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Tatra T87 four-door sedan

Posted on by Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Tatra 2005.138 BIGHans Ledwinka (designer), Ringhoffer-Tatra-Werke AG (Manufacturer), Tatra T87, 1948 (designed 1936), acquired with funds from the Regis Foundation, 2005.138

This futuristic car is one of the finest examples of aerodynamic design ever produced. With a 75-horsepower rear-mounted engine, it could travel at speeds of 100 m.p.h. Its rear dorsal fin was both purposeful and distinctive; without it, a crosswind would cause the tapered body to waver at high speeds. Named after the Slovakian mountain range where it was tested, the Tatra T87 clearly influenced the 1938 VW Beetle design. This vehicle is one of only 3,000 Tatras ever built; production was cut short by World War II. Its original paint—found to be highly flammable— is long gone, though the leather interior remains intact. With only 58,424 kilometers on the odometer, it’s in drive-away condition (good luck finding parts).

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