In the early 1930s, Tatra designed a rear-engine prototype. In 1934, another entered production, the Tatra 77. It was a big car with a rear-mounted V8 engine. After a few hundred were production, Tatra introduced the T87. It too had a V8 engine but was given a more modern design. The wood and steel body was replaced by a unibody, and the engine was made from aluminum. In 1936, Tatra introduced the T97. It was similar to the T87, but smaller. The manufacturing started in 1938 but as Czechoslovakia was invaded by Germany on March 15, 1939, the production came to a halt on orders from Hitler. Just 510 cars were made.
Powering the T97 is a flat four-cylinder air-cooled (boxer) engine. They had unibody construction, hydraulic brakes, and a rack-and-pinion steering. The suspension is independent on the four wheels. Top speed was achieved at about 81 mph.
This particular example, from the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum, was given a restoration by Roman Spacek in Koprivnice, the city of Tatra Company.