1940 Tatra T87 Sportovní Berlinetta
The Czechoslovak manufactured Tatra 87 has unique bodywork. Its streamlined shape was designed by Hans Ledwinka and Erich Übelacker and was based on the Tatra 77, the first car designed with aerodynamics in mind. The body design was based on proposals submitted by Paul Jaray of Hungarian descent, who designed the famous German Graf Zeppelin dirigibles. A fin in the sloping rear of the Tatra helps to divide the air pressure on both sides of the car, a technique used in later aircraft. [Note: Ferdinand Porsche was heavily inspired in the creation of the Volkswagen Type 1 of lore by the pre-war Tatra]
This is a rear engined air-cooled engine with large scoops providing air for the air-cooled engine. The entire rear decklid section could be opened to service the engine. The front doors are rear-hinged “suicide doors”. The front windscreen is three panes of glass in lieu of curved glass.
Of course my version of the Tatra honors the original design language but in a form more appropriate as a 2-seater Sportovní Berlinetta. Just imagine the reaction of people if this was rolling down the street in your neighborhood today? Definitely this isn’t the kind of vehicle for the person who is afraid of daring to be different…