Tatra T87 World Tour

tatra_t87Because Paul Greenstein was able to forge a lifelong dream of a streamlined future and rusting satellite TV antenna together into this beautiful air-cooled V-8 powered sedan is exactly why automobiles will forever be part of our culture. That being said, we bring you Paul and Dydia’s 1941 Tatra T87. Legend has it that a soldier returning from World War II drove this particular Tatra T87 onto a ship, and then back off home to New York State. The T87 then sat at a local dealership for many years as undeniable proof that they really would take any car on trade-in. The Tatra ended up switching hands a few times until in 2001 Paul acquired the rusty T87 after the previous owner had stalled on his restoration plans, and parked the Tatra on a concrete slab shared with a satellite TV dish.

In 2001 Paul drove out to New York from his home in Los Angeles to pick up the T87. After realizing the car would never be finished on his own schedule, he traveled to back to the old country to research those who specialized in Tatras, eventually getting Tatra restoration titans Ecorra on the job. The car went over to Germany in 2003, then off to the Czech Republic where it sits now at the Tatra Museum. The T87 is heading back soon to the modern city of Los Angeles to join a few more Tatras already in the Greenstein Collection. Paul sent us these photos of himself and Dydia DeLyser on their recent trip to Ecorra. Paul and Dydia brought along a restored steering wheel and clock completed at Greenstein world headquarters for installation at Ecorra, and took the T87 on an excursion over the same roads it traveled on its first trip out of the factory in 1941. Stay tuned for more Tatra and Radegast in future installments.

More: Tatra everything at ECORRA


  1. TV's Paul Y. says

    These are among the most amazing cars ever. I highly recommend the video of Jay Leno driving his Tatra around. It’s such an odd-yet-sensible car. The cD of .21 is also noteworthy, especially given when and where it was designed.

  2. Myron Vernis says

    The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville has an amazing collection of Tatra vehicles in addition to its other eclectic selections. It’s well worth a visit if you’re anywhere in the vicinity.

  3. casadelshawn says

    Is this Paul from Silver Lake? That used to have a business called Two Wheel Devil? I saw a beautiful 603 sticking out of a garage on either Silver Lake Blvd or Glendale Blvd a few years ago. Of course, I whipped a u-turn in the middle of the street and got out to take some pictures of it. The owner stuck his head out of the garage, saw what I was doing, smiled, and told me to come inside when I was done taking pictures.
    Inside the shop was a Mercedes 170H, a Nash Ambassador, a half-track, bunches of motorcycles, and lots of Tatra parts. The guy’s name was Paul, and we BSed for nearly an hour about loving weird cars, finding parts for weird cars, driving weird cars, and the misery and joy that brought us both. He told me about the 603 that he was working on, and that he had a line on a T87 that he’d love to own. Can’t be too many Tatra guys named Paul around, I wonder if this is him?
    If it is, good for him for getting this!

  4. dukeisduke says

    I remember reading a Salon article on the T87 in Road & Track years ago (their Salon car was a white one), and in the article, it stated that during the war, the Wehrrmacht forbade their soldiers occupying Czechoslovakia from driving Tatras, because they supposedly had a nasty habit of going off the road backwards.

    I’ve known of and seen a couple of 513s here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area over the years (one belonged to a museum in McKinney), and actually met one guy (who was deaf) that owned a 513, who let me look the car over. Incredibly fascinating cars. I’m glad that their name lives on, in the large trucks with run the Dakar every year.

  5. says

    Good morning,
    Congratulations with your Ecorra restoration. The car looks quite nice.I had a similar T 87 done by Ecorra in 2002 and actually drove out yesterday.
    Best regards,
    Kees Smit
    PS. I have put your small restoration story on Tatra World.

  6. paul says

    Same Paul… come visit again when the car is back in Los Angeles… (another month?)

  7. says

    I think I saw this thing on the 210 Freeway a few weeks ago. Unfortunately (but probably wisely) I decided not to immediately make a U-turn.

    @paul in Silver Lake…now I’m going to cruise up and down SL and Glendale Blvds looking for your collection (I’m just across the river in Glassel Park).

  8. Robert Keil says


    Congratulations for the successful restoration !

    Robert Keil (Brussels)

  9. Will Owen says

    Saw the car and its people up very close at Best of France & Italy last Sunday, and it is certainly one of the most desirable hopelessly impractical automobiles I’ve ever had the good fortune to see. The fit and finish are beyond impeccable – I’ve seen insanely expensive watches that aren’t made any better – and when one of the back doors was pushed shut the sound was not unlike that of an old refrigerator door: ka-lick. This car is almost exactly the same age I am, and I wish to hell I were in as good shape…

  10. BulldogFront says

    Wow. Loved the cruise around the Lake this last Sunday! Thanks a ton for your time and hospitality, Paul. Very cozy corner of History. I really dig all your adverts/posters/collectibles, too. Reminds me of my grandfather’s garage full of 40’s-50’s Standard Oil schwag (he owned a station in rural MN). Thanks also to CasaDelShawn for including me.
    Much respect to a former performer/patron of the DragonLady’s…

    Matt from Camarillo.