Skip to main content

Replies sorted oldest to newest

A very wonderful guy, pleasant and never put off by talking with the owners.

I spent some quality time talking with him in Houston, and he never seemed to tire of it, nor the same questions from the rest of us.

It seems he had irons in the fire until the end (his design studio, his wine releases). Good for him.

A person can only wish their legacy could be as fulfilling to themselves, and to others as his was.

R.I.P., Tom.
Tom will be remembered fondly, and missed by many.

Rest in peace.

here's a brief bio:

Tom Tjaarda

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.
Last edited by George P
All from the Fun Rally in Houston (2015).

Here is my favorite picture. While it's not very "sexy", it is a picture of Tom T. taking a picture of Panteras. It made me feel good when it was happening, and it makes me really happy now.

Here's a slideshow of my pictures of/with Tom at the Houston Fun Rally. I loaded these up at full resolution, in case anyone wants to download them.


Slideshow of Tom Tjaarda at the Houston Fun Rally
Tom Tjaarda

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.


Images (1)
  • Tom1
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.


Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.