Saturday, December 13, 2014

Dutch generosity

As " old " paper-media  like magazines and club magazines, are under increasing pressure of digital media nowadays, I noticed that this also shows off in the increasing number of visitors of my blog.

Although my Fiat 124 Spider blog is in the English language, I'm happy to see that specifically for most of my Dutch fellow countrymen ( and -women ) and for most German, French and Italian 124 Spider enthusiasts this language barrier is not an issue anymore.

A rapidly increasing number of Dutch Fiat 124 Spider lovers is frequenting my blog.
The number of visitors tripled in the last three month, nice !
Just to let you know . . . . and for the record.

The official Dutch  FIAT 124 SPORT SPIDER REGISTER  avoids already more than 12 years in a constrained way ( from the moment on when I started my bilingual Fiat Spider website ) to mention my website or blog on their internet links page.

Absolutely incomprehensible in this small Fiat 124 Spider world.
Is this what they call " Dutch generosity ", narrow-mindedness or is it just plain envy ?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Creative Contemporaries - Hotel California 3

The lyrics of  HOTEL CALIFORNIA  describe the title establishment as a luxury resort where
" you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave."

On the surface, it tells the tale of a weary traveler who becomes trapped in a nightmarish luxury hotel that at first appears inviting and tempting. The song is an allegory about  HEDONISM, greed and self-destruction in the music industry of the late 1970s.
Don Henley called it " our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles " and later reiterated
" it's basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream and about excess in America, which is something we knew a lot about."

In 2008, Don Felder described the origins of the lyrics:
        "Don Henley and Glenn wrote most of the words. All of us kind of drove into L.A. at night.
         Nobody was from California, and if you drive into L.A. at night... you can just see this glow on
         the  HORIZON OF LIGHTS  and the images that start running through your head of
         Hollywood  and all the dreams that you have, and so it was kind of  about that... what we 
         started writing the song about. 
         Coming into L.A.... and from that 'Life in the Fast Lane' came out of it, and 'Wasted Time'
         and a
bunch of other songs."

In a 2009 interview, music critic John Soeder asked Don Henley this about the lyrics:
        " On Hotel California  you sing: " So I called up the captain / 'Please bring me my wine' / 
          He said, We haven't had that spirit here since 1969." 
         " I realize I'm probably not the first to bring this to your attention, but wine isn't a spirit. 
          Wine is fermented; spirits are distilled. Do you regret that lyric?"

Henley responded:
        "Thanks for the tutorial and, no, you're not the first to bring this to my attention -
          and you're not the first to completely misinterpret the lyric and miss the metaphor.
          Believe me, I've consumed enough alcoholic beverages in my time to know how they are 

          made and what the proper nomenclature is. But that line in the song has little or nothing to 
          do with alcoholic beverages. It's a sociopolitical statement.
          My only regret would be having to explain it in detail to you, which would defeat the 

          purpose of using literary devices in songwriting and lower the discussion to some silly and
          irrelevant argument about chemical processes." 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Creative Contemporaries - Hotel California 2


 As one of the most well-known songs of the rock era, and the 49th greatest song of all time according to  ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE,  chances are high you’ve heard the famous song Hotel California by the Eagles from the 70s  –  unless you’ve been living under a rock.

Due to the cryptic nature of the song’s lyrics, it has been the victim of several misinterpretations by both critics and fans alike. Some believed that the Hotel California was THE HOTEL CALIFORNIA
in Baja, Todos Santos, Mexico ( nevertheless the owners are still calling their hotel suggestively
THE LEGENDARY HOTEL CALIFORNIA ), and the Eagles were venting about the hospitality industry.
Others hypothesized that the band was referring to the  CAMARILLO STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL
in Ventura County, California.
Still others divined that this was a devil-worshipping song about  ANTON LAVEY,  who was notorious for converting people to Satanism. The threatening lyric “ you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave ” are likely to be to blame for these bone-chilling theories.

Despite popular belief, the Eagles have confirmed that Hotel California actually has nothing to do with hotels, satanism, psychiatric hospitals, or cocaine addictions.
The hit song is actually an examination of the pitfalls of living within Southern California in the tumultuous 1970s.
Written by  DON FELDERGLENN FREY,  and  DON HENLEY  of the Eagles, the Hotel California lyrics meaning is focused on the excess of materialism of California, as well as across the nation in the 1970s.

