Jump to content


Photo

Tatra Grand Prix car


  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 Philip Whiteman

Philip Whiteman
  • Member

  • 143 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 26 November 2004 - 16:49

In pursuit of a colleague's article on our cranky old fleet of air-cooled aero engines (so terribly old-tech), I looked out my book on the subject by one Julius Mackerle, former chief designer at the Tatra works, Koprivnice.

On p.31 - 32 of the book Air-cooled Motor Engines the author refers to Tatra's 'racing car', showing a picture of a Cooper-like, rear-engined single seater with parallel wishbone suspension and – by the look of it – heavily vented drum brakes. From the text, one might infer that the engine fitted was a 2.5 litre racing version of the T 603 car engine, claimed to produce 200 hp at 7,500 rpm. 'With increasing rev/min this performance will increase even further,' said Mackerle, writing – I would guess – in 1960/61 (the English edition was published in 1961).

So, in the late 1950s Tatra had an F1 eligible car of up-to-date configuration, if not a competitive power output and running with outdated brakes. Of course, the formula changed for '61 – and, a couple of years later Porsche was claiming 200-odd hp from 1.5 litres – but Tatra's engine was nevertheless impressive for its time. Did the thing ever race?

Advertisement

#2 Felix

Felix
  • Member

  • 706 posts
  • Joined: December 03

Posted 26 November 2004 - 17:03

There is a TATRA single-seater, which I believe used a modified version of the company's 2,5 aircooled V8 and has massive drum brakes all round, on display in the Schlumpf Museum in Mulhouse. I have a pic if anybody would like to contact me to post it.

#3 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 26 November 2004 - 17:20

The 'F1' Tatra raced many times in Eastern Europe - I'm sure it's all been discussed here before. Try 'Search BB'

Also, ISTR it was a little over 2500cc, so was not to F1 spec. And the first genuine 2.5 F1 cars would have been a good 50bhp more powerful than the Tatra.

#4 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 23,840 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 26 November 2004 - 22:10

The Tatra T607 was built in 1950 and raced in the Czech GP of that year. At that time it was fitted with a 1985cc engine, so it was technically an F2 car then. I have a Czech book which claims it was later increased to 2350cc: other sources say 2545cc. :confused:

#5 uechtel

uechtel
  • Member

  • 1,509 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 26 November 2004 - 23:17

I have controversial sources about the engine capacity, too. Dünnebier / Kittler ("Personenkraftwagen sozialistischer Länder") tell, that Tatra´s engine production line of 1956 to 1963 was a V8 of 2472 cc engine capacity. According to them the 2545 engine came in use in 1963, but Roger Gloor ("Nachkriegswagen") says it were 2545 cc all the time.

What is fact is, that the car was indeed a child already of the early fifties, as here is a picture of it racing at the Sachsenring in 1953

Posted Image
(all pictures from "Illustrierter Motorsport")

and I think it had come to life already much earlier. So I think the car was never built accordingly to the current Formula 1 (which was 1500/4500 cc at that time), but simply made with what was available.

Here are two further pictures of the car, taken at Brno 1954

Posted Image
Posted Image

As you may see on the second one there were at least two such cars at that time.


Also I think some of the engine confusion comes from another car, which had appeared previously with a 2 litre four-cylinder engine, so the 2545cc V8 was of course a completely different thing and not a development from this. Here a picture of the car from Leipzig 1952

Posted Image

With this engine it would have fit under the current Grand Pric Formula (which was Formula 2 of course), but the car did not perform anywhere near the BMW-engined East German specials, so perhaps this was the reason why it was put away.

#6 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 23,840 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 26 November 2004 - 23:28

This is the car in the 1950 Czech GP: it was a bit wet that day .....

Posted Image

#7 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 23,840 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 26 November 2004 - 23:39

And just to add to the confusion, Hodges says the V8 was "apparently used in three capacities - 2490cc, 2545cc and 2472cc".

Looking at my Czech source, I'm pretty sure it says the 1985cc engine was a 90 degree V. Cylinders were 72 x 61mm. The 2350cc was square: 72 x 72mm.

