3. Tatra 603
Most of the automotive historians agree that if they built the Tatra in France, Germany, or England, it would have become one of the most influential names in car history. However, because they made it in Czechoslovakia, the Tatra 603 never got the respect it deserved. As a company, Tatra was one of the most distinguished manufacturers in car history. It was also an extremely interesting factory, creating the 603 with a specific technical layout, design, and features.
Before World War II, Tatra started experimenting with streamlined, fastback designs and rear-mounted, air-cooled Hemi V8 engines. After the war, Tatra returned to car and truck production, using modernized, updated pre-war designs.
The most popular and characteristic one was the T603 model they introduced in 1956. It featured a strange egg-shaped design with a fastback rear end that was quite aerodynamic. Behind the passenger compartment, there was a 2.5-liter V8 engine producing around 100 HP, enough for respectable performance numbers and solid cruising speeds. The Tatra T603 was a luxury car they exported in limited numbers to other communist countries on selected Western markets. They stopped production in 1975 after building more than 20,000 cars.