And BTW: The famous picture on  THE ORIGINAL LP-COVER  was not a picture taken from a MISSION POST  with  BELLS  ( 2 pictures I made myself on my California roundtrip in 2011 at the mission post San Juan Bautista, California ), but from the three small characteristic towers of the luxurious  BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL  in Beverly Hills near Los Angeles, California.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Creative Contemporaries - Hotel California 1


From many thousands of car radio speakers from open Fiat 124 Spiders echoed music of the
Eagles back in the Seventies.
Especially their Grammy Awards winning song HOTEL CALIFORNIA ( Live at Largo, Maryland 1977 )  appealed many convertible drivers in that time while the text started with:
On a dark desert highway,
Cool wind in my hair . . . . .

Step right in and experience this great California Sound that defined a generation during the hippie heyday of the late 1960's and early 1970's.

THIS UNIQUE SOUND  was during more than ten years the intro and favorite signature tune of
my Fiat 124 Spider website !
  Click on the link and turn your speakers wide open !

On a dark desert highway
Cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas
Rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance
I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy,
and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night

There she stood in the doorway
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself
This could be Heaven
or this could be Hell
Then she lit up a candle
And she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor
I thought I heard them say

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Underrated driving danger

Eating and drinking while driving is a far underrated danger.

Have you ever thought how dangerous it might be to have to concentrate on opening a candy bar while you are driving? Or, have you ever been sitting at a stoplight and watched the dad in the
minivan next to you unwrap six junior cheeseburgers for the kids in the car seats behind him?

Like TEXTING WHILE DRIVING , eating is also a big distraction that can interfere with your reaction times. “Most car accidents are caused by drivers not paying attention,” says Eric Bolton, a spokesperson for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Distraction was most likely to be involved in rear-end collisions in which the vehicle was stopped, and in single-vehicle crashes.”

Hagerty Classic Insurance, a company that provides insurance for classic cars, often receives claims for damage to car interiors caused by food. They took a closer look at the issue and found some of the top offenders. Anything that spills easily is likely to be distracting, particularly during drivers’  morning commutes. When drivers are on their way to work, a clothing spill can make drivers more eager to try to clean up the mess while driving because they are pressed for time.

Here are ten of the most dangerous foods to eat while driving…

1. Coffee is most likely to spill out of the cup even with a lid when you hit a bump. This is yet
    another reason to start using a secure reusable cup.
2. Hot soup is also likely to spill when you hit a bump, if you are sipping it from a cup.
3. A food that can disassemble itself without much help, leaving your car looking like a salad bar.
4. Chili dogs are dangerous for the same reasons as tacos, with the extra mess factor of chili.
5. Hamburgers are considered one of the most dangerous foods to eat while driving because they
    make your hands greasy, making it harder to grip the steering wheel.
6. Barbequed food. We’re not sure who’s eating ribs while they drive, but the messy sauce is sure to
    give a driver slippery hands and necessitate finger licking.
7. Fried chicken will also cause your hands and the steering wheel to get greasy and be slippery.
8. Jelly- or cream-filled donuts are dangerous because they are almost impossible to eat without
    some of the gooey center dripping out.
9. Like coffee, soda easily splashes out from a cup or a can.
10. Chocolate melts on fingers and then you are trying to get it off the steering wheel without

In addition to most of these foods being unhealthy on their own, they can also put your health at risk by taking your attention off the road. The next time you are hungry before taking a drive, take a few extra minutes to eat before you leave or wait until you reach your destination.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Spyder - Spider - Speeder - Speedster

Many people here have heard the term " Spyder " or " Spider " when it applies to cars.
The term in fact has NOTHING to do with insects, but everything with OUR NOBLE HORSE RACE and horse-drawn carriages as shown in the video below of an original  " SPIDER " - carriage:


As with other automotive terms like  BROUGHAM PHAETON WAGON  and  CABRIOLET describing different styles of horse-drawn carriages, a " Spider " was a lighter version of a Phaeton, having narrower, spindly wheels and two-seat accommodation.

The name implied an extremely rudimentary top mechanism originating from a small two-seat horse-cart with a folding sunshade made of four bows; with its black cloth top and exposed sides for air circulation it resembled an eight-legged spider. This term was subsequently applied to automobiles.