#8 uechtel

uechtel
  • Member

  • 1,509 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 27 November 2004 - 08:02

Gathering more info: Roesenhammer / Grassmann (Motorsport Almanach 1953 / GDR) have the following about Tatra:

"...since 1951 the work is taking part in automobile racing with race and sports cars...the two litre eight cylinder sportscar streamliner has rear-wheel drive just like the 2.5 litre, which first appeared in 1952. With the new 2.5 litre monoposto Pavelka won the 1952 Czechoslovakian Grand Prix. With the 2.5 litre eight cylinder Tatra is supposed to have created the first Formula 1 race car according to the new 1954 formula".

The question is how much they cared about detail.

In the 1954 edition of the yearbook the car appears again, this time referred to only as "2.5 litre monoposto", no mention of it being a Formula 1 any more (wouldn´t they have if it had been one?), and it is stated, that the car won the 1954 free formula Czechoslovakian Grand Prix against the EMW sports cars. Is this perhaps an indication, as it would have certainly been much more prestiguous for them to have a "proper" Formula 1 race (in which the presence of 1.5 litre sports cars would not have mattered anyway)?

#9 Philip Whiteman

Philip Whiteman
  • Member

  • 143 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 27 November 2004 - 13:26

Thank you all for such a typically thorough and interesting TNF response!

One or two points: uechtel's posting (and a couple that follow) shows the same car as my book (quite a compact, modern looking machine for its day, wasn't it!)

Czech designer Mackerle (that name looks almost Scottish) says in the book that the T 603 - based 200 hp racing engine had a bore and stroke of 72 x 75 mm, giving a capacity of 2.545 litres. It weighed 330 lb, differed from the 85 hp road vehicle engine by virtue having of twin carbs, a special camshaft and stronger valve springs. Compression ratio was raised from 6:1 to 11:1, the racing engine being run on 'special fuel'.

I wouldn't disagree with David McKinney, but the Tatra engine was not far down in output from the earlier Coventry Climax FPFs, which weighed 290 lb – and the car looks quite Cooper-like (anybody have an idea what kind or rear suspension was used?). People tend to forget that the installed weight of a liquid-cooled engine, with all that water/glycol and the radiator and pipes etc, is much higher than the stated dry weight. The Maserati 250F's wonderful six weighed 430 lb or so dry and was genuinely producing – what – 230/240 hp in 1954.

#10 anjakub

anjakub
  • Member

  • 606 posts
  • Joined: October 01

Posted 27 November 2004 - 15:44

Frienship of nations - Brno 1954

In the Tatra car Jaroslav Pavelka (Czechoslovakia), on car Arthur Rosenhammer (German Democratic Republic).

Posted Image

Source: Fotosluzba CTK

#11 uechtel

uechtel
  • Member

  • 1,509 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 28 November 2004 - 13:13

Originally posted by Philip Whiteman

I wouldn't disagree with David McKinney, but the Tatra engine was not far down in output from the earlier Coventry Climax FPFs, which weighed 290 lb – and the car looks quite Cooper-like (anybody have an idea what kind or rear suspension was used?).


Better to say the Cooper looked quite Tatra-like I would suppose ;)

Tatra followed the rear engine philosophy already since the thirties and I think the racing cars were more or less adapted versions of the "civil" chassis and suspension. If so then we have a box frame and swing axles at the front and at the rear.

#12 IMV

IMV
  • Member

  • 109 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 06 December 2004 - 23:34

From Czech sources:

- raced were four cars, built were also some spare chassis
- the first two cars, which started in 1950 in Brno during Czechoslovakian GP, had two different engines - 1985ccm (bore 72x61mm) and 2350ccm (72x72mm) with output around 100HP
- in 1953 was engine enlarged to 2545ccm (bore 75x72mm) with output around 150HP by 6000rpm
- in 1955 in final version had engine (2545ccm) up to 200HP by 7500rpm
- other engine versions were also 2472ccm (bore 75x70mm), later adapted to serial T603 cars, and 1995ccm (bore64x70mm)
- T607 Monopost cars raced in those configurations until 1958. Later were some of them reworked to Formula Junior cars - one by factory with Tatra 1098ccm (bore 70,7x70mm)(half of T603 engine), by private drivers one car with Wartburg engine and one spare chassis with Skoda Octavia engine
- nowadays is one car in Tatra factory museum - this car was in 2002 exhibited in Schlumpf museum on exhibition of Czech cars (during the same time Schlumpf museum loaned some of their Bugattis to National Technical Museum in Prague), the rest of cars are on behalf of private owners in Czech republic

