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Interesting non-classic

West Peterson

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Sorry I don't know what it is, but in looking at it a few details struck me as 'different'.

The door handle seems unusually low on the door, the landau iron hinge looks like its in the lower side of the bar, usually they are on the upper side to 'hinge' forward, not back, and the trunk seems to be a large body contoured piece that starts at the immediate rear of the canvas roof.

I am curious as to what it is.

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Guest ChrisSummers


When Pebble Beach honored Tatras a few years ago, a car almost exactly like that one, except green, was on the field, and won its class, I believe.

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What a wonderful car. By the length of the hood it looks like this car might be a T-70 six cylinder rather than the T-80 twelve cylinder car. Maybe, West, you have some background on this particular car that indicates the twelve cylinder configuration?

If you fellows had the time to read all the neat things published in The Bulletin you would know that the Tatra is a Full Classic®. In February 2008 the Classification Committee proposed for Full Classic status Tatra models T-80, T-70, T-70A, T77, T77a and T87. After some further research instigated by Chairman Bob Joynt, it was determined that the T87, in order to comply with the Pre-war antecedent for a post-war car would be limited to those with the early type styling. This proposal was published in the April Bulletin (I think) and final approval was granted at the June meeting. This was then noted in the August Bulletin.

The T-80 was priced more than a Rolls-Royce Phantom II, which explains why only 26 cars were built between 1932 and 1935. The T-70 & T70A used a slightly shorter chassis with a 6-cylinder engine and similar custom coachwork. 58 of these were built in 1934 & 1935.

The T77 and T77a were really wild aerodynamic types built between 1934 and 1936. Production for these was only 255. They were the first Tatra models to use a rear mounted air cooled V-8 engine, hydraulic brakes and four-wheel independent suspension. There are a couple of these in this country and one in Canada, I think just nearing completion of a total restoration.

In 1936 Tatra introduced the T87, an improved version of the earlier rear engine design. Its styling remained virtually unchanged until the middle of 1948 and the basic design continued in production until Tatra ceased building cars in 1998.

You can be excused for not noticing the approval of these Tatra models as the car is not exactly a household name in the U.S. The consideration of these great cars for Full Classic status is part of a recently completed effort to examine a number of Foreign makes that have been listed for years as "Application Considered" cars. Over the past few years the Classification Committee has been instrumental in the approval of a number of makes and models such as:

Adler 1928-34 Standard 8

Armstrong-Siddeley 1924-1933 Model 30, 1933-39 Special

Daimler 6-cylinder models 3 1/2 litre and larger, 1925-1934

Excelsior Adex & AlbertI, 1919-1932

Fiat 1923-1927 519, 1928-1931 525 & 1938-1940 2800

Georges Irat 1922-1929 2 & 3 Litre, 1930-1934 Lycoming powered cars

Hotchkiss 1929-1940 3 & 3 1/2 litre models

Humber Pullman models,1930-1940

Jensen, all except the 2 1/4 litre, 1936-1939

Lanchester 1919-1931 40, 21, 23 & 30

Lancia DiLambda, 1928-1938, Astura, 1931-1939

Renault 8-cylinder models Reinastella, Reinasport, Nervahuit, Nervastella, Nervasport

Rohr, 1928-1935 models R, RA, F, FK

Steyr 1923-1929 models Type VI Sport, Type VI Klausen, SSK Klausen, Austria

Of course, the Tatra models listed above.

While these cars will never take the top spot from '41 Cadillacs on CARavans, they are all very worthy cars. Most have some presence in this country and several are listed in the CCCA Handbook.

The Committee is next considering some U.S. makes that have been overlooked in the past. The first one, proposed by Phil Guilhem, and published for your comment in a recent issue of The Bulletin, is the 1930-1932 Hupmobile models H & U. These were big cars on 125 to 133 inch wheelbase chassis with 130 hp eight-cylinder engines of 365 cubic inches. There are a few out there, so the Committee is not looking at cars that no longer exist. There will be others coming up this within the year, so keep an eye on The Bulletin for possible new Classic candidates for your collection.

Jon Lee

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Here's a link to a forum from the General AACA section that has several Tatras, including a photo of the engine of Long's car. Earlier in this post is a stunning 1955-56 Tatra prototype that certainly would be on my list of top ten (top 5, perhaps) postwar designed cars to lust after.


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You should have started another post with your comments.

I'm on board with the crowd that doesn't like the term "Full Classic." Never did, never will, and I will never use the term in discussion or in print (except when I'm bashing the term). Spending the money to register the term was a waste of money. It would have made much more sense to register "CCCA Classic." Sorry to have stepped on toes. I love Classics and the CCCA, but that move was a blunder in my opinion. Perhaps there are some statistics that say otherwise, but I haven't seen them.

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There are other high end 6 cylinder cars accepted by the CCCA. The 320 Mercedes comes to mind. It was over $6,000 delivered when new which makes it complete compatible with my notion of a "CCCA Classic".

I can't really think of any notable 6-bangers that have been kept out that should be accepted.

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Guest Chuck Conrad

I never liked the term "Full Classic" either and I'm a Past President of the Club. In fact I campaigned against the term when it was proposed. Worse yet was "Modified Classic" which I've always thought of as a Hod Rod term. At least, it died eventually when the Club realized how much it was costing them to defend the term.

“Full Classic” makes me wonder if there are any “Half Full Classics” driving around somewhere? Most of mine won’t pass a gas station without stopping, so I suppose it is a possibility. :-)

I think "CCCA Classic" works fine.

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I agree whole-heartedly with the disdain for the "Full Classic" term. As one of Chuck's few allies in attempting to rid the Club of that term, we were somewhat disappointed when, at the last minute, the copyright application was approved and we were, sort of, stuck with it. Thankfully, as Chuck notes, the "Modified Classic" term was not approved and we moved to avoid throwing more money at it. I have a good friend here in Maine who refers to a Full Classic as a car with four passengers and 20 gallons of gas. Chuck was succesful in having the term "CCCA Classic" approved as an acceptable alternative in Club publications. It seems much more descriptive.

Jon Lee

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