Tom Tjaarda With Fiat 124 Spider
Kelly Pleskot Online Editor
June 12, 2017

Tom Tjaarda, a prolific designer of Italian sports cars, has passed away at 82.

Born in 1934, Tjaarda was destined to become a designer as his Dutch-born father, John Tjaarda, penned the Lincoln Zephyr. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in architecture, the Detroit-raised Tom Tjaarda made his way to Italy to work with Ghia and Pininfarina. Some of his earlier works in the '60s include the Innocenti 950 S Ghia Spider, Chevrolet Corvette Rondine Pininfarina, and Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Pininfarina. Then, Tjaarda went on to birth the original Fiat 124 Spider Pininfarina, which still lives on today in the form of the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider.

Tjaarda crossed paths with Ford when the automaker bought Ghia in 1970. After leading the charge on the De Tomaso Pantera and Deauville, he went on to design the original Ford Fiesta from 1972, sealing his mark in the automotive industry forever. He also worked on the Isuzu Bellett MX1600 GT and SportsWagon, De Tomaso Longchamp, and variousversions of the Pantera. Later with Fiat, he worked on the Lancia Thema, Fiat Chroma, and Fiat Tipo 4 in the '80s.

Eventually, Tjaarda created his own company, Dimensione Design, later to be known as Tjaarda Design. His last big projects werecustomized Mustangs includingthe Shelby Series 2 and Tjaarda Mustang.The 2009 Tjaarda Design Mustang was featured in Fast and Furious 4.

Tjaarda will be remembered as one of the greatest Italian sports car designers of all time. We will miss him greatly, but his work will live on for decades to come.

Source: Tjaarda Design via Facebook,Coachbuild.com