Bruno Sojka before first start with Tatra Monopost in Brno 1950
Posted Image

Brno 1954 - Jaroslav Pavelka between Barth and Rosenhammer (source:magazine MOTOR)
Posted Image

Tatra´s on the start of Ecce Homo race in 1957
Posted Image

More pictures will follow tomorrow.

Michal

#13 sat

sat
  • Member

  • 337 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 07 December 2004 - 00:06

Posted Image

Ecce Homo 1950

Posted Image

#14 GIGLEUX

GIGLEUX
  • Member

  • 1,519 posts
  • Joined: April 03

Posted 07 December 2004 - 01:06

http://www.eccehomo....fotoarchiv.html

Have also a look here.

#15 IMV

IMV
  • Member

  • 109 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 12 December 2004 - 21:26

Posted Image
Source : magazine MOTOR

Posted Image
...as seen in 2002 in Mulhouse. Source: magazine AUTOMOBIL

Posted Image
Source: magazine MLADÝ TECHNIK

Michal

#16 uechtel

uechtel
  • Member

  • 1,509 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 12 December 2004 - 22:34

What lovely pictures!!!

Originally posted by IMV
Bruno Sojka before first start with Tatra Monopost in Brno 1950
Posted Image

Brno 1954 - Jaroslav Pavelka between Barth and Rosenhammer (source:magazine MOTOR)
Posted Image


Can anybody tell me something about the BMWs in the background of these two pictures?

#17 st59cz

st59cz
  • Member

  • 65 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 13 December 2004 - 08:03

Can anybody tell me something about the BMWs in the background of these two pictures?




I have no full results, but in 1954 was still 5 BMW's in entry list.

#18 uechtel

uechtel
  • Member

  • 1,509 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 13 December 2004 - 18:43

Yes indeed, also the car behind Rosenhammer with its airbox looks very BMWish to me. Is this perhaps Kohout´s special?

#19 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 23,840 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 13 December 2004 - 19:04

Originally posted by uechtel
Yes indeed, also the car behind Rosenhammer with its airbox looks very BMWish to me. Is this perhaps Kohout´s special?

Yes.;) But not perhaps - definitely. Matches the picture on page 42 of Repa's book.

Advertisement

#20 sat

sat
  • Member

  • 337 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 13 December 2004 - 23:47

Here entry list in racing category 1954:



2 Tatra T607-2 Monopost Jaroslav Pavelka CS
3 Tatra T607 Monopost Adolf Veømiøovský CS
4 EMW Edgar Barth DDR
5 EMW Arthur Rosenhammer DDR
6 Škoda Mono Karel Cejnar CS
24 KSP Standa Kohout CS
25 Speciál(MG) Jiøí Pohl CS
26 BMW Zdenìk Sojka CS
27 BMW Jan Filipoviè CS
28 Speciál(Bugatti?) Jan Kubíèek CS
30 BMW Ludvík Mikoláš CS
37 BMW Oleg Ruboš CS
46 Hakar Alois Rieger CS

#21 uechtel

uechtel
  • Member

  • 1,509 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 14 December 2004 - 23:22

At last a contemporary picture of it when in action. Wonderful.

#22 GIGLEUX

GIGLEUX
  • Member

  • 1,519 posts
  • Joined: April 03

Posted 15 December 2004 - 01:13

Another link
http://www.team.net/...tory_auto4.html

#23 IMV

IMV
  • Member

  • 109 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 17 December 2004 - 06:24

Originally posted by uechtel
Can anybody tell me something about the BMWs in the background of these two pictures?


Here they are:
Posted Image

Michal

#24 uechtel

uechtel
  • Member

  • 1,509 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 18 December 2004 - 09:49

:love: