We discovered the car in the car museum of Wasserschloss Klaffenbach, near Chemnitz. The museum itself is a wondrous collection of very rare motorcycles and prototypes, of which we tell You also more about on this site.
At the entry of the museum we found a small red two seater, with the emblem Hataz on its big pointed radiator. Hataz is nothing else but the abbreviation of its inventor and builder, Hans Tautenhahn, living in Zwickau. We never heard of the marque, and needless to say we were elated to discover it.
This well constructed open sporty two seater was built between 1921 and 1925, and sold quite well. It also proved very succesful in racing and hillclimb events.
The impressive bonnet houses a four cilinder 8/12 HP Steudel « Block » engine.
This suffix « Block » meaning here that the four cilinders were cast in one block, instead of paired two by two.
Engine builder Steudel sold its reliable and powerful engines to many small car builders in Saxonia, of which Hans Tautenhahn was one. But Hans was so clever to build his cars with a very large track width, and this resulted in very good road manners for its day. This excellent handling of the light Hataz « bolides » led to the abovementioned racing successes.
Driven by these sporting results, Tautenhahn decided to enlarge its production, and he started to build 3 and 4- seaters. He even introduced in 1923 a more powerful 18 HP engine, but building different car ranges and model series proved too much for the small firm, and it plunged into severe financial difficulties in 1925.
In the same year, it was taken over by… Horch in Zwickau.
The Hataz you see on the pictures here was built in 1922, and seems to be the only remaining « thoroughbred » Hataz racing/sports two seater. There has been one sister car, but this one was driven total loss in 1926. Its engine squeezed 22 HP out of its 972 cc, which gave it a top speed of almost 100 km. It was racing in slow motion, but given the roads, the narrow tyres and the small brake drums with equivalent stopping power, this was more than enough to separate the men from the boys…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
The HATAZ badge is the abbreviation of Hans Tautenhahn (in) Zwickau…