Hans Ledwinka

Hans Ledwinka

Hans Ledwinka (born in Klosterneuburg (Lower Austria),1878, died in Munich(Germany),1967) was an Austrian automobile designer. As a young man, Ledwinka worked for Nesselsdorfer-Wagenbau where he designed the 5.3-litre six-cylinder Type U motor car. In 1917, in the midst of World War I, he left the company to join Steyr. Between 1921 and 1945, he was the chief design engineer at the Tatra company in Kopřivnice, Czech Republic (originally Nesselsdorfer-Wagenbau). Here, Ledwinka invented the frameless central tubular chassis (so-called "backbone chassis") with swing axles, fully independent suspension and rear-mounted air-cooled flat engine. His son Erich designed the Steyr-Daimler-Puch Haflinger continued by the larger Pinzgauer High Mobility All-Terrain Vehicle, both on tubular chassis and swing portal axle.

Ledwinka discussed his design ideas with Ferdinand Porsche, who later acknowledged the influence of Ledwinka's Tatra models on the Porsche-designed Kdf-Wagen of 1938 (later known as the VW Beetle).

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Cars: T11 · T12 · T17 · T57 · T75 · V570 · T77 · T77a · T87 · T97 · T107 · T600 Tatraplan · T603 · T613 · T700

Trucks: T111 · T141 · T805 · T138 · T813 · T148 · T815 · Tatrapan · T163 Jamal · T816


V570 Prototype ·

Hans Ledwinka

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