Dutch daily De Telegraaf in cooperation with the Autovisie magazin, phoned me last year if I would be interested to show a Tatra in their series “Uw Garage.” Due to mechanical problems, I had no car available and we decided to wait until this spring when I expected to have a car ready. I had two condtions: wheather had to be dry and the video had to be shot in Amsterdam along the canals. Mid May we reserved a whole day and here is the result. It was more or less announced by the Dutch Daily De Telegraaf on saturday, May 31, while a two page article appeared in the Autovisie Magazin of June 5th.
Los Angeles T 87 owners Dydia DeLyser and Paul Greenstein will cross the Atlantic for this year’s TFI Noordwijkerhout Rally. Dydia has Dutch roots and some family in NL still and speaks some Dutch. Regrettably, they will not take their magnificent T 87 with them. Instead, they will drive another T 87 at the Dutch TFI meeting at the end of May. Rallye info: http://www.tatraclub.at/index.php?lang=en
The Jalopnik T 87 article: http://jalopnik.com/1941-tatra-t87-the-jalopnik-classic-review-1557341677
The history of TATRA 54
The new history of Tatra 54 from Ostrava is written since 1997. As in last year tore through central Europe floods, we wrote a short report to Austria Mr. Buchta of austroclassic.com so that we could all told affected – head up, everything will be good again !
Proud owner of the Tatras ” Verma ” itself was also affected by the floods , if it happened in the northern Czech Republic in Ostrava in 1997. Fortunately, he has not someone do not lose the roof over your head , nor life, near his surroundings. But it was TATRA 54 of 1931 , which was parked in the garage at the flooded river Odra , and which was completely destroyed by the floods .
As it is written above , lovers of veterans and old things do not hang your head . It’s a cruel thing if the item your family jewel will destroy , but man is a fighter by nature and is able to fight with such a fate . We know from personal experience – as Verma with his father lit the whole Tatra , cleaned, polished, as you have produced new parts or entire sections , the parts that were either destroyed or washed away. We could write the veterans still many pages about a total renovation , such as Tatra was gradually dismantled to screw , as the shack was prepared as everything had to fit , prepare for the paint and how it was painted, as the machine raised back to life but it would not be so interesting and after few lines you would get bored . Sometimes the problems were bigger , sometimes everything went so smoothly and sometimes you had to rewrite some parts even three times before the result was satisfactory. After 14 years my friend came almost to a complete objectives and the renewed Tatra was almost ready to go on the road.
Unfortunately, the thieves came and the refurbished Tatra stolen. That was in 2011 and we have for the first time almost all veteran clubs in Europe addressed , for the case that maybe somewhere our veteran appears. Fortunately, the police found after a short time in Ostrava Tatra again, and we have recalled alarm for which we have called immediately after the loss between friends , acquaintances and strangers and in the media.
The whole last year and already this season is also marked by the travel with this old machine , we regularly take on competitions elegance and orientation rally part . It pleased the whole family and especially my friend after all the years of hard work in the garage feel thoroughly enjoys .
Now we are happy to introduce a little Tatra 54 . Developmentally comes from the Tatra 11 , which was designed in 1923 by Hans Ledwinka . It is an air-cooled four-cylinder boxer that is on the front axle and rear drive capacity 1679 cm3 Bore 75×95 mm, with electromagnetic ignition Scintilla and 12 V vehicle electrical systems . Fuel flows by gravity into the carburetor Zenith 30U mounted above the engine with cylinder connected oblique sucking , wire rope drum brakes with shoes on the front and rear axles , worm control. Solid front axle with leaf spring suspension and rear axle that has two swinging half-axles , the transfer of the 4-speed transmission with dry disk clutch. Body type is two-door , four seat with solid roof made of artificial leather . Tatra was made in 1931 and since 1938 has been owned by our family. She was rescued from the Second World War and the Communist bureaucracy and survived the great flood in 1997 and theft in 2011.
We would like to wish all of you bring their bikes or cars back to its former glory . Do not be afraid of the time , investment and effort that you need to insert into the machine , you overcame the problems that arise in the restructuring . We wish you all understood the family when you turn to the repair of their machines all your free time .