The term " Spyder " was first used in cars like this ALFA ROMEO TIPO 8C  Why?
Because a Spider carriage was a lightweight open carriage with tall wheels. Pretty cool huh?
The first automotive chassis builders were horse-drawn carriage builders. They simply used the same terminology for horseless carriages.
Even the term " car " comes from the term " Motor Carriage " which was shortened to " Motor Car " and eventually just to " Car ".

Alternatively, a native Italian who has had no English influence in the pronunciation would pronounce  " Spyder " or " Spider " as Speeder. Thus a car labeled by an Italian car manufacturer as
" Spyder " or " Spider " is intended to be simply a " Speeder " or a sports car.
( Aston Martin used to have a car labeled " SPYDER " but now have a model labeled " VOLANTE ", an Italian word that translates into English as " Speeder " or " Speedster " )

Contrary to popular belief, the first car to be officially called a " Spyder " was not the  PORSCHE 550 SPYDER.  Aston Martin produced a  SPYDER  in the same year.
Spyder is found on a wide assortment of car names since the advent of the automobile - for example, the  ALFA ROMEO 8C 2900B SPYDER  that won the  MILLE MIGLIA IN 1938  ( before Porsche existed ) by Biondetti of the Scuderia Ferrari team - but arguably did not receive particular notoriety or significance until the popularity of  JAMES DEAN'S 1955 PORSCHE 550 SPYDER  " Lil Bastard ", which he was driving at high speed on a Californian highway in an awful, fatal crash that killed him.

Other later Spyders include Mitsubishi, numerous Ferraris and later Porsches. However, the most significant and known model to wear this name was our Fiat 124 Spider / Pininfarina Spider.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Creative Contemporaries - Pet Sounds 3


Paul McCartney has called Brian Wilson's ' GOD ONLY KNOWS  ' his favorite song of all time.
In an interview in 1990 he stated " It's a really, really great song — it's a big favorite of mine ".

" I was asked recently to give my top 10 favorite songs for a Japanese radio station ...
   I didn't think long and hard on it but I popped that God Only Knows is on the top of my list. It's
   very deep. Very emotional, always a bit of a choker for me, that one. There are certain songs that
   just hit home with me, and they're the strangest collection of songs ... but that is high on the list,
   I must say God Only Knows' lyrics are great. Those do it to me every time. "

Each of the black-and-white pictures below of the young Brian Wilson ( at that time 24 years old! )
is separately clickable and performs once again the unique studio tape recordings from that era.

                                               Soundtrack instrumental - God only knows - take 1

                                                        Soundtrack vocal - God only knows

                                                 Soundtrack final performance - God only knows

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Creative Contemporaries - Pet Sounds 2


Apart from personal preference or taste, the album  PET SOUNDS  of   THE BEACH BOYS  is a major musical monument from the Sixties and Seventies and could be heard out of many open convertibles at that time.

To discover for yourself the virtuosity of the passionate, creative Brian Wilson ( at that time 24 years old! ), I made audible here a number of unique, original studio tracks from 1967.

Each of the black-and-white pictures below of the young Brian Wilson is separately clickable and performs once again the unique studio tape recordings from that era.

And turn your speakers to the max!
If not possible at this moment, wait till you are home alone and repeat this once again.
Make a bet that you will be impressed ?

                                           Soundtrack instrumental - Wouldn't it be nice - take 1

                                                    Soundtrack vocal - Wouldn't it be nice

                                              Soundtrack final performance - Wouldn't it be nice

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Creative Contemporaries - Pet Sounds 1


A classic among music classics: PET SOUNDS  of  THE BEACH BOYS.

Generally accepted as one of the most important albums, Pet Sounds made that The Beach Boys entered the history of pop as one of the most innovative groups ever.

The record mainly is the creation of the 24-year old musical genius  BRIAN WILSON  who called on session musicians for the recording of most musical parts. Nevertheless, because of the outstanding, excellent harmonies a pure and genuine Beach Boys record was created with a number of the most beautiful tracks that the group ever had sung.

The great American composer  LEONARD BERNSTEIN  ( among many other things composer of
WEST SIDE STORY ) conductor, songwriter, pianist and music-teacher wrote about him:
" Brian Wilson was one of the greatest composers of the 20th century ".

