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1947 Tatra T87 Aerodynamic Saloon / 69324 Vehicle Information

1947 Tatra T87 photograph

1947 Tatra T87 photograph

1947 Tatra T871947 Tatra T87
Sold for $126,500 at 2013 Bonhams - Quail Lodge Auction.
The Czech firm of Tatra dates back to 1850 and had a reputation for technical innovation thanks largely to the talents of Austrian engineer Ledwinka.

Hans Ledwinka was Tatra's chief engineer and one of the most original engineers in history. He began experimenting with the application of low-drag aerodynamics to passenger car design in the early 1930s in collaboration with his colleague Erich Übelacker and Zeppelin aerodynamicist, Paul Jaray.

The first of Tatra's 'aerodynes', the T77, appeared in 1934. It was the world's first series-produced car designed with aerodynamic efficiency as the foremost consideration. The T77 featured Ledwinka's trademark, independently-suspended backbone chassis and was powered by a 3.0-liter air-cooled V8 engine mounted at the rear. Extensive use of magnesium alloy was used for the engine, gearbox, suspension, and body which helped keep the weight down to 1,700kg.

Power was provided by a 60 horsepower engine and with a low drag coefficient of around 0.21, it was capable of reaching 145 km/h.

The T77 was superseded by the T77A, which benefitted from a 3.4-liter engine and a higher top speed of 150 km/h.

The Tatra was comfortable, fast, futuristic, and economical. It was, however, known for having its deficiencies in handling. For 1936, Ledwinka responded with the T87, which was both shorter and lighter than the T77. Power was provided by a 3.0-liter V8 and had a top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph). During the war, production was suspended but resumed when peacetime resumed. Production continued to 1950, by which time a little over 3,000 had been sold.

Design features of the T87 included the 'cyclops' third headlamp, rear fin, and full unibody construction with belly pan. Beneath the coachwork was a rear-mounted 2.9-liter magnesium alloy, air-cooled overhead-cam V8 offering 85 horsepower. The suspension was fully independent, with hydraulic brakes.

The aerodynamic design of the T87 helped influence Dr. Ferdinand Porsche's design of the Volkswagen Beetle. The similarities were so evident that Tatra subsequently sued the German company for infringing 11 different patents.

Between 1936 and 1950, over 3,000 examples were built. It is believed that ten examples currently reside in the United States One is in the Jay Leno Collection and another in the Peter Mullin museum. Other noted owners have included Ernst Heinkel, Felix Wankel, Erwin Rommel, John Steinbeck, King Farouk of Egypt, and Sir Norman Foster.

This example was sourced in Canada in somewhat dilapidated condition by North American marque specialist Alex Veronac. Restoration began in Canada and finished in the United States at Burnham's Garage in Delanson, New York. The car was finished in its original green livery with a matching green leather interior. The total cost of the restoration was $150,000.


By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2013



2013 Bonhams - Quail Lodge Auction

Sale Price :
USD $126,500

2013 Bonhams - Greenwich Concours d'Elegance

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $150,000-USD $180,000 
Lot was not sold

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1947 sales)
1947 Tatra T87 Sedan
Chassis#: 69324
Sold for USD$126,500
  2013 Bonhams - Quail Lodge Auction
1947 Tatra T87 image  

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1947 Tatra T87's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1947 Tatra T87 Sedan693242013 Bonhams Greenwich Concours d'Elegance $150,000$180,000

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Tatra T87 Vehicle Profiles
Sedan
Tatra T87 Sedan

Model Year: 1939
Profile
Aerodynamic Saloon
Tatra T87 Aerodynamic Saloon

Model Year: 1940
Profile
Aerodynamic Saloon
Tatra T87 Aerodynamic Saloon

Chassis Num: 49 620
Model Year: 1940
Profile

Aerodynamic Saloon
Tatra T87 Aerodynamic Saloon

Chassis Num: 544113
Model Year: 1940
Profile and Auction History
Aerodynamic Saloon
Tatra T87 Aerodynamic Saloon

Chassis Num: 49870
Engine Num: 12786345
Model Year: 1941
Profile and Auction History
Aerodynamic Saloon
Tatra T87 Aerodynamic Saloon

Model Year: 1942
Profile

Aerodynamic Saloon
Tatra T87 Aerodynamic Saloon

Model Year: 1947
Profile
Aerodynamic Saloon
Tatra T87 Aerodynamic Saloon

Chassis Num: 69324
Engine Num: 222233
Model Year: 1947
Profile and Auction History
Aerodynamic Saloon
Tatra T87 Aerodynamic Saloon

Chassis Num: 69618
Model Year: 1947
Profile

Sedan
Tatra T87 Sedan

Chassis Num: 222667
Model Year: 1948
Profile and Auction History
Sedan
Tatra T87 Sedan

Chassis Num: 3480332
Model Year: 1948
Profile and Auction History


Vehicle information, history, And specifications from concept to production.
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