In 1952, handicapped Russian veterans of World War II (or the “Great Patriotic War” as it was called in the USSR) received their long overdue motorized transportation in the form of an open three-wheeler, the SL1.
Tata (TAH-tah) Motors began as an Indian locomotive manufacturer in 1945. In 2005, Tata began developing a car that could compete with India’s main form of motorized transport: the motorcycle. To do so, it had to be very inexpensive.
Hans Ledwinka was one of the most original and logical thinkers ever to work in the motor industry. He believed the automobile was destined to become an object of everyday use to modern man. His creations in such varied areas as engine design, frame and structures, suspension systems, and aerodynamics attracted worldwide attention.
In 1925 Tatra decided to enter the famous Targa Florio road race in Italy to help publicize its name. Since Tatra had only been making cars for two years, many outsiders believed the Tatra cars would never be able to finish the grueling 450-mile road race.
In 1931, Tatra introduced the T-57 model, with air-cooled, 4 cylinder, overhead valve engines placed in the front. The T-57 was one of Tatra’s most popular models and remained in production until after World War II.
After World War II, Tatra found itself stranded behind the Iron Curtain. Hans Ledwinka was accused of collaborating with the Nazis and was imprisoned from 1945-51. The T-600 was introduced at the 1947 Prague Auto Salon.