Nataša a Jiří Verma from Ostrava
COVER STORY: From another time, and another world
Gary Cullen’s 1948 Tatra T-87 is one of many unique automobiles on display this Sunday at the 10th annual Ladner Quilt Walk and Car ShowAdrian MacNairBy Robert Mangelsdorf – South Delta LeaderPublished: August 15, 2013 12:00 PMUpdated: August 15, 2013 12:52 PMIt’s nearly impossible for Tsawwassen’s Gary Cullen to take his pride and joy for a drive and not attract a crowd.The curvy streamlined design of his Czechoslovakian-made 1948 Tatra T-87 gives the car the appearance of an Art Deco spaceship.There is a tail fin jutting from the rear engine cowling, gaping louvers on either side of the vehicle designed to swallow air for the air-cooled engine, and of course, the distinctive triple headlight design.“This car was designed to go 50 per cent faster than the cars of the day,” says Cullen. “So they figured they needed 50 per cent more light.”But it wasn’t the Tatra’s silver curves that first drew Cullen to this unique automobile.The beauty of the Tatra is far more than skin deep.“I was first attracted to it because of its engineering,” Cullen says. “Growing up, all my friends were interested in muscle cars, but I was into Citroens because they were so advanced.”
Cullen’s Tatra T-87 will be one of the hundreds of classic cars entered in this year’s Ladner Quilt Walk and Car Show, this Sunday Aug. 18. This is the 10th anniversary of the event and close to 400 vehicles are expected to take part.“I’ve brought it to the car show before,” says Cullen of his Tatra T-87. “It’s always a great opportunity to talk to other car lovers.”The Tatra T-87 is notable for its many technological firsts.It was the first car to be aerodynamically designed in a wind tunnel, which improved the car’s fuel economy. Paul Jaray, who designed the large Zeppelin airships, was responsible for the Tatra’s smooth lines, while famed engineer Hans Ledwinka was responsible for the overall design.“Up until that point, cars were pretty boxy,” says Cullen. “There were cars that looked aerodynamic, but none that were properly designed [to reduce air resistance].“But it wasn’t just for looks, it was driven by the engineering.”Of course, the Tatra’s technological advancements didn’t stop at its unique bodywork.The car also featured rack-and-pinion steering, independent suspension, a 12-volt electrical system, a self-lubricating chassis, and a lightweight magnesium alloy V-8 engine mounted in the rear.The Tatra T-87 was decades ahead of its time, says Cullen, and a beautiful example of form following function.
Cullen is a bit of an innovator himself, having helped pioneer the art of 3-D holography, so it’s no wonder the Tatra’s technological advancements caught his attention.If you’ve ever seen a hologram watch, ubiquitous as they were in the 1980s, chances are they were made by Cullen’ company, Holocrafts.The success of his company has allowed Cullen to amass an impressive collection of automobiles, including a handful of classic Citroens.His current Tatra is the second 1948 T-87 he’s owned. In 1991, Cullen bought and restored his first Tatra, which now resides in the Minneapolis Institute of Art as a piece of sculpture in the museum’s Art Deco exhibit.While the car looks unique by today’s standards, it looked absolutely alien when it was first released in the 1930s.“It’s amazing that a company had the guts to put it into production,” says Cullen. “It’s so outlandishly different from everything that came before it.”Tatra is still around today, and is the third oldest continuously operating automobile manufacturer on earth, after Daimler and Peugeot. The company built its last passenger car in 1999, and today focuses on commercial and military vehicles.
During the Second World War, the Tatra was dubbed “The Czech’s secret weapon” against the Nazis. As the story goes, many high-ranking officers were killed on winding mountain roads by the car’s ferocious oversteer resulting from the rear-engine, rear-drive configuration. However, after researching the history of the Tatra during the war, Cullen says he’s found no actual confirmed cases of that actually happening.“I think it’s a bit of a myth,” he says.The Tatra’s reputation for fishtailing is well-earned, however.“Over the years I’ve got pretty good at drifting,” says Cullen.Despite that, a few high-ranking Nazis did choose the distinctive Czech car as their personal limousine.“It was very popular with engineers, I think that’s why they were attracted to it, because it was so advanced for its time,” says Cullen.Among the Tatra’s infamous owners were airplane engineers Wilhelm Messerschmitt and Ernst Heinkel, as well as German General Erwin Rommel.Adolf Hitler proclaimed the Tatra as the car of the Autobahn, and it provided the inspiration for the Volkswagen Beetle, the most widely produced car on the planet.
