nav tatra 603-2

How HUM came into my life:

I grew up in South London and spent a lot of my weekends wandering around on the buses. If you were in central London at weekends in the late 50's then it was remarkably devoid of traffic. A large proportion of what you did see would be rushing around at startling speed saved from prosecution by the protection of CD plates. I remember standing at the side of a road in Mayfair listening to the crunch as successive American limousines wallowing on their soft springs failed to cope with a pothole and hit the front underside on the road. Mercedes Benz, Citroens, Daimlers and Rolls-Royce were the norm. If you were really lucky you would see early Tatra 603s, property of various East European Embassies and their client states. They were like escapees from the Buck Rogers films that often occupied my Saturday mornings.

I got my Tatra in 1991. Within a couple of weeks of getting it I drove it down to London for a pop video, breaking down twice on the way down. The clutch packed up whilst filming and on the way back a broken fan belt led the engine to glow a bright cherry red. After that I found myself taking many crash courses in engineering as I struggled to understand its strange mechanisms. The nearest help was 800 miles away and in a language I did not understand. But there is a tremendous sense of satisfaction in being able to cope with an old and sometimes cantankerous vehicle.

I am in no position to afford one of the wonderful prewar Tatras, but my 603 acts as a reminder of the rich design and engineering tradition of the First Czech Republic.

After having owned HUM for a long time, and gaining enormous pleasure from her I increasingly found that I did not have the time to keep on top of all the maintenance that owning such a venerable beast implies. I put the word around that HUM should go to a new home and that is how SAM GLOVER found and fell in love with HUM. Go to HUM REBORN to find out more.

Tatra has an extraordinary presence on the web. The very comprehensive Tatra Register links can help you into this world. On my Links page I will be gradually adding more general Central European cultural links.

After having owned HUM for a long time, and gaining enormous pleasure from her I increasingly found that I did not have the time to keep on top of all the maintenance that owning such a venerable beast implies. I put the word around that HUM should go to a new home and that is how SAM GLOVER found and fell in love with HUM. Go to HUM REBORN to find out more.

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