Commissioned by a wealthy young Italian noble, the Duca d’Aosta was the ultimate ‘street’ Bizzarrini – but it also marked the end of a turbulent ride for the company that took on Ferrari at its own game, and lost.
Tatra can trace its origins back to horse-drawn carriages in 1850, but when this Czechoslovakian concern started building cars from 1919, it soon became one of Europe’s most imaginative car builders. After some early conventionality, its products took an unorthodox and forward-thinking turn, featuring svelte streamlining and a rear-mounted V8 engine on 1934’s T77.
Postwar, under Communist control, this theme continued, and Tatra was responsible for a pair of extraordinary machines – the T603 and T613 – the latter funded by damages awarded against Volkswagen over the design of the Beetle. However, with their designs outdated, Tatra withdrew from cars in 1996 to concentrate on trucks.