A statement of  PAUL MCCARTNEY:
" I often played Pet Sounds and cried ".

And  GEORGE MARTIN  producer of the Beatles, stated:
" If there is one person that I have to select as a living genius of pop music, I would choose Brian Wilson. Without Pet Sounds,  SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND  wouldn't have happened. Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds ".

For Paul McCartney, Pet Sounds was the great source of inspiration creating Sgt. Pepper.
Up till today the former bass player of the Beatles, and with him a lot of important musicians, has a deep admiration for the masterpiece of  BRIAN WILSON  the genius of The Beach Boys.
McCartney gave as a present to all his children a copy of Pet Sounds: " No one is educated musically 'til they've heard Pet Sounds. It is a total classic record that is unbeatable in many ways ".
The statement of McCartney is exemplary.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

World-wide fans & followers

It's most satisfying to perceive, that visitors of my blog are coming from every corner in the world.
In other words: Fiat 124 Spider enthusiasts are everywhere and they know to find my blog as well !

To prove this statement, I reveal the number of visitors that frequented my blog LAST WEEK: 529 !
So 529 unique and returning visitors, practically from all continents and from every region of the globe found their way to my blog.

Per country in detail: CHART1 | CHART2 | CHART3.
Per region: CHART1 | CHART2 | CHART3 | CHART4 | CHART5 | CHART6 | CHART7 | CHART8.

Funny to see, that there were 39 visitors from Holland last week . . . . and 35 visitors from Russia !
In comparison: there are about 600 officially registered Fiat 124 Spider owners in the Netherlands
( supposedly at least  more than 1000, including unregistered ) and maybe there are 1 or 2 ( ! ) in Russia !

Friday, September 5, 2014

Tom Tjaarda: A Fantasy Lived

You earn a degree in architecture from the University of Michigan. You're a Detroit native whose DUTCH-BORN FATHER -- once an engineer for aviation pioneer and aeroplane manufacturer ANTHONY FOKKER  ( with FOKKER F36 - aeroplane and CHRYSLER AIRFLOW 8 - vehicle ) in Holland -- designed in Detroit the 1936 LINCOLN ZEPHYR.
At the suggestion of your architecture professor, you spend a summer working at Carrozzeria Ghia.
In 1958, at the age of twenty-four and with degree in hand, you move to Turin with the notion of becoming a designer of Italian cars.

You work for Ghia and design such historic milestone cars as the INNOCENTI 950 SPIDER.
After working with Battista "Pinin" Farina on Italia '61 -- the centenary celebration of the reunification of Italy -- you move to Carrozzeria Pininfarina.
There you design some more historic milestone cars, including the CHEVROLET CORVETTE RONDINE, FERRARI 330GT 2+2, FIAT 124 SPIDER, and FERRARI 365 CALIFORNIA.

You return to Ghia and design more significant cars, such as the ISUZU BELLETT MX1600,
After Ford buys Ghia in 1970, you create the first FIESTA.

You marry Paola, a beautiful Torinese school principal. You discover that, in the mid-1960s, both Enzo Ferrari and Pinin Farina drive, as their personal transport, cars for which you designed the bodies. At a time when other supercars trickle from factories, De Tomaso builds more than 7000 of your Panteras.

You establish your independent firm, Dimensione Design, to create cars for Aston Martin, Honda, Rayton-Fissore (Laforza), Saab, Spyker, and a host of others.
You become a sought-after judge for prestigious Concours d'Elegance all over the world, including a special class dedicated to your designs at the forty-seventh PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

From Tucson - Arizona

The blog spot of the FUN ITALIAN AUTOMOBILES OF TUCSON is sharing:
 "Check out THIS GREAT HISTORICAL OVERVIEW on YouTube produced by Anthony."

The FUN ITALIAN AUTOMOBILES OF TUCSON CLUB has a blog spot for a group of Tucson and Southern Arizona owners of Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Maserati and DeTomaso automobiles.

It is a club without fees or dues - just their personal contribution of time, talent, and energy along with others who enjoy any type of Italian cars in their area. They have regular meet-ups and participate in car-related events around the region and also have several "Sunday Drives" planned throughout the year.

Great to see we are sharing THE SAME AWESOME PASSION !

