It featured a rear-mounted air-cooled engine, independent suspension, and an advanced four-speed gearbox, and it was built in limited numbers by Tatra of Czechoslovakia between 1934 and 1936. Only 106 T77 units were ever produced, to be more exact, one of which you can see in the gallery attached to this article.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the T77 is its aerodynamic body, designed to reduce wind resistance and improve fuel efficiency. The sleek vehicle boasts a surprisingly low-drag bodywork shaped in a wind tunnel with a fin on the engine’s cover at the back, making it look like a glossy fish car from the future.
Another innovative feature of the T77 was its rear-mounted air-cooled engine. This setup helped reduce the automobile’s overall weight and improve its balance. Despite the relatively small 2.97-liter V8 mill, the T77 provided plenty of power. It was capable of 59 hp and allowed the Tatra to achieve speeds of over 90 mph (145 kph), which was an impressive performance back in the pre-war days.
The remarkable aerodynamic shape and the rear-engine layout remained a Tatra staple for many years. Even the last Tatra production car, the Tatra 700, was still fitted with an air-cooled V8 engine mounted behind the rear axle.
Given the low production numbers, the Tatra T77 is now an extremely rare vehicle and highly sought-after by collectors. More so, considering only five restored and drivable T77s are known to still be in existence today.
While the Tatra’s ash wood framing was found in an advanced state of decay and needed replacement, the sheet metal is said to have been largely free from corrosion. A French artisan took care of rebuilding the rotten ash wood framing, and they saved as much of the original framework as possible. The car’s original large Webasto sunroof was replaced with a solid roof, and new front and rear bumpers were fitted, as the original ones were missing.
The T77’s exterior was painted a dark blue shade, while the interior was refurbished in period-correct gray leather. The ivory instrumentation combined with the walnut-trimmed dashboard gives a rich finish to the interior of the car.
Now, some of you might be curious about the history of this particular unit and whose hands it went through. Count Jaromír Egon Czernin-Morzin is listed as the first owner of this Tatra T77, the ninth production chassis completed. No details are known about the car’s whereabouts during and after World War II, but it’s believed it was driven until the mid-1970s. A German enthusiast bought it in 2005 after it had spent several decades in a barn in Slovakia. The current owner purchased it in 2007 and shipped it to the United States.
This impeccable 1934 Tatra T77, currently located on Amelia Island, Florida, is set to roll across the auction block at the beginning of March, so get ready to open your pockets if you dream of adding this historically significant car to your stable.