But the Tatra T-87 was never a big seller. During its 15-year production run, only 3,000 were ever produced, many of them being reserved for diplomats and high-ranking government officials.“It was always a polarizing car,” says Cullen. “People either loved it or hated.”Cullen estimates there might currently be a dozen or so Tatra T-87s in North America, many of them belonging to former Czechoslovakian ambassadors.As a result, Cullen is often turned to by the Tatra community for advice, having owned T-87s for more than 20 years.“Hi Gary, I just bought a Tatra, I heard you’re the guy to talk to,” one memorable phone conversation began. It was talk show host and car buff Jay Leno calling from Hollywood, California.Leno invited Cullen and his wife Karoline down to see his massive car collection, housed at the Burbank Airport.They visited Leno’s workshop, and Cullen advised Leno’s mechanic crew on the many complexities of Tatra restoration, as replacement parts aren’t easy to come by.“He has about a half dozen guys working for him, but he gets in there too,” says Cullen. “He likes to get his hands dirty.”Cullen’s T-87 is by no means a “garage queen,” and he drives it around town regularly, even taking it on some far flung road trips.In 2000, he and another Tatra T-87 owner travelled to the Arctic Circle on the legendary unpaved Dempster Highway with their families in tow. The six-week trip took them trough B.C., Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and into Alaska.“The reactions we got varied from total disbelief to amazement,” he says.Despite getting caught in a blizzard in the middle of August north of the Arctic Circle, the Tatras made it home safe and sound, if a little dinged up.“They still hold up surprisingly well,” he says.
We have been informed that Kurt Maier (80), has passed away. He was one of the founders of the Tatra Club International, Tatra car collector, printer of the TFI magazine for many years, founder of a streamline car museum in Fachsenfeld über Aalen (now closed) and a friend of German streamlining pioneer Reinherr Koenig von Fachsenfeld, has passed away. He published unpublished work of Koenig Fachsenfeld (“Aerodynamik des Kraftfahrzeuges” Koenig-Fachsenfeld, Kurt Meier publishing house Heubach).
May he rest in peace.
We have been informed that Walter Hübner has passed away on May 31.
The 79 year old Walter and his wife Heti were enthusiastic T 603 0wners and mainly visited TRD meetings.
May he rest in peace.
The cremation will be held at Waldfriedhof Lauheide, on May 6th, 13.30.
Contact: 48163 Münster, Heuenkamp 18
The Czech “Order of Laurel” Award, that is awarded by the Czech Chamber of Commerce, set during its last year premiere a goal to appreciate the important personalities of the local society.
Searching and highlighting exceptional representatives from various areas of human activity natural moral authority and patterns is one of the irreplaceable conditions of function of the advanced society.
The Order of Laurel has also one significant specify. Every citizen of the Czech Republic has the opportunity to nominate candidates for award. The jury of the Order of Laurel, which is composed of personalities, then selected 26 nominees for award levels.
Czech Dakar-Legend and former Tatra-pilot Karel Loprais was one of the nominees for the Order of Laurel for 2013. He personally collected the award – the golden Order of Laurel on 3rd April 2013 in the Bohemia Grand hotel in Prague.
The president of the Chamber of Commerce awarded significant businessmen, leading experts and other social-wide significant people too. Among the awarded were for example Cardinal Dominik Duka, Jirí Bartoška, the actor and Dana Drábová, the chairman of the State Office for Nuclear Safety.
Among the first laureates of the award belong also Bohdan Pomahac, the plastic surgeon and Václav Moravec, the moderator of the Czech Republic. The single diamond award went to Meda Mládková, the art patron. Karel Loprais commented this event modestly: “There was a fantastic atmosphere there and it was an honor for me to be among such personalities.”