If the initial history of the sixth prototype of the Tatra T700 upset you a bit, you should know that for the Tatra the government institutions were the key customers, because in 1996 few people had enough money to afford such an expensive limousine.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

The sixth prototype was originally intended for East Bohemian Energy.

And so when Klaus’s T613-4 Mi-Long had an accident and Tatra won the “tender” for a new premier limousine, the phone had to ring at Východočeská energeticika (today’s ČEZ) that their car bought through the Financial and Leasing Company of Hradec Králové would be delayed.

This decision could be disputed, or disagreed with, but that was all that could be done about it. You can certainly imagine the enthusiastic VČE garage master, however, the Tatra T700 in question with VIN code TMT613018TP012006 went to the services of the Government Office, while VČE received the seventh (including the last) prototype, practically identical in color and equipment to the sixth. That is, except for the VIN code TMT613018TP012007.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

You probably all know this poster, but did you know that it is the sixth T700 prototype?

Even before the model was delivered to the services of the Government Office, it was enough to pose for a photo shoot for the official Tatra poster and, together with other prototypes, attend the ceremonial premiere of the T700 on April 9, 1996 at the Prague Hilton Hotel.

After that, the Tatra T700 in the color black L8531 and L9254 MAT, shod on Borbet electronic discs with Michelin R15 tires, set off on its own axle to the state services, however, the records of the handover differ here. One official one states April 18, 1996 and the other, also official, shows the date as April 29, 1996.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

This T700 started its civil service at the end of April 1996.

In any case, according to the purchase contract, the car was to be delivered by April 30, 1996, which was achieved, while it was first registered on May 2, 1996 and received the registration number AHD 0102.

And what equipment was waiting for Václav Klaus when he got into the elegant four-seater sedan? The internal order from the factory contains the name T700 Standart, however, the purchase contract already includes elements such as door security reinforcements, alarm, central locking of all doors and fuel tank cap, electric windows, air conditioning (on paper it increased consumption by 0.56 l / 100 km) , independent heating, dethermal glass, three-way controlled catalyst, power steering, brake booster, five-speed gearbox, fog lights, computer connection, luggage compartment upholstery, interior spot lighting and the aforementioned electronic wheel discs.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

A wealth of equipment awaited Klaus inside, which has been preserved to this day.

The invoice then revealed an additional premium interior in gray leather for less than 11,000 crowns and also a highway stamp, which in 1996 cost 400 CZK.

During a personal inspection of the car, which has the original registration marks and is now in private hands, we also noticed a Kenwood radio, however, according to the period documentation, there should have been a Sony radio inside. The phone carrier and the car cooler were also removed from the car.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

Václav Klaus himself was riding in the back. There was also a classic lighthouse on the roof.

However, the interesting thing is related to the engine. The car started life with the classic 200 hp (300 Nm) multi-point injection 3.5-liter V8 petrol number 11221, however, over time the power unit was replaced by the more powerful 234 hp (380 Nm) 4.36-liter V8 gasoline engine number 11212.

There are factory records of this exchange, and at the time these swaps were common, with the fact that on paper (in the technician’s book) the values ​​of the car did not change. In short, the vehicle went for a service and came back overall faster, more powerful by 34 hp and stronger by 80 Nm. Reason? This masterpiece of engine builder Karel Bordovský did not have homologation, and moreover, it was not easy to distinguish it from the original “three and a half liter” at a glance.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

The original air-cooled 3.5 liter eight-cylinder works in the rear.

However, this officially offered top-of-the-line motorization was not preserved in the Tatra T700 after Klaus, it was returned to the original 3.5-liter eight-cylinder, which still works in the rear.

Klaus’ car accident

It was Sunday, March 31, 1996, and Václav Klaus and his driver were involved in a traffic accident, when the government Tatra T613-4 Mi-Long (TMT613008NP011567), manufactured in 1992, collided with a Žiguli car. Nothing happened to the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, however, the car had to go to the home factory for repairs and then it was sold to the Michalovce hospital in Slovakia.

After the end of the service in the hospital, the model fell into private hands, but then disaster struck it – it was shut down with the prospect of renovation and subsequently stolen. Nothing is known about the further fate of this car, or do you know more? Write to [email protected].

Expensive prototype

In any case, the sixth T700 prototype cost 998,000 CZK when new, excluding the then 22% value added tax. Including VAT, the Government Office paid (invoice due on May 14, 1996) CZK 1,217,560 for this car and added CZK 400 for the highway stamp.

Do you think it was an expensive car? Indeed, yes, while you probably don’t know yet how much it managed to increase in price in a few months and how (un)competitive it was in price against other models. You can find more detailed information in this article, however, from the basic 1.2 million, the car eventually jumped to 1.4 million, then to less than 1.5 million, and finally in 1997 it settled on the basic amount of almost 1.65 million crowns.

And yes, for this much money (CZK 1.65 million) you could have five decently equipped Felicias or three bloated top-of-the-range Octavias.

The original photo gallery of the “Klausovka” T700 from the Krnepo resort.

However, Václav Klaus did not use the Příborská Tatra T700 for long, as he soon ran away to Audi. The Czech sedan, which is now decorated with a collector’s plaque awaiting Klaus’s signature, passed into the ownership of Krnepo at the end of 2008, which deals with the sale, service and renovation of Tatra mountains. It was not until 2020 that it was acquired by a private (careful) collector, who fully collected it and sometimes goes for a ride with this unique item.

Whatever the Tatra T700 was according to different opinions, it cannot be denied the status of a national heritage and a unique design solution. After all, just how many car models hosted an air-cooled eight-cylinder engine placed in the back, moreover polished by skilled Czech hands…