Tatra 87 Skid Pad Test. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

By George Dyke….

For those who have had the privilege of driving a Tatra 87, and I’m one of them, it’s apparent with the rear mounted V8 engine sitting on live rear axles, that there is a huge amount of weight out back, and that it is going to be a handful when pushed.

Already legendary for the back-end to loose grip, why would one want to test its limits without full-well knowing there would be a disastrous outcome. Well, Hagerty Media decided to do just that, and let the article’s author, Sam Smith, take one of the Lane Motor Museum’s T87’s on skid pad and continually decrease the radius while cornering. If Hagerty wanted sensationalism, to kick-off the their new new test series they’re calling ‘The Death Eaters’ — mission accomplished!

Here’s how they pitch it: “With the help of Lane Motor Museum and Kentucky’s wonderful NCM Motorsports Park, Hagerty is exploring the stories and real-world behavior of legendary cars with infamous handling.”

Have a strong stomach, and read the details here: https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/the-death-eaters-chapter-1-tatra-t87/?utm_source=SFMC&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Tuesday_DailyDriver

Sam Smith does go on to discuss the T87’s virtues in the article, and amazingly Jeff Lane took the whole incident in stride when he heard the news, but really what shame to subject such a classic to that abuse.

At least the article goes to show the integrity of the Tatra 87 body — relatively minor damage for a car that flipped on its side and scraped along the tarmac.

Images courtesy of Hagerty Media. Photos by Andrew Trahan.

One thing not mentioned in the article… If you ever have the opportunity to drive a Tatra 87, make sure the gas tank is at least 1/2 full. It’s located in the front trunk, just before with windshield and with just 37 percent of the cars wight over the front wheels, gas in the tank goes a long way in keeping the front end planted on the road.

That’s “0 for 2” with Sam and us so far this year. We criticized his 2CV video buyers guide back in early February where his advice and knowledge of the car was way off from making the video a definitive guide to purchasing one.

What’s next? A Hagerty hat-trick — this time running a Lane Motor Museum Citroën DS through the back roads of Tennessee on three wheels to see how far you can go before losing a rear drum and trailing arm?

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