The Tatra T700 was, to put it in a nutshell, actually just a big facelift of the T613, as evidenced by the VIN code of 700, which starts with TMT613018. The development of this car, including the design overhaul, took less than a year, and that is an incredibly short time.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla

The Tatra T700 was more or less just an evolution of the Tatra T613 M95.

When the model was introduced with much fanfare in April 1996, there was hope that the modernized sedan might catch on, but it didn’t really resonate with state institutions. The greater part of the political set was inclined towards Western cars, while the T700 also dealt the final political blow to Václav Havel, who rejected it.

It is true that Václav Klaus, Miloš Zeman, Josef Lux, Petr Pithart or even Lubomír Voleník rode in the seven hundred cars, but even these politicians gradually switched to other models.

Photo: Tomáš Kopečný

Miloš Zeman also drove the Tatra T700 and had his own ashtray in it. After buying this car, the interior had to be completely and thoroughly cleaned, the cigarette smell was really everywhere.

Another fact is that there was already a free market in our country at that time, so previously hard-to-find Western cars were also sold in the Czech Republic. And they were many times cheaper, more modern and better equipped than the Tatra T700, conceptually based on the run-of-the-mill T613. But how expensive was a seven-seat car at a starting price of CZK 1,400,000 in 1996? This will show a comparison with the prices of contemporary competitors.

Model Cena
Audi A6 1,199,907 CZK
BMW 7 series 1,939,800 CZK
Citroën XM 1,210,000 CZK
Ford Scorpio 1,274,656 CZK
Honda Legend 1,490,000 CZK
Chrysler Vision V6 1,400,490 CZK
Jaguar XJ6 3.2 1,850,000 CZK
Mazda Xedos 9 1,190,000 CZK
Mercedes-Benz E-Class 1,753,356 CZK
Mitsubishi Sigma CZK 1,049,700
Nissan Maxima QX 995,000 CZK
Opel Omega 1,106,900 CZK
Peugeot 605 1,278,560 CZK
Renault Safrane 1,140,000 CZK
Rover 800 series 1,270,000 CZK
Tatra T700 1,400,000 CZK
Toyota Camry CZK 1,037,000
Volvo 850 995,000 CZK

The data clearly show that the basic seven-kilo car was more expensive than, for example, the Audi A6, Citroën XM, Ford Scorpio, Mazda Xedos 9, Mitsubishi Sigma, Nissan Maxima QX, Opel Omega, Peugeot 605, Renault Safrane, Rover 800, Toyota Camry or Volvo 850.

However, the T700 must be left with one thing, compared to the competition, the Tatra had mostly cheaper operating costs (despite the high standard consumption of 12.5 l / 100 km) and service, widespread service centers in the Czech Republic and domestic tradition. However, even that didn’t help her, because she had a rival in the domestic ranks as well.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

At the beginning of 1996, a liter of Natural 95 cost an average of CZK 19.40 in our country.

In other words, if someone wanted a nice representative Czech car, he didn’t necessarily have to go for the T700, but he could take the more technically advanced Octavia from Škoda, even though it had a weaker engine and was a lower class car. On the other hand, the Octavia had available ABS, airbags or an automatic transmission, which the Tatra T700 did not offer.

After all, look at the Skoda Octavia price list from November 1997, i.e. from the time when the basic Tatra T700 cost CZK 1,649,000.

Equipment and engine Cena
Octavia LX 1.6 MPI/55 kW 349,900 CZK
Octavia LX 1.9 SDI/50 kW 369,900 CZK
Octavia GLX 1.6 MPI/55 kW 374,900 CZK
Octavia GLXi 1.6 MPI/74 kW 399,900 CZK
Octavia GLXi 1.6 MPI/74 kW (automatic) 481,400 CZK
Octavia GLX 1.9 SDI/50 kW 394,900 CZK
Octavia GLX 1.9 TDI/66 kW 429,900 CZK
Octavia SLXi 1.6 MPI/74 kW 445,900 CZK
Octavia SLXi 1.6 MPI/74 kW (automatic) 527,400 CZK
Octavia SLX 1.8 20V/92 kW 479,900 CZK
Octavia SLX 1.9 TDI/66 kW 475,900 CZK
Octavia SLX 1.9 TDI/81 kW 529,900 CZK

In addition, the Tatra T700 was killed by huge price jumps, because in 1996 it started at 1,400,000 CZK, however, in September 1996 the base price was already 1,499,380 CZK, which rose to 1,649,000 CZK in January 1997 as part of a facelift.

In other words, the lack of interest of the state and large companies in our country, political displeasure, but also internal matters of the plant and high purchase prices combined with the overall technical obsolescence of the T700 sent the entire Tatra passenger car division into a tailspin in 1999.

Photo: Lukáš Volšicky

If we don’t count the prototypes, the T700 made its ceremonial debut on April 9, 1996. The last one was in September 1999.

The end of the more than 100-year-long tradition of passenger car production was not pompous at all, because the last four 700s were assembled in the Tatra development workshops, and not on a classic production line. After that, there was nothing big in terms of passenger cars, apart from a few uncompleted projects.

Perhaps for this reason, Tatry T700s are valued today as interesting investment veterans, whose value ranges from around 3,000,000 to 3,500,000 CZK for regular models and around 4,000,000 to 5,000,000 CZK for rarer pieces.