only a small part of it.

The Tatra brand and its history are fascinating. Maybe even mythical. A brief photoreport won’t do it justice, there are simply way too many hallmarks that stand out. Therefore, Paul Niedermeyer’s in-depth Automotive History article is a must-read.

Part two will follow soon, trucks only. Plenty of ground clearance and these were diplayed without the red Do-Not-Enter VIP cords around them, so I could also take a good deal of pictures of their distinctive underpinnings.

Related reading:

Automotive History: Hans Ledwinka’s Revolutionary Tatras  by PN

Curbside Classic: Tatra 603 – This Could Have Been The First New Post War Cadillac, Olds, Studebaker, Or? by PN

CC Video: ‘Happy Journey’ In a Tatra 603 by PN

Museum Classics / Twofer: 1949 And 1952 Tatra T600 Tatraplan – Two Halves Almost Make a Whole by T87

CC Capsule: 1949 Tatra 600 Tatraplan – The Four-Cylinder Tatra by PN

Curbside Classic: Tatra T-613 – Elvis Drank Slivovice Instead Of RC Cola With His Clam Chowder And Moon-Pie by JS