Chassis #: 23098
Built for a short period between 1934 and 1935, the Tatra 77 sported a body designed by Paul Jaray, who worked with Tatra's chief designer Hans Ledwinka. Jaray had worked at one time with German airship manufacturer Luftschiffbau Zeppelin, and produced an aerodynamic shape that gave his car superior performance, fuel economy, and reduced cabin noise. The Tatra T77's body boasted a drag coefficient of just 0.21 but this wasn't the only thing revolutionary about the T77. With the engine mounted in the rear, passengers had more legroom and sat lower to the ground, dropping the car's centre of gravity and improving its handling. Power for the T77 came from a 59 horsepower air-cooled 2968cc V-8 engine which gave the sedan a top speed of 87 MPH. Just 105 examples of the T77 were constructed before the automaker moved on to the T77A in 1935. Visually, the most notable difference between the T77 and the late T77A was the addition of a steering-turned central headlight.
Tatra, which is the third oldest automobile manufacturer in the world, after Mercedes and Peugeot, created the first serial-produced truly aerodynamic automobile. 'The Tatra was one of the most interesting and well-developed engineering and design intersections of the Art Deco period,' said car designer Raffi Minasian. 'It may have lacked the usual flamboyance of traditional French coachbuilders . . . but it manifested the expression of Art Deco design as a merger of science and industry where form was dictated by function.'
This T77A Aerodynamic Limousine is an early example that was treated to a 20-year restoration before making its restoration debut at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Its owner brought it on a long, overseas journey of 4,279 miles from the Czech Republic to the concours where it was part of a special and exclusive class featuring the streamlined Tatra automobiles.