In the late 1940’s, Tatra realized it needed to introduce a new carin the next few years. Tatra decided that this new car would have anair cooled V-8 engine similar to the very successful Tatra T-87 built from 1936-1950.
To help develop this new engine before the Tatra 603 was introducedin 1956, Tatra built 6 monoposto (single-seat) race cars to be powered by the new air cooled V-8. The race car is powered by a 2.5 liter engine with twin carbs, producing about 160 HP. The race car also has a very unique exhaust system called an extractor exhaust. Tatra designed the exhaust pipe to exit in a chamber just past the cylinders. The flow of the exhaust would create a suction effect and then pull cool air across the cylinders eliminating the need for driven fans to push air across the cylinders. This increased the power because there is no power loss to the motor since it does not need to drive the cooling fans.
Racing with the new engine proved its durability and power so Tatra introduced the T-603 in 1956 and this model remained in production for twenty years. The production version of this engine had a single carburetor and produced 95 HP.