Tatra V570 was a prototype early 1930s car developed by a team led
Hans Ledwinka and Paul Jaray. The aim of the construction team was
to develop a cheap people's car with an aerodynamic body. However the
company's management decided that the revolutionary ideas introduced
in the prototype should be introduced in large luxurious cars, and
therefore the team abandoned the project of small cars in favour of
the Tatra T77, the world's first serially produced aerodynamic car.
The project of a small car was later continued and led to introduction
of the Tatra T97. The second V570 was built in 1933, two years before
the first Volkswagen, which bears a strong resemblance to the Tatra
– it was misappropriated by Hitler and Dr. Porsche in circumstances
about which the German company remains intensely
1.1 First prototype
1.2 Second prototype
In the early 1930s Tatra engineers, under the direction of Hans
Ledwinka's son Erich and design engineer Erich Übelacker, started
work on the development of a small people's car with a rear-mounted
engine in a backbone frame. Ledwinka believed that a rear-mounted
RR layout would bring with it several big advantages – i.e.
reducing the efficiency loss, noise and vibration of the driveshaft of
the FR layout. No driveshaft meant there would be a flat floor with no
need for central floor tunnel so that the passengers' seating position
would be lower and well forward of the rear axle, which would lead to
a lower centre of gravity, more favourable inter-axle weight
distribution, and lower overall height. Mounting the engine in the
rear would mean shortening the front part of the body to make a longer
tail possible, which was consistent with the laws of aerodynamics.
Also, engine noise would not disturb the passengers and would not be
heard when driving at a speed of over 50 km/h. Air-cooling would
be simpler and more effective at coping with the extremes of
temperatures during the depths of winter and height of summer, than
water cooling systems of the time, considering the climate in
Central-Europe. As the company was considering starting to
manufacturing aeroplanes, it got experience with laws of aerodynamics
and decided to apply them for the prospective car.
Tatra V570 first prototype
Tatra V570 final design
Tatra V570 final design
The initial proposal of the concept was presented by Tatra designer
Erich Übelacker, who previously worked on the
Tatra 57 car. However,
at the time Übelacker's proposal was strongly criticised by Ledwinka.
When he was facing the prospect of leaving the company, he finally
presented the project with aerodynamic car body with a teardrop rear,
which would be used to accommodate the whole drive-line of the car.
Paul Jaray, the noted Zeppelin designer, produced a prototype
aerodynamic body for the Tatra 57. Übelacker was a mercurial young
engineer with great imagination and a lot of enthusiasm - however he
lacked the perseverance needed to bring his ideas to fruition, and
that is when Ledwinka stepped in to finish the work which might
otherwise have come to nothing. The new design was initially tried
under a body which was not aerodynamic (the first V570 prototype).
Two pieces of the first V570 were made in 1931.
The work on the second prototype's aerodynamic body started. The
second prototype was based on patents using streamlining principles of
Paul Jaray. It was very similar to the first prototype, but this time
it was equipped with an aerodynamic body. The lower part was
following the lines of an aeroplane wing, while the upper part was
supposed to be like a second wing added on top. The rear mudguards
were incorporated into the body and the rear wheels were covered. The
remnants of front mudguards became part of the front bonnet. The
running boards were abandoned and accessories (i.e. door handles) were
recessed into the body. The floor was flat and enclosed. The front
window was inclined at a 45° angle.
The positioning of the engine at the rear and its cooling became a
difficult task, which is demonstrated by the large number of patents
considering the airflow to the rear engine compartment which Tatra
registered at the time. The initial prototype had an engine derived
Tatra 57 two-seater.
The final design had four seats. The engine was a two-cylinder
air-cooled boxer 854 cc with a power rating of 18 HP at
3500 RPM. The engine, gear-box and half-axles were of unitary
construction. The simple two door body had a timber frame. Although it
was made purely to test different design ideas, it had good handling
and could easily reach speeds of 80 km/h.
The responsibility for final construction was given to Hans Ledwinka's
Serial production was considered, however the Tatra 57's outstanding
commercial success precluded it, the principles of V570 were later
used in the
Tatra T77 and
Tatra T97 designs.
See also: Volkswagen controversy
The car was later sold and its owner used it daily for 30 years,
before it was handed back to Tatra factory museum.
^ a b c d e "Aerotatra - Tatra V570". aerotatra.czweb.org. Retrieved
^ a b c d "Technický popis T V570". aerotatra.czweb.org. Retrieved
^ "Cars & history:
Tatra T77 & T77A (1933–1938)". Tatra. NL:
Demon. Archived from the original on 2006-10-12. Retrieved
^ Mantle, Jonathan (1995), Car wars: fifty years of greed, treachery,
and skulduggery in the global marketplace, New York: Arcade .
^ a b "CARS & HISTORY: Start of the aerodynamic era (1931-1933)".
tatra.demon.nl. Archived from the original on 2010-05-17. Retrieved
^ Tatra - Passenger Cars, Karel Rosenkranz, TATRA, a. s., 2007
^ "Tatra oldtimer:T77 (czech)". Retrieved 2010-05-17.
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