The automobile factory at Pribor

In about 1969/70 the Vignale-styled T613 entered production. Capable of 200 km/h, the luxury automobile, initially with a 2980 mm wheelbase, was powered by a new 166 bhp 3.5 V8 which was again rear-mounted (above the axle to be precise, and a bit more forward than in previous practice). These sizeable automobiles, much like the T603s, have usually been owned by dignitaries and state officials.

A prototype T613 coupe, it did not enter production

The T613 was replaced by the T613S, detuned to 190 km/h and with the wheelbase lengthened to 3130 mm, in 1976. In 1986 the T613-3 version was introduced and produced until the early-1990s when the T613-4, modernized with a fuel-injected motor (consuming more space than the carburetted version) with a catalytic-converter and other upgrades, entered production.

T613-4 (T.a.)

In 1992 Tatra became a company of the Czech Republic due to the split up of Czechoslovakia. It is not apparent, however, when the company was privatized but this may have happend around that time.

A prototype of a supercar called the MTX-01 was displayed by Tatra in 1993. No production plans have been confirmed for this 250 km/h 2-seater powered by a mid-mounted 220 bhp V8. The Czech MTX (short for Metalex) was famous for its "racing-spec" Lada conversions so it was obvious that they were asked to complete the car.

MTX-01 (T.a.)

The T613-4 was available in 2 versions, the base one with a 3130 mm wheelbase and length of a bit over 5 metres and the limousine (called Long) with a 5.5-metre length, both powered by the 3.5-litre 4-valves/cylinder DOHC V8 in either fuel-injected 200 bhp (with 300 Nm torque) or carburated 170 bhp form. In addition, possibly for special order, a very stately 4-door convertible (landaulet) T613 was also a possibility.

The build quality of the T613 was very good and it commended quite a high price (starting at 60,000DM and going up to 90,000DM, about $38,000 and $56,000 respectively, for the well-appointed Long version in Germany in 1994). With fuel-injection a claimed 230 km/h top speed is possible and acceleration from rest to 100 km/h is under 11 seconds. And Tatra seems to have truly mastered the rear engine layout as it is hardly noticeable when driving that the engine really is way back there.

inside a T613 (T.a.) T613 'Prezident' (T.a.)

The T613s have always been hand-built by skilled workers at the plant located in the town of Pribor, where all automobiles are made since the late-1950s. Production of this sole Tatra automobile was becoming very limited with figures of about 150 cars in 1994 and an even less 100 or so in 1995. For 1996 the average per month is about 9 sales.

T613s being made (P.N.)

The T613 was also available in various other versions, including an ambulance and runway surface friction tester. In ambulance form the T613 was only available with the carburetted motor, since the fuel-injected version was too tall to fit, requiring exemption from emission standards. The Friction Tester (TFT-613-4A) was a T613 fitted by Bazala Autoengineering Sro of the Czech Republic and had reportedly been used by several airports around the world (such as Stuttgart and Orlando, Florida) and by NASA. In addition, a special version of the T613 was sometimes seen used as a Safety Car (with fire-fighting capability) on one or more Formula One tracks (Hungaroring comes to mind).

In the spring of 1996 a new Tatra model, the T700, was introduced. It looks like a heavily modernised T613 with a completely changed front end, I think they did a nice job, and is powered by the same 3.5-litre fuel-injected V8. Like the T613, it is very luxurious and has several options such as Recaro seats, a VCR, a TV, a telephone, and leather uphoulstery. The interior has been drastically remodelled and better insulated from engine noise. Some mechanical improvements have also been made. (See Auto Option for some more info. about the T700. Take a look at the front (200K file) and back (300K file) of the 1996 brochure of the Tatra 700.

Production of the T700 numbered 69 in 1996.

from the T700 brochure

It appears that for 1997 there is a special 2-door coupe version (with a wheelbase of 2980mm) of the T700. It's engine is based on the classic T613 air-cooled V8, but of 4.5-litre capacity, with an output of 302 kW @ 8000 rpm and 490 Nm @ 6800 revs. Maximum speed is 316 kph, acceleration to 100 takes 5 s and 18 s to reach 200 kph. Tyres were 245/50 R 15 at front, 300/50 R15 at rear. This coupe was apparently made to order and cost roughly 3,000,000 CZK (just a little over USD 100,000).


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