Tom will be remembered fondly, and missed by many.
Rest in peace. here's a brief bio:
Tom was born on July 23, 1934 in Detroit Michigan, USA. His full name at birth was Stevens Thompson Tjaarda Van Starkenberg. He graduated the University of Michigan in 1958 with a degree in Architecture.
His employment as an automotive designer was as follows:
1958 – 1960: Ghia under Luigi Segre 1961 – 1965: Pininfarina 1965 – 1967: Fergat/OSI 1968 – 1977: Ghia under De Tomaso/Ford 1978 – 1981: Fiat Advanced Design 1982 – 1984: Rayton – Fissore
He established a personal design copmpany in 1984, and named it Dimensione Design. Dimensione Design was renamed Tjaarda Design in 2003.
He passed away on June 1, 2017 in Torino Italy. He is survived by Paola (Bronzino) Tjaarda, his wife of more than 40 years. Tom and Paola had no children. .
I had the ultimate pleasure of meeting Tom at my very first Concorso Italiano show in Monterey in 2016. He was a so fun to chat with and I had a wonderful time chauffeuring him around in a golf cart. An interesting story, he was due to speak at our Pantera paddock area, but was on the other end of the golf course venue. I knew it would take a while for him to reach us, so I decided to highjack a golf cart and pick him up and save him the long walk. When I stopped in front of him and asked him to "Hop in" for his ride, he said , "gladly". I was probably gushing about how my Pantera was my dream car since I was 15 years old and he sat there unfazed and graciously accepted the compliment matter-of-factly. No fake modesty or bravado, just a polite "thank you". We will all miss Tom dearly...he was a gentleman, a designer and real human being.
Rest in Peace. Amazing to think how many of our lives would maybe have been different if Tom hadn't made the Pantera beautiful. I wouldn't have owned one, and therefore not a Longchamp and not known people around the world like now.
markcharltonOld enough to know better and still young enough not to care. My '71 Pantera
Originally posted by No Quarter: Rest in Peace. Amazing to think how many of our lives would maybe have been different if Tom hadn't made the Pantera beautiful. I wouldn't have owned one, and therefore not a Longchamp and not known people around the world like now.
Beautifully stated Mikael. Beyond a beautiful car (many actually), Tom was part of creating something even bigger and more important — a great community. I'm glad that he was able to be a part of it long after the design work was done. Rest in peace Tom.
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