The two people critical to the development of Tatra’s most significant automobiles, including the subject of this profile, were Hans Ledwinka and Paul Jaray. Ludwinka, born in Austria near Vienna, started his career as a mechanic, studied in Vienna, and was hired by Nesselsdorfer Waganbau-Fabriks-Gesellschaft to work on railroad cars, before becoming involved with the company’s first automobiles. Between 1921 and 1937, he was Tatra’s chief design engineer, and one of his most significant designs for Tatra was his rear-engined, air-cooled streamliners, the T77, T77a, T87, and T97 of the mid- to late-’30s. After WWII, he was accused of having collaborated with the Germans and was sentenced to prison by the communist government. Upon his release, in 1951, he retired and moved to Germany where he died in 1967.
Become a Member & Get Ad-Free Access To This Article (& About 6,000+ More)
Access to the full article is limited to paid subscribers only. Our membership removes most ads, lets you enjoy unlimited access to all our premium content, and offers you awesome discounts on partner products. Enjoy our premium content.