The T-97 has strong ties to the earlier T-87, which first came out in 1936. While the T-87 was a fairly successful luxury car (with over 3000 sold), the T-97 suffered heavily due to the Second World War.
The T-97 was Tatra's last pre-war vehicle and looked very much like a scaled down T-87. The shorter body wasn't immediately noticable unless it was parked next to its big brother, but the flat windscreen, missing center headlight, and split rear glass helped differentiate the T-97 from the earlier T-87. Powered by a 1.75-liter 4-cylinder engine, the T-97 was capable of around 130km/h. With the engine in back it was also quiet like the T-87, and while the wheelbase was reduced by nearly a foot it was still a very roomy car.
The T-97 was well on its way to becoming a popular vehicle for the Czech citizens when Germany annexed parts of Czechoslovakia, including that where the Tatra factory was located. This led to the end of production and the seizing of patents. When war broke out Tatra was allowed to resume production of the T-87, but the extremely popular T-57 and imminently successful T-97 were forbidden due to the fact that they competed with (and outperformed) Volkswagen designs of the time. As a result, only 508 T-97s were ever built, making it a very rare car these days.
With the release of the T-87 a while back it is a logical procession that Attack would come out with the T-97. Like the earlier kit this one is molded in gray plastic, with a clear tree providing the parts for the windows and the headlights. There are many common parts between the two kits, including the entire clear tree and most of the interior. Construction is very similar to the T-87 as well.
The instructions, interestingly, start out with the assembly of the body. This is in right and left halves, with a separate hood and rear upper section. Detail for the insides of the doors is molded on the sides, but there's nothing for the roof lining. The assembly procedure makes it easy to add something up there, though, as well as for painting and finishing the body as a separate assembly.
The chassis supports the interior as well as provide attachments for the front and rear axles. The interior consists of two bench seats, a front bulkhead with an instrument cluster & separate steering wheel, and a rear bulkhead. These parts fit onto the one-piece chassis, with the axles finding place in front and behind the two bulkheads. The wheels are molded as one piece and fit snugly onto the axles. The engineering makes it easy to assemble and paint, and with the body separate there's no nooks or crannies that are inaccessible after assembly.
There's two choices offered in the small decal sheet, with the first being a three-colorvehicle from the 3rd Panzer Division, Panzer Regiment HQ in Russia, 1943. This is the same scheme as seen on the boxtop. The second is an overall black vehicle seen in Prague in 1945.
This vehicle will be a great addition to any 1/72 collection, no matter if you prefer armor or aviation. The civilian aspects of the vehicle will make it an interesting companion to, say, a post-war Czech Spitfire or perhaps a MiG fighter. The simple construction will make it an ideal break from the usual subjects out there.