silver four-door automobile; front in the style of a Volkswagen with three headlights; sloped back with back central vertical fin and back louvered window; brown leather interior; sunroof

Tatra T87 four-door sedan, 1948 (designed 1936)

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From the three-piece windshield to the fin at the back, the streamlined Tatra’s every feature is an example of well-crafted form reinforcing function. Ledwinka added the distinctive rear dorsal fin to stabilize the car at high speeds. One of the fastest cars of its day, the Tatra could go 100 miles per hour thanks to its rear-mounted 75-horsepower V8 engine, air-cooled with streamlined louvers. The windshield, skirted rear wheels, and recessed door handles contributed to the car’s speed. The innovative sliding sunroof brought in light, and the front center headlight improved visibility in fog. Only two thousand cars of the 1936 T87 design were produced, and none were commercially exported to North America.

Details
Title
Tatra T87 four-door sedan
Artist Life
1878–1967
Role
Designer
Accession Number
2005.138
Curator Approved

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silver four-door automobile; front in the style of a Volkswagen with three headlights; sloped back with back central vertical fin and back louvered window; brown leather interior; sunroof