Alexis de Sakhnoffsky
Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky (12 November 1901, Kiev, Ukraine, then under control of the Russian Empire – April 29, 1964, Atlanta, the USA) was a Russian Empire - American industrial designer, known principally for his Streamline-style automotive designs. Born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1901 in the family of Vladimir Sakhnovsky/Sahnovski. The Sakhnovskys are known since Ukrainian cossacks' period. They are united with other Cossack Hetman families such as the Zabilas, the Lysenkos, the Bezborodkos and the Polubotkos as well as the famous noble families the Gogol-Yanovskys, the Tereschenkos and others. Alexis came from a wealthy aristocratic family. The son of Prince Vladimir Sakhnovsky who was the new commandant of the station port in the First World War, the port manager in the Petrograd's Customs and Chairman of the acceptance of vehicles supplied by Russia's allies, committed suicide in 1917. Mother was M. I. Tereshchenko's (millionaire and sugar industrialist) daughter. The family had a "Mercedes" car, which led to a creative future fate of the artist. After his father's death in 1917 he joined the army of General Wrangel. In early 1920 after the Bolshevik revolution he emigrated from his motherland. At first he lived in Paris, where his mother's aunt lived. Then he emigrated to Switzerland in 1919 and by the 1920s had become a well-known designer of European sports cars. He relocated to North America in 1929 and was employed by the Hayes Body Corporation where he did design work for several Hayes customers like Auburn, Cord, or American Austin automobiles. The 1929 Cord L-29 he designed for himself (and which was built at Hayes) won the Grand Prize at the 1929 Monaco Concours d'Elegance and the Grand Prix d'Honneur at the 1929 Beaulieu Concours. He went to Packard in the early 1930s, and later did work for White trucks, among others.
In the early 1950s Sakhnoffsky teamed up with Preston Tucker (after Tucker's tumultuous acquittal from an SEC trial over the Tucker '48) funded by investors from Brazil. They began initial designs to build a sports car called the Tucker Carioca. But Tucker's travels to Brazil were plagued by fatigue and upon his return to the United States he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Tucker died from pneumonia as a complication of lung cancer. The Tucker Carioca was never developed.
Sakhnoffsky also completed numerous other design projects including bicycles, kitchen items, and furniture. He served as a technical editor for Esquire magazine from 1934 until the 1960s.