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Tatra - The Legacy of Hans Ledwinka is the story of the Tatra company, which originated in the Central European country of Czechoslovakia. It is a tale of great innovation and avant-garde design in automobile engineering. It is also the story of one man - Hans Ledwinka - and his visionary concepts which have become highly influential, although often undervalued, contributions to the development of car technology. Until now, Hans Ledwinka's talent has hardly been recognised; in retrospect, he can be judged equal to car designers such as Benz, Daimler and Porsche, whose endeavours have been fully recorded many times over. With his revolutionary Tatra cars, Ledwinka consistently pushed back the frontiers of automobile construction, and it's certain that without his inspiration, the Volkswagen in its air-cooled rear-engined form would perhaps never have been conceived.

About the Author

Ivan Margolius

Ivan Margolius was born in Prague, where he began studying architecture at the Czech Institute of Technology. In 1966 he arrived in the United Kingdom and completed his training at The Polytechnic, before practising at Foster and Partners, Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Yorke Rosenberg Mardall and co-operating with Jan Kaplický of Future Systems on projects and books. He is the author and co-author of many award winning articles, memoirs and books on art, architecture, history, automobile and product design, including 'Prague: a guide to twentieth-century century architecture', 'Tatra - The Legacy of Hans Ledwinka' (Cugnot Award of Distinction 1991) , 'Art Architecture', 'Automobiles by Architects', 'Architects Engineers = Structures', 'Czech Inspiration' and 'Reflections of Prague: Journeys through the 20th century'. Ivan is the son of JUDr Rudolf Margolius (1913-1952) , who was murdered as a result of the infamous Slánský Trial in Prague in 1952, and Heda Margolius Kovály (1919-2010) , translator and author of 'Under A Cruel Star' and 'Innocence'. Margolius' book 'Reflections of Prague: Journeys through the 20th century' complements his mother's book and adds additional material and background to his family's story. His latest book is 'Jan Kaplický Drawings' published by Circa Press, London 2015. The new revised edition of 'Tatra - The Legacy of Hans Ledwinka' came out in November 2015. In November 2014 Ivan received a second prize in British Czech and Slovak Association International Writing Competition and in November 2017 the first prize. In February 2018 his mother's book 'Hitler, Stalin and I' was published translated by him. Margolius received an 'Honorary Silver Medal of Jan Masaryk' for his 'outstanding contribution to the development of relations between the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom' on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in London in November 2019. More information about his writing can be found on www.margolius.co.uk.

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