An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

A Tatra in New York City

The last post we did from the Alden Handy album, was in the same location, J.P. Inskips dealership in NYC. Handy’s notes dates this photograph as being taken on October 2, 1948. Hopefully one of our readers will be able to tell us all about this most unusual rear-engine car which was a rarity here in the states. Photo courtesy of Joe Puleo.

6 responses to “A Tatra in New York City

  1. David,

    That looks like a Tatra T87, designed by Hans Ledwinka, and in production from 1936-1950. It is a monocoque chassis, independent suspension, rear engine, ducted fan cooled, ohc V-8 with a streamlined aero body capable of 100 mph and 20 mpg. It may look like a big, blown up V-8 version of the VW Bettle on steriods, but just the reverse is true. Ledwinka innovated most of these ideas in the 1920’s , Porsche inherited his desk at Steyr in 1929 ,and most importantly, Hilter was driven around Europe in a Tatra, and was convinced that its advantages (no overheating, freezing, traction, consumption, performance, etc) were ideal for a car to be used from Africa to the Artic. These design features were dictated to Porsche by Hitler for the VW. Porsche testified that his patent concerns were to be “handled” by Hitler, but VW did lose a post war suit and a settlement was made. He was very effective at erasing these Czech roots from the glossy coffee table Porsche books.

    Paul

  2. I HAVE SEEN ONE LIKE THIS SAME COLOR IN MY HOME TOWN OF AALST NEAR BRUSSELS BELGIUM JUST AFTER WW2
    IT BELONGED TO A TIRE DEALER AND IT WAS A SENSATION TO HEAR AND SEE IT PASSING
    ANOTHER ONE I HAVE SEEN LATER WAS OWNED BY A FRIEND WHO LIVED IN THE TOWN OF GENT WE WHERE IN THE SAME OLDTIMERCLUB AND I ALWAYS AVOIDED TO DRIVE MY 1947 FLATHEAD FORD SEDAN DELIVERY JUST BEHIND HIS TATRA BECAUSE OF THE TREMENDOUS HEAT THAT ESCAPES FORM THE REAR ENGINE AND HELPED TO HEATING UP THAT OLD FLATHEAD
    I BELIEVE THERE WAS NO BIG DEAL OF AN EXHAUST EITHER CONSIDERING THE NOICE THAT TATRA ENGINE PRODUCED
    ANOTHER GOOD FRIEND HERE IN BELGIUM A MR HERMAN BAUDUOIN OWNS A PRETTY RESTORED TATRA IN A LIKE SILVER COLOR
    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORKS
    SINCERELY
    ISIDOOR NIEUWLANDT

  3. Are there other views of this car in the album? It may well be the car that I now own, a 1941 Tatra T87 found in upstate N Y in 2001 and now restored and residing in Calif. Or, if possible a better copy for idetification purposes…
    Thanks
    Paul

  4. Hello:
    This is, indeed, a type 87. Judging from the small bumpers and the shape of the front fenders a pre-war one or from just after the war when Tatra used up his old stock.
    I used to have a Type 87 like that with only 37,000 KM on it in unrestored condition
    This car now lives in the Jay Leno collection in Los Angeles, California.
    Tatra cars were quite amazing and wouldn’t they have been smothered behind the “curtain” we still would have a strong contender.
    Andre

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *