Tatra T602 Tatraplan - Sport
(MODEL-FARO s.r.o., Plzeò, Czech Republic)
Review by LS and adaption by Petr L
Tatraplan-sport has founded tradition of successful sports cars constructed in Czechoslovakia in post war period. The fact, that the decision to build a racing car was made shortly after communist revolution in 1948, is surprising. Such decision was quite unusual at that time. On the other hand, this racing car was supposed to serve as mobile laboratory for testing parts for serial production of popular Tatraplan and other models of Tatra.
Design of the car is relatively simple - chassis, the suspension, engine and body panels of standard Tatraplan were attached to simple tubular space frame - but the conception of rear wheel drive - rear mid engine placements was revolutionary. Car was equipped with aerodynamically designed body with covered rear wheels. Racing car used also standard TATRA steel wheels.
Car was powered by air cooled 4 cylinder OHV 1952 cm2 engine, equipped with four carburetors Solex. Maximum power of this engine was 84 hp at 4800 rpm. Each cylinder had its own exhaust pipe with independent damper. This engine was later replaced by new V8 engine. An axial fan was used for distribution of cooling air. With Ignition PAL Magneton and 4 speed gear box car reached maximum speed of 180 km/h.
First race, this car took part in, was an international event Prix of City Brno, organized during the weekend of Grand Prix of Czechoslovakia in1949. Car, driven by Bruno Sojka, finished second in that race, wining his class with average speed 109 km/h. Car took part also in Grand Prix event competing with well known marks as Ferrari, Maserati, Talbot or Gordini with 4,5 engines (or charged 1,5l engines). Tatraplan finally finished this race at 9th place. These cars reached lots of good results during early 50ties and were first of long line of racing successes of other Tatra cars such as single seater Tatra 607 or touring car Tatra 603.
Tested model is based on car of Bruno Sojka #22 that participated in the Grand Prix of Czechoslovakia in 1949.
Description of model TATRA T602 Tatraplan - Sport
Tested 1:32 scale model is precise and adhering well to the original. Model release is primarily aiming to collectors with limited edition of 50, 200 and 300 models of each of different model. They will not differ only by livery but three different molds will be used for production. Manufacturer prepared also three different driver's bodies and six heads to match with specific characters of each driver (for instance remarkable mustache of Bruno Sojka). Some models are shown on pictures that are part of this review, the others can be checked on manufacturers site.
Car body is precise resin casting with number of details. High quality engraving corresponds to the body panel of the original car. Two layers of paint (ivory color) and final colorless protective lacquer give high authenticity to the model. Decals, as well as the painting meet high quality standards. The only weak point is a slight infidelity of decal placement at the bottom part of the body.
Model has high number of small details, such as head lights, rear lights and Tatra logo, front leaf springs hidden under car body, air box, metal exhaust pipes exits, windshield, steering wheel, gear lever, radiator or ejectors. Even drivers mustache and even the goggles suggest high focus of designer to detailed finishing of this model.
Two screws are used to attach car body to the high resistant fiberglass enforced polyamide chassis. The solution is similar to previous FARO models but this time it provides more flexibility and better handling.
Chassis is fitted with inline mounted motor FARO 20 000 rpm (Mabuchi) and standard FARO gears - 8 t zinc pinion with 30t crown wheel. Integrated bearings, molded from fiberglass enforced polyamide hold 3mm diameter rear axis and 2mm diameter front axis. Change of gears is possible only using special FARO equipment, but as the model is designed to attract mainly collectors, the requirement for high performance and possible tuning is not expected. For this purpose is durability of motor, gears and integrated bearings sufficient.
Magnets placed in front of the motor enable good traction. Similar to previous FARO models, set of two round Fe NdB magnets 5x3 mm with pitch 16mm is used. Downwards force can be regulated by adjusting height of the magnets in round shafts integrated into the chassis. Guide is fitted in flange with screw and enables quick change of the brass braids.
Tires FARO Klasik 22/16x6,5 had usual infidelity, that need to be amended.
Sport car TATRA T602 is designed for collectors but it has good handling. Performance of model was tested on Scalextric Classic track. Car proved good handling and good possibility to change its setup. With using less magnetic force it's even possible to run through curves in spectacular power slide.
Though, there's a lot of interesting models on the market nowadays, there is not much really remarkable ones. I don't hesitate to add Tatraplan to short list of such models. It is model from small series production with extraordinary detailed workout of the body. Furthermore it well resembles the shapes common for sports cars in the middle of 20th century.
FARO continues in mapping of history of Czechoslovak racing cars of 40th and 50th, that have never appeared outside of the borders of Russian block due to political obstacles.
This review contains also pictures (belom) of related models of single seater Tatra 607-1, 607-2 that belongs to the same series with this model. Manufacturer also enounced release of another car related to these models - TATRA 603-2 that took part in endurance race Marathon de la Route in 1965 and 1966. It looks like collectors and slot racing fans can look forward to another contribution to this interesting series of models.
|Lo-Fi Version||Time is now: 21st May 2013 - 03:40|