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Spider in bird's-eye view 3

Vocal music with text and words can be rather disturbing or distracting while watching picture book images also with text, like in my Fiat Spider picture book.

Plenty reason for me to search for wordless instrumental music, hoping for a better match.
Anyhow, I give it a try in seven new screen savers.

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 4 - Ludovico Einaudi in 'Una Mattina'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 245 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 5 - Ennio Morricone in 'Matrimonio Col Vizietto'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 260 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 6 - Toots Thielemans in 'The Windmills Of Your Mind'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 270 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 7 - Vangelis in 'Bilitis'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 200 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 8 - Irish Panpipes in 'The Town That I Loved So Well'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 260 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 9 - James Kline in 'Turlough O'Carolan'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 235 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 10 - James Kline in 'Si Bheag, Si Mhor'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 235 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

Like mentioned in my previous post, I built in an important  ' MUTE ' - OPTION in the Settings-box
for all Spider friends who prefer a silent screen saver instead of a musical one.
For installation and configuration instructions, click  Read more >>  below.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Spider in bird's-eye view 2

It took me some time to realize a screen saver identical to the YouTube videos in my former post, showing 30 of the finest pictures from various catalogues and of all versions of the 124 Spider during several decades.

And to make sure that - apart from watching - you will enjoy listening too, I fixed the screen saver up with three different types of easy-listening background music.
To find out what music pleases you best, I've cut a short fragment out of each of the three pieces of music to make your choice easier.

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 1 - Toto Cotugno in 'Cantando'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 190 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 2 - Paul Simon in 'Still Crazy After All These Years'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 200 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 3 - Rod Stewart in 'Sailing'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 260 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

For those who enjoy a silent screen saver: I built in a ' MUTE ' - OPTION in the Settings-box.
For installation and configuration instructions, click  Read more >>  below.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Spider in bird's-eye view 1

Although several impressive books and countless articles were written about the history and the "making-of" of the Fiat 124 Spider ( including MY OWN STORY FROM TOM TJAARDA ),
I tried to make a new picture-book in the form of a short bird's-eye view video of my beloved Spider.

In the creative process 30 of the finest pictures from various catalogues and of all versions of the 124 Spider during several decades had to be transformed and worked up graphically to a great extent before it could be used and satisfied my imagination for this nice challenge.

Respectfully dedicated to Pininfarina and Tom Tjaarda.

Fiat 124 Spider - my bird's-eye view 1
Fiat 124 Spider - my bird's-eye view 2 - same movie with different background music.

I am busy to convert the YouTube videos in a screen saver under the condition that it is identical to the YouTube movie you just saw, and that the music can be turned off so it can work silently in the background on your computer or on your notebook.

Note: click the header picture above to admire a larger image (as with most of my header pictures).

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Spider dog

As requested in  MY GUESTBOOK,  I was invited by an appreciated follower of my blog from Brazil, to repost a picture of my Swiss Bernese mountain dog sitting on the back seat of my Spider, that was published on my former website.

Along with  THE PICTURE INVOLVED  the accompanying text on my website was then:
Most dogs are just crazy about driving in a car with their head out of the window. Just as my Swiss Bernese mountain dog ' Tessa '  likes to do.
The unpleasant side of it is, that most dogs after such a drive in the open air, will catch some nasty red eyes or even a serious inflammation of the eyes. Just like my dog.

And, if on warm and sunny days ( on a bright country highway, COOL WIND IN MY HAIR , warm smell of mowed grasses, rising up through the air ) you want to get out for a drive without leaving your dog at home all alone, you got to think of something unusual.

In my situation I decided to visit a specialist shop for motorcycles and motorcycle accessories to try on a real motorcycle goggles for my friendly housemate. Thanks to her massive head and pronounced nose most goggles fitted her surprisingly well and ( after a lot of fun and laughter with the sales personnel )  I selected a trendy Italian type ( AN ORIGINAL BARUFFALDI ) because of the perfect fit.
After that, I bought in a pet shop an adjustable dog harness and with some tinkering in my Spider a solid anchored safety belt was mounted behind the back seat bench.

Although I know that she is not fond of the fumbling with the goggles beforehand, she endures all this because she knows that she is going with me in the open Spider. She is, like most dogs, so fond of driving in the open air, that for her it compensates all unpleasant preparations.

