Tatra T87 shines at Goodwood


Set on the tranquil lawn of Goodwood House, far from the throng of racing engines, the ‘Style et Luxe’ is a cherished bastion of artistry and good taste. The competition comprised around 50 cars in several classes representing the history of motoring.

This year’s Cartier Style et Luxe featured seven classes with standouts including Sir Norman Foster’s recreation of Buckminster Fuller’s amazing 1934 Dymaxion, which wowed the crowds in the Extreme Lines – Pre-War Streamlined Specials class.

Also vying for attention in the streamlining genre was a 1936 Lincoln Zephyr V12 Sedan and Tom Rollason’s 1939 Aston Martin Atom but it was left to Kees Smit’s magnificent 1939 Tatra T87 to take home the silver.

While most of the panel may know little about cars, the artist’s intrinsic understanding of proportion, detail, texture and finish invoke some intriguing and often rather alternative opinions, and the judges bring a wide range of sympathies to the panel.

Originally Kees Smit was invited with his T77a, but its engine let him down.  After consulting the organisation, he took his 1939 T87 to Goodwood. The car was driven from Amsterdam on its own power and took the laurels. Apart from its streamlined shape, the jury showed interest in the T87’s rear engine, the central hinges servicing front and rear doors and the chrome tubed, adjustable front seats.