1968 Tatra T2-603 (LHD)


  • Extensively restored before and during current ownership
  • Rear air/oil-cooled V8 engine
  • Streamlined body and unique style
  • In continuous use by Tatra Register UK founders for over two decades
  • Won 'Best in Show' at the Hook Norton car show 12/02/2023

The Appeal

Here at Car & Classic we love the unusual and the esoteric. And while some cars stand out for their styling, or their history, or their mechanical strangeness, this Tatra certainly ticks all three of these boxes.

Tatra and its predecessor Ringhoffer produced cars in what became Czechoslovakia from 1897 to 1999. The T603 was supplied for official service in the communist bloc from 1956-’75, a contemporary of Citroën’s DS/ID. Total production was 20,422, with few if any sold to private owners, and British sightings will have been restricted to Czech embassy cars based in London.

Presented in good condition throughout and having spent much of its life in a dehumidified garage, this Tatra has been used by its current owners for domestic and continental touring, as well as regular outings at home, and turns heads everywhere it goes.

1962 Tatra 603 4.JPG 8.29 MB

The History and Paperwork

  • First UK- registered in in February 2002
  • Road Tax and MOT exempt 
  • MOT valid until June 2023
  • The subject of numerous magazine articles 
  • Original Czech registration document
  • Paper tax discs from 2002-’15, and certificates to present day
  • Restored for the previous owner by Rudi Kanduš in Telč.
  • Brand-new engine in 2003
  • £16,000 spent on further restoration work by Steve Miller in Four Marks, Hampshire, in 2015
  • Illustrated parts manual comes with the car, with English text.

The Interior

  • Grey Bedford Cord cloth upholstery in excellent condition 
  • Spacious, comfortable seating for six
  • Period ‘Tesla’ radio (wired in, but currently with no antenna)

The 603 is a generously proportioned limousine, five meters long with seating for six in comfort and plenty of legroom. The vendors report that it has proved to be a very comfortable ‘holiday car’. 

Re-trimmed in grey Bedford cloth, the upholstery remains very well presented throughout.  The front bench seat incorporates adjustable backrests.  A column gear change leaves plenty of room in the front passenger compartment, and the fold-down central armrest in the rear would have provided comfort for the important rear passengers when it was in official service.  The headlining is clean and secure.

Luggage space is quite adequate in the front boot, in which special tools have been left for changing and adjusting the engine’s two fanbelts and adjusting front ride height, along with the jack and a few spare parts.  The independent petrol-burning heater under the front bench is not currently functioning, and needs its pump repaired or replaced.

The Exterior 

  • Striking streamlined styling
  • Wrap-around split rear windscreen 
  • Generally well preserved Jaguar Westminster Blue paintwork 

The vendors tell us that this Tatra was subject to extensive restoration of its bodywork in 2015, for which there is a photographic record on file. This included replacing the door bottoms, part of the floor, inner and outer sills, front wing bottoms, valances and spare wheel carrier.

Dark blue was not an option when the car was built – it would have been Embassy Black - but we think it suits the car well. The paint is generally good, but there are a few imperfections such as minor paint cracks below the right-hand A-pillar and on the right-hand rear door skin, and there is some surface imperfection on the rear wings and roof due to sun exposure.

The vendor tells us that the chrome plating was all redone in the UK 25 years ago.  Costing over £2,000, it would be very much more expensive today. The exterior trim still looks great, including the distinctive four headlamp arrangement, chrome side pieces and sought-after ‘anchor’ bonnet motif. The laminated front windscreen has a crack at its edge on the passenger side, which is not in the driver’s line of sight, and the vendor informs us that it has passed a MOT with this issue. 

The car runs on steel wheels painted in matching Westminster Blue with chrome hubcaps, and three spare wheels in matching paint are included, one of which has a tyre fitted. The vendor informs us that the still-legal tyres currently on the car would benefit from being replaced due to their age. 

The Mechanics 

  • 2,472cc air/oil-cooled 100bhp rear-mounted hemi-head OHV V8 engine 
  • 4-speed all-synchromesh manual transmission
  • A number of practical upgrades have been fitted 

The engine was reportedly replaced with a brand-new one, built with NOS parts by the late Jiři Ruml in Kopřivnice, whose specialist 603 expertise was highly regarded, internationally.

Other improvements include:

  • Recent bespoke aluminium oil coolers, addressing a common 603 malady, cost c.£1,000
  • New steering damper
  • New steering rack, including the vital rubber mountings
  • Small-bore Aeroquip front flexi brake pipes
  • Fuel pipes replaced with ethanol-resistant Gates’s Multifuel hose
  • Front anti-roll bar
  • Suspension upgraded with bespoke Leda front MacPherson coilover struts with adjustable ride height and 24-way damping, and 24-way adjustable Leda rear dampers
  • Late 603-spec capacitive discharge ignition
  • BMW E30 clutch friction plate with radial springing
  • Master cylinders replaced
  • Electric fuel pump for priming and redundancy
  • Front disc brakes retro-fitted
  • New 9” brake servo
  • New rear lamp lenses and front fog lamps
  • UK-aligned headlamps (Citroën 2CV)
  • While the mechanical fuel pump works perfectly, a concealed rocker under the dash operates a Hardi electric pump for priming from the driver’s seat.  


This unorthodox Tatra 603 is unarguably the UK’s best-known example, having appeared in several magazines, been exhibited twice at the NEC, and appeared in Channel 4’s modern production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.  It attracts interest wherever it goes, and has received extensive work and expenditure with its current and previous owners, for which documented and photographic evidence exists, and is ready to entertain its next owner.

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1968
  • Make Tatra
  • Model T2-603
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 47,407 Kilometres
  • Engine size 2472
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Banbury
  • Location Oxfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
46 bids
  • jo•••• £36,000 21/03/23
  • jo•••• £35,750 21/03/23
  • ch•••• £35,500 21/03/23
  • jo•••• £35,250 21/03/23
  • ch•••• £35,000 21/03/23
  • ja•••• £34,999 21/03/23
  • ja•••• £34,750 21/03/23
  • ch•••• £34,500 21/03/23
  • ja•••• £34,250 21/03/23
  • ch•••• £34,000 21/03/23

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