Aerodynamic Saloon
Tatra Motors had begun experimenting with aerodynamic designs as far back as the early 1930s. Their T-77 was the world's first aerodynamically styled car with an air cooled, rear-mounted engine. This car, the T-87, was built from 1936 to 1960 and is powered by a rear-mounted, 2.9-liter air-cooled, OHC V8 producing 85 horsepower. Its top speed approaches 100 MPH and it was considered very fast in its day.

Production of the T-87 began in 1936. During WWII the German high command favored the T-87 for its speed and handling prowess. Many German officers viewed it as a 'good Autobahn car.' While not the sort of accolades a PR department would solicit, the Third Reich also considered it reliable transport on the cold and forbidding Eastern front.

Design-wise, it certainly boasted unique styling; three headlights in front; a dorsal fin in the back and large scoops for airflow to the air-cooled engine. Its streamlined shape was based on renderings by Paul Jaray, designer of the famous Graf Zeppelin dirigibles. The fin was intended to divide air pressure on both sides of the car to improve handling, a technique later used in aircraft. Contemporary wind tunnel testing showed the T87 had a drag coefficient of 0.36. The rear section opens for servicing the engine and the front doors are suicide doors.

This car was bought in the Czech Republic, brought to the United States and carefully restored. It was entered in the prestigious vintage rally, the Great Race, in 2002 and 2003.

Chassis#

No auction information available at this time.

Recent Sales

1947 Tatra T87 Sedan
Chassis#:69324
Sold for $126,500
  2013 Bonhams - Quail Lodge Auction
  

No Sale

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