Tatra T87: an expensive thing

ER Classics Desktop 2022

In the former Eastern bloc countries, now that there are people with money there too, there is a special form of nostalgia: 'The Ostalgie'. When walls and systems fell, our deadly enemies didn't know how quickly they had to embrace the capitalist system.

Regret comes afterwards

The first approach was to give up everything that reminded us of the past: Jawas, CZs, Ural, Dneprs, Trabants, Ladas, Skodas. And for exotics such as a Zil with V8 in the front or a Tatra with eight cylinders in the stern, you paid the kilo price. In the meantime, many ex-Eastern Blockers have made money and seen the light. They want their stuff back now. And so we come to the much-sung about market forces. It's all a matter of supply and demand. The rarer, the more expensive. The great Tatras were rare and expensive in their early days.

The price plus the bonus

And with this example, this perfectly restored example, our Anglo-Czech friend Jan Kurty, international car broker, also puts his margin up. The Tatra has not been for sale in AMK. Jan does buy here, but that is for export. For example, a Bugatti recently moved to the Czech Republic. In the country where the 350 cc Jawas were once only for notables and for export, there is now real money.

Outsourcing the purchase: strange…

Apparently the people with real money are so busy making even more money that they just outsource the quest for their dreams. As an ordinary classic lover, that strikes me as ordering someone to score a bride, arrange the wedding and immediately take responsibility for the wedding night. But as a person, Jan is an amiable personality. And he is well on his way to earning his own Tatra.

Tatra was a top brand

The Czech firm Tatra, one of Europe's oldest car manufacturers, has a history dating back to 1850 and a reputation for technical innovation, thanks in large part to the fertile spirit of the talented Austrian engineer Hans Ledwinka.

The Tatra T87 was one of the most advanced cars of its time, it had fully independent suspension, a highly aerodynamic body and Tatras were powered by that rear mounted, air cooled 2545 cc SOHC V8. With that, the Tatra 160+ ran and he was still quite economical.

The T87 has a kind of Jekyl and Hyde character. On the brave side is a groundbreaking car for its age that would have a huge impact on car design and aerodynamics, and its dangerous side was expressed in its idiosyncratic handling due to the rear-mounted V8, when driven by inexperienced drivers. The pendulum axle construction of the rear axle was the famous devil out of the box.

A Tatras of a ton or three

About 1936 Tatra T1950s were made between 3000 and 87. The auction price of a great copy is currently between € 250.000-300.000. The scarcity of parts is not a problem for cars in this price range. What is not there is simply counterfeited. If you link the 'market value' of such a Tatra to the fact that a very skilled machine fitter, mechanic or sheet metal worker is well paid locally with € 800/month, there is still some room in the restoration costs.

Oh well… An early 911 or a Beetle also has air-cooled blocks in the back. A Chevrolet Corvair too. And those are nice classics too.

Also possible: A Tatrta block in a Skoda….


Give a reaction
  1. There is a black and white film I think an advertising film.
    Ever seen as a little boy. Back then the Tatras were always found to be special.
    Anyone know the title or where can I find it?

  2. the secret weapon of the Czechoslovaks when the Nazi Germans once took possession of the territory there……. there were too many accidents with this model

  3. My former English teacher has two or three, including a T87 and a Tatra that belonged to the agriculture minister in the XNUMXs

  4. Ever seen one. Was in a warehouse rack at a car wrecker as the special nest egg. Even asking questions about it was appreciated. It was his kind of shrine

  5. Magnificent. I saw them driving as a child in the 60s and about 10 years ago I saw one in a parking lot in Delft.

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