The Czechoslovakian Tatra T77 is the first serial-produced truly aerodynamically designed automobile. It was developed by Hans Ledwinka and Paul Jaray, the noted Zeppelin aerodynamic engineer. Launched in 1934, the Tatra T77 is a coach-built automobile constructed on a central tube-steel chassis and is powered by a 75-horsepower rear-mounted 3.4-liter V8 engine. It possessed such advanced engineering as overhead valves, hemispherical combustion chambers, dry sump, fully independent suspension, rear swing axles and extensive use of lightweight magnesium-ally for the engine, transmission, suspension and body. The T77 has a top speed of over 150 km/h due to the advanced aerodynamics which delivers an exceptionally low coefficient of drag of 0.212. This is the final T77 produced, and was one of the key exhibits in the recent 'Modernism' show at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC.
The Tatra Company began manufacturing cars in 1897 in Czechoslovakia making it the third oldest automobile manufacturer in the world. Tatra ceased car production in 1999 to focus on large off-road trucks. The Tatra is the first production aero-dynamic automobile. This luxury automobile features a unique design including a sloped 45-degree three-piece windshield - fenders, headlamps, door hinges and handles integrated into the body - the absence of running boards and a smooth underbody. The large tailfin decreases side wind effect and increases stability (the drag coefficient is 0.212). The engine is a 3.4-liter, air-cooled, overhead valve Hemi V8 that develops 75 horsepower.