Streamlined Elegance – The Tatra Tale

Savoy Automobile Museum, Cartersville (Georgia), USA

until January 7, 2024

The Savoy Automobile Museum’s Streamlined Elegance – The Tatra Tale exhibition is organized in partnership with the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. Through 5 models introduced between 1938 and 1978, the exhibition presents the historic Czech brand Tatra, car manufacturer founded in 1850. First called Nesseldorfer, the brand, based near the Tatra Mountains, will take the name Tatra in 1920. Due to its geographical location, the company has not been influenced by other car manufacturers. Under the direction of engineer Hans Ledwinka, Tatra presents robust and sophisticated, often innovative models.

In the early 1930s, Hans Ledwinka was joined by his son Erich, and together they designed the models that symbolized Tatra: thrust aerodynamics, air-cooled V8 rear engines. Their style and design will influence the Volkswagen “Beetle” and the first Porsche. We will find the Tatra T-87 Saloon (model of 1947), produced from 1937 to 1950, a T-97 of 1938, derived from the T87, but smaller and equipped with a flat 4-cylinder. After the 2nd World War appears the T-600 Tatraplan which retains the general style and the Tatra design which will be produced for about ten years, replaced in 1957 by the T-603.

The last model produced, the Tatra T-613 (1973-1996) remains faithful to Tatra principles in a revised and modernized style due to the Italian coachbuilder Vignale. Since Tatra produced large sedans and limousines, its distribution in communist countries was limited to dignitaries, and extremely low outside. For example, the T-613 has been produced in 11,000 units in 25 years of career. The brand also raced in some European rallies in the 1960s, with some success thanks to its robustness.

The photos on this page belong to the Savoy Automobile Museum and Lane Motor Museum, no right of reproduction without the express permission of the museum.