czech cars

4

Tatra Type 87 (1936-1950)

Producing in Czechoslovakia during the most turbulent years of the last century, the Tatra Type 87 managed to be far ahead of it’s time. The radical body shape was an evolution of the first aerodynamically designed car, the Tatra Type 77. Due to it’s shape and efficiency the Type 87 was able to achieve 20mpg at highway speeds and continue on to a top speed over 100mph with it’s rear mounted air cooled V8. The engineering genius behind it, Hans Ledwinka, was imprisoned for six years for collaborating with Nazi Germany but eventually sued for his freedom. It never gained the success he hoped for outside of his home country, but today the Tatra Type 87 is renowned for its’ innovations.

4

Eliška Junková (16 November 1900 – 5 January 1994), born as Alžběta Pospíšilová and also known as Elizabeth Junek and “Queen of the Steering Wheel”, was a Czech automobile racer.
She raced in Bugatti cars, first as a co-driver with her husband Čeněk and later by herself. In the twenties she was the fastest woman on Earth and was also
the only one woman in the history of Grand Prix that was on the same level as its best male riders.
Her greatest success was the fifth place in the race Targa Florio (1928, at the time considered the hardest in the world) but she won in many other races. Eliška Junková was also the first woman to win in the international race Zbraslav-Jílovště.
She ended her racing career in reaction to the tragic death of her husband (1928) but continued to participate in organization of races, such as Masaryk Circuit in Brno. In the sixties she contributed to motorist magazines. In 1989, after the Communist block thanks to which she couldn’t travel abroad fell, she attended a Bugatti reunion in the United States as the guest of honor. Eliška Junková died peacefully in Prague, Czech Republic in 1994, aged 93.