Bringing The Tatra Home

We’re off to the Czech Republic tomorrow where the fully reassembled Tatra is ready and waiting for the first off-road tests since the overhaul and installation of the Central Tire Inflation System.


The drive to Kopřivnice is over 1,300km and will take about twelve hours. Once there, we’ll spend a few days in the workshop and then head out for testing before bringing the Tatra home.

Pictures and video when we get back.

Reassembling The Tatra

We got back from the Czech Republic the weekend before last. We spent a week there to see how the work on the Tatra was going and to help out a little in putting it back together. We were glad to have the chance to learn more about the construction and modifications, which may also help if we need to make repairs or adjustments during the rally.

In addition to installing the CTIS, the upgrades also involved a few improvements to the suspension, including the air bellows that are part of the pneumatic suspension. The original Tatra 4×4 bellows were replaced with a smaller lighter version designed for the Tatra 6×6, which has eight bellows on the two rear axles. The Tatra 4×4 has only four bellows on the rear axle. Comparatively, even though the Tatra 6×6 can haul a heavier load, each of the bellows on the Tatra 4×4 are designed for a heavier load because there are only half as many to support the total weight. Since we’re preparing our Tatra for racing, we won’t be carrying anything heavy, and we can afford to change the bellows to the lighter 6×6 version, which is more reactive and should make a smoother ride during the race.

nouveaux coussins dair

While we were there, the engine was remounted.

mounting motor 1

mounting motor 2

We also mounted the front wheels.

front wheels mounted

It’s usually hard to see the front axle because of the skid plate, but because it hasn’t been remounted yet, the newly painted axle is easy to spot.

front axle

The CTIS has been completely installed and tested in the workshop. The air pipe on the hub will be protected by a cover. It has a vane so that it can be isolated and so the tire can be inflated normally in case of a problem.

CTIS wheel closeup

This is how it looked when we left.

back wheels mounted

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to stay for the first tests this week, but we’re planning to go back for some offroad tests soon.

Update On The Tatra Race Preparation

With the cold and snow this past week, it’s hard to believe that spring is less than a month away. Likewise, with all the work that still remains before the Tatra will be ready for our first rally, it’s hard to imagine that as winter draws to a close, so will the upgrades for the race.

A few weeks ago, the rear axle looked like this:



Now the parts have been inspected and the worn pieces replaced. The axle has been put back together, painted and is waiting to be remounted.


The hole in the center is for the CTIS. The air will pass through the shaft in the axle to the tires, through a small hose that will connect the rim to the air supply.


The front axle is ready too,



and the air hoses for controlling the CTIS from the cabin are ready and waiting to be connected.


Soon comes the big job of putting everything back together again.

A Weekend At The 2012 Valloire 4×4 Fair

We spent the weekend in Valloire at the 4×4 fair at the end of August.

It was a bit cool, but the weather was sunny and other than a thunderstorm on Saturday night, it was a perfect weekend to visit the stands with 4×4 vehicles, accessories, tents, and camping cabins, lingering to talk and exchange information and stories about offroad travel with other passionate fans. We ran into many old acquaintances from the Breslau and Tuareg rallies, in addition to making lots of new ones.

Many of the exhibitors were showing campers, from simple sleeper modules for 4×4 cars and trucks to fully-equipped cabins with convertible kitchen and sleeping areas, including shower and WC. We were impressed by the Globe Camper offroad cabins. We spent a good deal of time talking to the owners and had a chance to speak with some of their clients who had come to the fair and were willing to share their experiences with the product.

There were also several rally assistance trucks at the show, including the Breslau Rallye Organisation’s Renault Kerax 440:

This truck was not designed to have an integrated Central Tire Inflation System, but one has been retrofitted.

QTS Rallye Raid Assistance was also there with their Tatra 6×6 assistance truck.