The web has spoken and a 1941 Tatra T87 has been voted The New York Times 2010 Collectible Car of the Year. The rear-engined, air-cooled V8 Tatra beat 30 finalists (overall, there were 651 entrants), including noteworthy cars from Packard and Checker. The T87's owner, Paul Greenstein, was shocked to hear that his car – one of three Tatras he owns – came out on top. Greenstein says the Tatra has a unique allure that can't be matched by other manufacturers. For Americans, rarity factors into that, as the Czech marque was never sold in the United States.

Greenstein picked up his car in 2001 for the princely sum of $8,000. At the time, the fin wasn't in show-quality condition, so he had the T87 shipped to the Czech Republic for a full restoration. Fringe benefits of having the work done in the old country included cheap labor and parts availability that couldn't be matched in the U.S. Three-and-a-half years and $60,000 later, Greenstein and his girlfriend had their T87 back. Don't scoff at the cost; recent examples have sold at auction for as much as $125,000. Fortunately, the Times' Collectible Car of the Year award includes a $5,000 check along with the trophy.

Head over to the The New York Times to read the full story, and be sure to also visit Clunkbucket for a few shots of Paul Greenstein's T87 taken prior to its restoration.

[Source: The New York Times | Image: Clunkbucket]