Classic cars are some of the most beautiful vehicles in the world, yet they wouldn’t exist without the hard work of passionate people. Designer Of The Day is a segment that looks at history’s greatest car engineers and how they’ve contributed to the industry. Paul Jaray, a pioneer of automotive streamlining, is influential in the field of aerodynamics.
Jaray was born in Vienna and worked at the Prague Technical University as an assistant to Professor Rudolf Dorfl. He went on to become the chief designer at Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen, streamlining seaplanes. Jaray’s work was crucial in designed the LZ-120 Bodensee, which inspired the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin and LZ 129 Hindenburg.
Car design career
Jaray’s work with the Zeppelin led to him establishing a reputation for streamlining cars. He realised cars could go faster if they were more aerodynamic, so he founded the Stromlinien Karosserie Gesellschaft in 1927. The company presented schematics for streamlined cars and Jaray redesigned vehicles from Audi, Ford and many others.
His Audi Type K model was redesigned to have a small nose, curved windscreen and sloping tail. The engine remained the same as a normal Audi Type K, yet it could exceed 80 mph. His cars looked radically different from anything at the time and many companies shied away for producing them.
However, Jaray’s vehicles found success at car events. He presented a luxury Maybach SW35 Stromlinie at the Paris Auto Show and boxing legend Max Schmeling quickly bought it.
In 1934, Czech company Tatra decided to market the T77, a car that was partly designed by Jaray. The car wasn’t considered as outlandish as Jaray’s previous work, but it still looked futuristic for the time.
Jaray’s work is often underappreciated, but the advances he made in aerodynamics set the tone for future cars.