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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Czech's classic car model has an incredible aerodynamic numbers

One country from Eastern Europe which also has a capable automotive industry is Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia). Since the beginning of the automotive industry, a lot of manufacturers in the country have produced good and interesting motorized vehicles. One of them is the Tatra vehicle manufacturer. It was an Ostrava-based manufacturing company that was founded by the Czech businessman named Ignaz Schustala in 1850.
Tatra T77 is designed by Paul Jaray, an engineer behind Zeppelin's aerodynamics, Erich Ubelacker, and Hans Ledwinka. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2ZKWO1c)
Initially, the company was named Ignatz Schustala & Comp. which in 1890 changed to Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau-Fabriks-Gesellschaft when it became an automotive manufacturer. In 1918, the company was renamed to Kopřivnická vozovka a.s. And in 1919 changed the Nesselsdorfer marque to the Tatra badge, it named after the Tatra Mountains near the Czechoslovak-Polish border (now on the Polish-Slovak border). The Czechoslovak company made the first motorized vehicle in central Europe named Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau Präsident in 1897.
1934 Tatra T77, the heirs to the airflow vehicles produced between 1934 to 1935 by the Czechoslovakia manufacturer and is powered by a 60 horsepower (45 kW) rear-mounted 2.97-liter air-cooled V8 engine. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3fQdKJA)
The climax was when Tatra launched a series of aerodynamically designed cars called Tatra T77. This car model has a sleek design and incredible aerodynamic factors in the wind tunnel. The car looks unique due to it has a strange fin on its back. The vehicle models were designed by Paul Jaray, an engineer behind Zeppelin's aerodynamics, Erich Ubelacker, and Hans Ledwinka, the Tatra's legendary engineers. It was coach built on a central steel square tube frame.
1937 Tatra T77a, the successor of the T77 model was produced between 1935 to 1938 by the Czechoslovakia manufacturer and powered by a 75 horsepower (56 kW) 3.4-liter V8 engine. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2BlGkn4)
Furthermore, in 1935, the Tatra T77 car was later upgraded by launching its successor named the Tatra 77a. This replacement vehicle uses a V8 which has an increased capacity of 3.4 liters from the previous version of 3.0 liters, making its power also jumped to 70 horsepower, so it can carry it to run up to a top speed of 93 mph (150 kph)
Rear-left side view of 1937 Tatra T77a while on display at the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2BlGkn4)
The cars were among the most sophisticated and high-tech in their day. According to Wikipedia, the car model was produced as many as 249 units during its production period which lasted from 1934 to 1938 plus 4 pre-serial units made in 1933. As quoted of Hemmings, under the body of Tatra T77 and 77a also looks very striking, because both have a four-wheel independent suspension system that uses axles on the rear wheels and a transverse leaf spring system on the front.
Tatra T87, a more stable successor of the T77 model was produced between 1938 to 1950 by the Czechoslovakia manufacturer and powered by a 2.5-liter air-cooled V8 engine. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2ZMAULi)
Even though it looks amazing, actually the T77 and 77a are something terrible to drive. This is caused by extreme rear weight bias and long wheelbase, which makes the T77 and 77a can be said to have agitated handling. It would be too simple to overly mature the angle and have a heavy rear swinging into dangerous oversteer. Coupled with tire technology in the 1930s might also not support it.
Tatra T87 was built with shortened the wheelbase to 12 inches than its predecessor and used the engine from a lightweight metal alloy. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3eQQOIG)
During the German occupation of Czechoslovakia which lasted from 1938 to 1945. The stylish and fast of the Tatra car models were very attractive to the Nazis and increasingly popular with high-ranking SS officers. And reportedly, the problems mentioned above arose to surface when many of those Nazi officers tried to drive it at high speed could not control the steer well then had experienced a fatal accident, most of them badly injured or even died.
But in 1937, the Czechoslovakian car manufacturer was able to improve the handling of the 77a successor car, the Tatra T87. Where the engineers shortened the wheelbase to 12 inches and threw the engine from a lightweight alloy. And the car produced has a weight of nearly 900 pounds lighter than the model that came out before. This Tatra T87 model being produced until 1950.

It was from all these Tatra production cars that later inspired Ferdinand Porsche in designing the VW Beetle, the figure of the legendary car of all time from the Volkswagen manufacturer, which later had sparked a dispute with the Czechoslovakian manufacturer. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | WIKIPEDIA | CAR THROTTLE | LANE MOTOR MUSEUM | JALOPNIK]
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