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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.

Tom's last stateside visit was Monterey Week in 2016. PCNC arranged to chaufeur Tom during that week.

I had the honor and privilege to provide his ride to Pebble Beach on Sunday. This photo is Tom at Pebble Beach on a bench in front of the Lodge, about 6:30 am before the Judges Breakfast, August 21, 2016.

The first photo I posted was taken later that day, just before Tom, my friend Gary and I enjoyed a fish-n-chips dinner at the Monterey harbor. Tom said he enjoyed good fish-n-chips, and luckily the small restaurant we chose delivered precisely that.

After dinner, I took him to his Seaside motel, walked him up the stairs to his second story room, and saw him safely into his room.

As I drove away, I wondered if I would be lucky enough to see him again......


Images (1)
Last edited by lf-tp2511
I never realized just how many important automotive WOW!!! RIP Tom.

1959. Ghia Selene I (with Sergio Sartorelli)
1960. Innocenti 950 S Ghia Spider
1960. (Innocenti) Ghia IXG Dragster
1960. Renault Dauphine Ghia Coupé
1960. VW Karmann Ghia 1500 (type 34) Coupé (rear design; main body design by Sergio Sartorelli)
1961. Ferbedo Automobilina pedal car (Ghia)
1961. Ghia Cart
1961. Innocenti 1100 Ghia Coupé
1962. Chevrolet Corvair Pininfarina Coupé (I)
1963. Chevrolet Corvette Rondine Pininfarina Coupé (I)
1963. Fiat 2300 Pininfarina
1963. Lancia Flaminia 2.8 Pininfarina Coupé Speciale
1964. Chevrolet Corvette Rondine Pininfarina Coupé (II)
1964. Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Pininfarina series 1
1964. Mercedes 230 SL Pininfarina Coupé
1965. Fiat 124 Spider Pininfarina[3]
1966. Ferrari 365 GT California
1968. Chevrolet Checker Berlina (with Giorgetto Giugiaro)
1968. Serenissima Coupé (Ghia)
1969. De Tomaso Mustela (I) (Ghia)
1969. Isuzu Bellett MX1600 GT (Ghia)
1969. Lancia Flamina Marica (Ghia)
1969. Lancia Fulvia 1600 HF Competizione (Ghia)
1970. De Tomaso Deauville (Ghia)
1970. De Tomaso Pantera Ghia
1970. (Lancia Flavia) Giacobbi Sinthesis 2000
1970. Williams De Tomaso-Ford (Cosworth) 505/38 (De Tomaso Formula 1)
1971. All-Cars AutoZodiaco Damaca
1971. De Tomaso 1600 (Ghia) Spider
1971. De Tomaso Zonda (Ghia)
1971. Isuzu Bellett SportsWagon (Ghia)
1972. De Tomaso Longchamp
1972. De Tomaso Pantera L (Ghia)
1972. De Tomaso Pantera 290 (Ghia)
1972. De Tomaso Pantera GT4 (Ghia)
1972. Ford Fiesta (Ghia, Project "Wolf")
1973. De Tomaso/Ford Pantera 7X (Ghia)
1973. De Tomaso Monttella 1/1 197X
1973. Ford Mustela (II) (Ghia)
1974. Ford Ghia Coins
1974. Ford Maverick
1978. Lancia Y10
1979. Fiat Brazil
1979. Ford Mustang II Proposals (Ghia) (different variants)
1979. Zastava (facelifts of older Fiat-based models for Yugoslavia)
1980. De Tomaso Longchamp Cabrio
1981. SEAT Ronda
1981. SEAT Guappa Coupé
1982. Chrysler LeBaron
1982. Chrysler Imperial
1983. Rayton-Fissore Taxi Torino
1985. Chrysler Jeep (Interior)
1985. Rayton-Fissore Magnum 4x4
1989. Aston Martin Lagonda Coupé
1988. PPG 4x4 (USA)
1989. Laforza Magnum 4x4
1989. Zastava Utility vehicle
1991. Bitter Tasco
1992. Saab 900 four door
1992. Suzuki Coupé (for Bugatti)
1993. Fiat Iveco Truck Interior
1995. Lamborghini Diablo (Interior)
1998. Isotta-Fraschini T8 Coupé
1998. Isotta-Fraschini T12 Coupé
2000. Qvale Mangusta (II)
2001. Laforza PSV (II) (production engineering only)
2002. Spyker GT Sport
2003. Fiat Barchetta (Facelift)
2006. Shelby Series 2
2007. Tjaarda Mustang


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