Tatra's history dates back to the early 1850s when Ignac Schustala and Adolf Raska established a coach and cart factory in Koprivnice, Czech. Their first automobile was created in 1898. On May 21st of 1898, it was driven from Koprivnice to Vienna, a distance of 328 km, in 14.5 hours.
By the start of the 1900s, the company had created their first racing car, called the NW Rennzweier. It was powered by a two-cylinder engine which produced just over 10 horsepower. There was a four-speed manual gearbox and had a top speed of about 112 km/h.
The Tatra 80 was an exclusive automobile with only a few constructed. It was the most expensive and largest vehicle Tatra ever produced. During the early 1930s, only 22 cars were sold. A special Tatra 80 with a landaulet body was created in 1935 for T. G. Masaryk, the Czechoslovak president.
The Tatra 80 was powered by a four-stroke twelve-cylinder liquid-cooled engine capable of producing 120 horsepower and carrying the vehicle to speeds reaching 140 km/h. THe chassis was comprised of tubular steel with transverse leaf springs in the front. The wheels could be purchased as either solid discs or as wire spokes. The car had a four-speed gearbox.
There were only a few bodystyles available, including a cabriolet, sedan, and landaulet. Most of the bodywork was done by coach-building firms. Production lasted from 1931 through 1935 with a total of 25 units being created. They had been introduced during a difficult time in history, when the world was experiencing The Great Depression. The cost of creating one of these ultra-luxury vehicles was steep. Only a few elite in society were able to purchase one and afford their excessive price tag. As such, only a few were ever created.By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2007
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