Each series of vehicles has a certain “best”, and with the Tatra T700, you could meet the youngest (the last one produced), the fastest (Ecorra), the most riddled with cigarette smoke (after Zeman) and now we have (probably) the fourth most expensive . Why most likely? This is due to the lack of official pricing records, with T700 vehicles delivered between 1998 and 1999 in particular missing sources.
The hero of our article is the car of the second series T700 with VIN code TMT613018TP012062. Wait, the VIN ends with a two, so it’s the second car. Not really, because the VIN ending in 012061 was simply not taken.
The car in surf green color K 9590 was delivered on April 30, 1997, to the Supreme Control Office. Under its hood was not the standard 3.5-liter eight-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower, but an improved 4.36-liter drive unit (number 11248) paired with a mechanical five-stroke, behind the brilliant motor engineer Karel Bordovský.
This strengthened eight-cylinder engine produces 234 horsepower and 380 Nm of torque. In addition, the unit was factory fitted with a forged crankshaft, Nikasil-coated cylinders, lightened pistons and a modified control unit. The result is a better pull from the bottom, a sporty character and a deeper sound compared to the classic “three and a half”. As for consumption, the car actually runs for 14 liters per hundred.
The main user of the car was the president of the SAO Lubomír Voleník himself, while those of you who remember him know that he suffered from a medical handicap (Bechterev’s disease) and was transported in the front seats lying down. For that reason, his seven-seater received ergonomic, electrically adjustable Recaro leather seats with heating and ventilation, and the passenger’s seat, where Voleník lay, was additionally extended with additional positioning and memory.
The purchase price of the front seat was supposed to be almost half a million crowns at the time, moreover, it was supposed to be a different type than the electrically adjustable Recaro seats offered as standard, which cost 290,000 CZK in the period price list from September 1996 and January 1997. It should be noted that for this money (CZK 290,000) you could have bought a new and very decently equipped Felicia with a full factory warranty. And what about half a million…
However, the information about the seats could not be officially confirmed, as the Tatra records do not have this item separately calculated. However, we obtained this information from our reliable sources among the Tatra people (car owners, experts), as well as the news that this purchase had to be approved by the Czech Senate.
For transport privacy (non-standard location), Voleník also ordered tinted windows. However, as you can see in the photo, it did not survive. It apparently went away in 2006, when the car was renovated at the Krnepo service center.
As part of the equipment, the car also got a lowered chassis, a wooden steering wheel, a car radio with cassettes and CDs, an on-board telephone, an analogue clock, storage spaces, ashtrays, wooden paneling, electrically operated windows and rear-view mirrors, armrests, rear window blinds or even a refrigerator Electrolux autoCool.
As new, the basic Tatra T700 was sold in September 1996 for CZK 1,499,380, but after January 1997 the price rose to CZK 1,649,000. The green model number TP 012062 for the SAO then cost CZK 2,190,981 new.
Royal seating in practice
This car, which is now in private hands, was also tested by us, while we were not so much interested in the driving impressions (read about them here), but rather in the ergonomic passenger seat. First of all, it is necessary to point out that the seating was built more for people with a smaller build, which Voleník fulfilled. The seats were not at all hard, but not too soft either, just right.
The control of the functions is then preserved even after years of operation, the buttons on the control panel are not pressed, however their location on the left is a bit unusual for these days. After all, we are used to regulating the passenger seat on the right hand side of new cars.
In any case, for the year 1997, it was a highly ergonomic seating position, which today is practically only rivaled by luxury models. The adjustment ranges really allow the seat to fit almost any body, which is especially beneficial on long journeys.
Lubomír Voleník enjoyed this green T700 for about a year and a half, because on October 13, 1998, the seven-seater TMT613018TP012080 in the color black graphite L8531, again with a 4.36-liter engine, but with serial number 11300, was delivered to the Supreme Control Office.
This Tatra was also equipped with ergonomic Recaro seats from the factory, however, according to the available images, they no longer had the same range settings as the first model of the second series for the SAO.
Another peculiarity of the car are the exterior rear-view mirrors from the pre-flood Mercedes models, which reappeared on a pair of two-seater seven-hundreds. This may have been due to the non-availability of standard Range Rover mirrors.
JUDr. Lubomír Voleník was born on March 1, 1950 and died 53 years later on June 5, 2003 on a business trip in Denmark. Cause? Heart-attack. Anyway, this green Tatra T700 is now part of a private collection, but it doesn’t stay in the garage all year round, its owner sometimes takes it out for a ride.
We also asked about a possible sale, however, according to the owner, she would “leave the house” probably as one of the last. And it certainly wouldn’t be cheap (we estimate 5 million or more), which is certainly understandable given the historical value and uniqueness of the car.