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1935 TATRA 77A

Streamlined Air-Cooled V8

Production Years




Number Produced



Hans Ledwinka

The 1935 Tatra 77A is a groundbreaking vehicle, often regarded as the first production car to be aerodynamically designed. This innovative design was made possible through the collaboration of Hans Ledwinka, a visionary automotive engineer, and Paul Jaray, an aerodynamic engineer with experience in Zeppelin wind tunnels. Together, they integrated advanced aerodynamic principles into the design of a luxury sedan, resulting in the Tatra 77 and its subsequent iteration, the 77A.

Unlike Tatra’s earlier models that featured a tubular chassis, the Tatra 77 was built on a platform chassis with a pressed box-section steel backbone. This construction provided the necessary rigidity and stability for the vehicle while allowing for a more streamlined body design. The initial model was powered by a rear-mounted 2.97-liter V8 engine that produced 60 horsepower. For the 77A, this engine was upgraded to a 3.4-liter V8, increasing the output to 75 horsepower.

The Tatra 77A boasted several advanced features for its time. It had overhead valves, hemispherical combustion chambers, a dry sump lubrication system, and fully independent suspension with rear swing axles. The extensive use of lightweight magnesium alloy in the engine, transmission, suspension, and body contributed to its remarkable performance and efficiency.

One of the most notable aspects of the Tatra 77A was its aerodynamic design, heavily influenced by Paul Jaray. The vehicle had an impressive drag coefficient of 0.212, significantly enhancing its performance and fuel efficiency. This low drag allowed the large sedan to achieve a top speed of over 150 km/h (93 mph), despite its modest horsepower.

The Tatra 77A’s design was not only innovative but also highly influential, setting new standards in automotive engineering and aerodynamics. With only 249 units produced between 1934 and 1938, the Tatra 77A remains a rare and highly sought-after classic car, celebrated for its engineering excellence and pioneering design.

The 1935 Tatra 77A, with its streamlined body, advanced engineering, and powerful air-cooled V8 engine, stands as a testament to the ingenuity and forward-thinking vision of Hans Ledwinka and Paul Jaray. This iconic vehicle continues to be admired by automotive enthusiasts and historians for its significant contributions to automotive design and technology.

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1935 TATRA 77A
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