I saw Tatra today.

A 1966 Tatra, to be exact. Parked on a street in Portland. It’s a pretty strange looking car, but pretty futuristic for something made in communist Czechoslovakia.


Cult car, in certain circles. I’m pretty sure the Czechs had a respectable motor industry before they had communism and it survived for a while

Compared to a Skoda, it’s positively lovely.

Wow, neat. I don’t think I saw a whole lot of 60’s Tatras in the Czech Republic while I lived there, certainly none in that good a condition. Škodas aren’t too terrible nowadays, the newer ones are comparable to Volkswagens (very comparable, I think VW owns Škoda now). For real communist era awfulness, look no farther than the Trabant. Plastic body, two stroke engine, and the source of endless jokes. :slight_smile:

We used to call Skodas “Scrotas”. Yeah, it was immature. I worked in eastern Europe for many years and saw all of the disposable cars over there, including the Trabant, the Llada and the Niva. The smell of two-stroke engines in Warsaw was overpowering at times.

I figured you for an aficionado. :smiley:

I often see a 1960s Unimog in the commuter lot next to the bus stop I use after work.

Didn’t Porsche get a lot of his ideas from Tatra or was that vice versa? Air cooled rear engine and all that?

Ladas were sold in Canada for a time, but the the Koreans entered the Canadian marked and cleaned their clocks. The Lada Niva still has some fans in Canada though, mostly because it was (apparently) simple and tough.

It’s possible. From the back it reminded me strongly of the old 1965 Plymouth Barracuda.

No Unimog today but there was a vintage Mini Cooper, orange, complete with black-on-white UK “G” tags.

I think there was even a court case and a settlement, like in the 1990s.

Unimog : My favourite Mercedes!

I think you mean the Riva. The Niva was the SUV version and a pretty good car at that. My parents had a Skoda as a second car in the 80s and it was horrible, but modern Skodas are known as high quality cars.

No, I meant the Niva. I don’t believe I’ve seen a Riva, or perhaps it didn’t register on my brain. Speaking of disposable cars, I used to own a Fiat Panda, and was shocked to find out there was a 4WD version. They look like they would flip over in a strong breeze. Fiat’s crappier Spanish version, the Seat (pronounced ‘say-aht’) is another tinfoil car. In French west Africa, all you see are old Peugots, which are pretty ugly, but real workhorses. Especially the old 504 wagon, which is nearly unstoppable.

The prewar Tatras were very interesting cars-aerodynamic, and looked like the Batmobile.
they also had unusual drivetrains-rear engine, all-aluminum, aircooled V-8-very advanced for 1936.
Alas, they were pretty scarey handling cars, because of the rear drive/rea engine setup. One benefit-you din’t need power steering!
I heard tha Nazi officers were forbidden to drive them-spirited driving could result in a fatal crash!