Sitting on the back seat, she towers - owing to HER MASSIVE SIZE -  just above the windscreen up in the wind. With wild flapping hair and ears and her cool motorcycle goggles she visibly enjoys the fast passing world from her new high perspective. And because of that pleasure I started all this, but now without painful and unpleasant eye problems for my beloved Spider dog !


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Italian-Blog: Ciao Tutti

waarover de maakster - Saskia Balmaekers - op haar website schrijft:

Ciao tutti!
Welkom op mijn Italiëblog!
Ik neem jullie elke dag even mee naar Italië, om te genieten van de Italiaanse cultuur, de Italiaanse keuken en de Italiaanse taal. Uiteraard zal ik ook regelmatig restaurantjes, boeken, films en evenementen bespreken, zodat je het Italiëgevoel ook gewoon op een doordeweekse avond kunt opzoeken of zelfs in huis kunt halen!

Zelf ben ik sinds mijn eerste kennismaking met Italië helemaal verslingerd geraakt aan het land, de geuren, het heerlijke eten, de druk gebarende mensen op straat, de taal....

Met Ciao Tutti wil ik iedereen die deze passie voor Italië deelt (of die het gewoon een heel fijn vakantieland vindt) voorzien van leuke weetjes, nuttige tips, lekkere adresjes (in Italië en in Nederland) en het laatste nieuws uit Italië.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Italian roundtrip 4

( apart from countless other amazing, staggering, impressive and brilliant Italian observations )

1a. The Autostrada's are superbly constructed masterpieces with their innumerable tunnels
      and their on pillars built highways
1b. The road surfaces of the rest of the road network is in a lousy bad state.

2a. I observed and saw only NEW cars, despite the deep Italian financial crisis
2b. I noticed only two ( ! )  older Fiat Panda's. Italians are not interested in old-timers.

3a. In most cases these new cars were all white
3b. Very rarely I saw a car in a color other than white, black or (less) grey

4a. I felt like coming from another planet adjusting my driving speed according to the traffic
      speed limitation signs
4b. Speed limitations? WTF . . . Italians don't care at all !

5a. Despite three weeks of continuous sunshine in June, I did not see any Italian in a convertible
5b. I noticed 2 convertibles in this inviting topless period ( 1 from Britain and 1 from Germany )

6a. I noticed just ONE Alfa Spider
6b. Although I looked out for it: I observed NOT ONE  FIAT 124 SPIDER !
      Additionally it was an anticlimax to learn from many Italians that they didn't recognize
      their own Italian made Fiat 124 Spider anymore. Apart from that, they didn't care.

7a. Without prejudices, Italians ( both men and women ) are the most handsome, good-looking
      and well-dressed Europeans in my opinion
7b. I saw several Mona Lisa's walking around like the one on the painting in the Louvre in Paris.

8a. Italians are - beyond all doubt - superior MASTERS IN DESIGN
8b. And besides that, in many ways they are real MASTERS IN THE ART OF LIVING.

9a. Don't learn the Italian language if you don't have to
9b. With "va bene", "molto bene", "prego", "mille grazie", "buon giorno" and "arrivederci"
      you can travel the whole country.

10a. Pasta dishes are far too overrated in the Italian and international cuisine
10b. The first course anti-pasti dishes are far too underrated.

11a. I observed a large number of African boat refugees all over the country
11b. Although I avoid to discuss any political tinted subjects here, in my opinion it is a
        great injustice that the rest of Europe just doesn't give a damn about this major Italian
        ( thus collective ) European problem.

The Italian cartoon animator Bruno Bozzetto thinks differently.
Watch his crazy exaggerated "Europe versus Italy" animations HERE and HERE.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Italian roundtrip 3

After I made the plan to stay 2 days in every of the 10 districts that I intended to travel across during my 3 weeks tour in Italy, I made maps of every single district with all the marked (Borghi) villages that I wanted to visit. With the help of these detailed district maps, I chose the most strategic location for my accommodation during those 2 days. In that specific region I searched for a pleasant address for bed and breakfast.

