Purchasing this eight wheel drive Tatra "Heavy Prime Mover" is almost guaranteed to draw groans on par with the worst puns from at least someone in your life. If you aren't concerned with the effect this Tatra will have on your personal relationships, wallet or property value and want to enter long term project car hell in eight wheel drive style, this could be the Czechoslovakian made military vehicle for you.
Restoring a car is a pretty daunting task. It isn't hard to understand why many restoration projects turn into not even close to complete Craigslist ads. If you think the task of restoring a regular car or truck is too easy, enjoying making your life miserable and aren't concerned about becoming the most hated man in the neighborhood, this 8x8 Tatra 813 could the perfect challenge. Originally manufactured in Czechoslovakia, this massive vehicle was sold to the East German army in full military trim when new.
Although we don't know how or when this "Heavy Prime Mover" made the journey from Germany to Pennsylvania, we have to imagine it was quite an undertaking. Powered by a "multi fuel" V12 we have to imagine this eight wheel beast is likely limited by little more than imagination when it comes to where the truck could go and what it could do.
A restored Tatra 813 ready to roll in eight wheel style
Unfortunately it will take you more than the $9,000 purchase price of this particular Tatra to find out what one of these trucks is capable of. This 813 needs in the words of the seller "a total restoration". The truck needs "major rust repair" and a rebuilt wooden bed, on top of the fact it does not currently run. Just transporting the currently non functional Tatra would be a complex expensive and aggravating start to a restoration project which guarantees to hold more complexity, expense and aggravation than you previously thought possible.
That being said, if you were to somehow make it through the long process of restoring the Tatra somewhat sane, we are sure this eight wheeler would be a lot of fun. The idea of doing some serious off-roading in this 813 post restoration is certainly nice, but our favorite thing about the Tatra might be how rational and accessible it makes our dreams of Unimog ownership appear.
(Photo Credit: Jano Gallo)