Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Tatra 603 B6

The first thing people notice about the mighty Tatra 603 B6 is its colossal, ludicrous exhausts.
...except that they're not exhausts, but a cunning double-diffuser cooling system for the engine. Being fitted with a rear-mounted, air-cooled V8 makes the 603 a kind of Soviet Corvair, and the vast trumpets protruding from the rear replace the standard road car's fans, creating a vacuum that efficiently sucks heat from the motor, giving it an extra 20bhp or so. So actually it kind of is a massive exhaust system as well, given that the spent gases are sucked out along with the heat, but that's not the full story.
The blueprints for this oddball system were discovered relatively recently; this 603's double-diffuser was made workable in 2010, but that was the first time in over forty years that the system had been used. Combine this with the vast Tatra's stripped interior, fairground dodgem face, split rear window and boso-esque front-mounted oil cooler, and you end up with a very peculiar racing car indeed. Not one of the quickest machines at the Goodwood Revival, but certainly one of the coolest.

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