Tatra’s futuristic-looking, aerodynamic cars, which first appeared on the roads in the 1930s, represent some of the most distinctive designs ever produced in Czechoslovakia. These now classic cars were not the only thing Tatra made; as well as their well-known trucks, the company based in Kopřivnice, Moravia also turned out planes, military vehicles and even the stunning Slovak Arrow train. However, cars are the main focus of the book Tatra: The Legacy of Hans Ledwinka by Ivan Margolius and John G. Henry, which has just come out in Czech for the first time. Margolius’s father Rudolf Margolius was executed in the notorious Slánsky show trial when Ivan was a small boy and in the 1960s he moved to London, where he became an architect. He shared a startling family connection to Tatra, and lots of fascinating information on the company’s history, in this interview from his home in the UK.


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