Despite the fact that officially, Communists dislike anything nice, because such are inevitably the result of someone’s oppression, or whatever their discredited political system claimed, Party officials like driving to places in class and comfort. In post-war Czechoslovakia, this meant relying on truck manufacturer Tatra to produce sedans to ferry important personages in style. In all honesty, Tatra had plenty of experience building luxury cars, but that mostly dated from before the War. Thus was the 1957 Tatra 603 born. Streamlined and smooth, this surprisingly fast car was a triumph of Communist engineering, which means it wasn’t a complete catastrophy.
The Tatra 603 was powered by a 2.5-liter V8, mounted in the rear, that due to its terrible compression ratio, only produced 100 horsepower. It was enough to push the big car to a top speed of 100 miles per hour; acceleration figures were not provided, but the compression ratio of 6.5:1 meant that it was probably abysmal.
Nevertheless, the 603 relied on exceedingly good aerodynamics and an inventive suspension, not to mention advanced duel-circuit drum brakes, to give whoever was fortunate enough to drive one a little bit of a thrill. The 1957 Tatra 603 remained in production until 1975, when it was replaced by the 613.