In most of these provinces I stayed in one of the wonderful so-called AGRITURISMO accommodations, right between endless vineyards, olive and hazelnut estates in the rural countryside, where having a car is a must.
A few Agriturismo accommodations where I stayed:
- in Lombardy in CASCINA PEZZOLO
- in Piemont in CASCINA GIARDINI
- in Veneto in VILLA SERENA

When I arrived in the afternoon at the PALAZZO DI LUGLIO in Tuscany, after driving 390 km from my BED & BREAKFAST accommodation in Liguria, I was surprised by all the activities in and around the gardens and swimming pool from this wonderful located residence on top of a hill with a breathtaking panoramic view.
So I asked the owner of the Palazzo what was going on and he replied that a big "matrimonio"-party was going to be held that evening and night with a lot of guests. And he added: in case you are interested to be invited, I'll take care of that, don't worry !

But first of all I will arrange something to eat and to drink from the catering-boys so I am able to say "Benvenuto" and "Salute" to you as my respected guest ! So a full plate of Anti-Pasti and a perfect bottle of white wine in a cooler were in front of me within minutes.

As a guest in the wedding party that night I was drinking too much champagne and I had to be very careful walking straight along the swimming pool ( because I can't swim ) to get my next portion of prosciutto, salmon or truffle ( there was a bowl with big black truffles! ) delicacy.

A guest in a great Italian wedding party in Tuscany.
I NEVER, EVER could have dreamt about such a unique event in my life !

A glass of champagne in one hand and in the other my camera, I made a serie of simple snapshots of the wonderful wedding party at Palazzo di Luglio in Tuscany .
A presentation of these pictures can be seen here:  A WEDDING PARTY IN TUSCANY

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Italian roundtrip 2

My specific personal points of interest were NOT the widely known tourist attractions in the major Italian cities, like Milan, Turin, Genoa, Florence, Pisa, Bologna and Venice (which I did not visit at all) nor the known northern lakes that I saw already countless times represented on postcards and in tourist brochures, but to discover and visit the rather unknown and fascinating hidden villages of Italy, as the Italians call it: Il fascino dell'Italia nacosta.

I made a unique tour along a large number of  BORGHI PIÙ BELLI D'ITALIA ( the most beautiful and precious villages and small cities of Italy ) in north-east, north-west and in mid-Italy.
Villages with this proud and honorable predicate were nominated by a select group of Italian well-known experts in the field of architecture, landscape, environment, cultural heritage, history and arts. National experts who started their unique initiative for an Italian Heritage List in 2001.

The aim of this selection was ( is ) helping to preserve, maintain, revitalise and grant the unique charm and value of these small individual villages, which - being outside the main tourist routes - risk, despite the great value, of being forgotten with consequent degradation, depopulation and abandonment.

Initially the group included a hundred villages, later increased to 211 ( in June 2014 ) nominated with the  DISTINCTIVE SIGN  I Borghi Più Belli d'Italia being elected as the most beautiful, most unique and charming villages of Italy with their attractive streets and buildings, exceptional squares, museums, churches, their long and impressive history and their photogenic perspectives.

With  MY LOYAL, PERFECTLY RUNNING 124 SPIDER ( here in front of the main gate of the FERRARI INDUSTRIAL PREMISES  in Maranello ) I drove along  THESE FABULOUS HIDDEN ITALIAN GEMS  ( and along about one hundred villages more )  OVER VERY NARROW, LONG AND WINDING ROADS  with pot holes, over many  MILES-LONG BUMPY FARM AND COUNTRY TRACKS  just wide enough for one car, over unpaved or badly paved dirt roads, along hundreds of hairpin bends, over the perfect smooth, superbly constructed  AUTOSTRADA  with hundreds of tunnels, I drove more than 3000 miles (approx. 5000 km) in 21 days, only in Italy.

You are only able to make an intensive tour like I did, if you are willing to have breakfast every morning between 7:30 and 8:00 AM, make your day program at 8:30 and start your car engine at 9:00 AM and go !

Without power brakes and power steering it was tough and hard labor, but more than worthwhile visiting  THESE AMAZING HIDDEN ITALIAN TREASURES ( I took pictures of only a limited number of them ). Most of the time I was the one and only visitor in these jewel-villages!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Italian roundtrip 1

Home again . . . .

The original plan I had, to make a roundtrip along the Adriatic Coast in Croatia and Bosnia in June with my 124 Spider was called off owing to the completely unexpected and dramatic waterflood in the Bosnia region mid-May last, in which region a few weeks later a large part of the return journey should have been taken place.
So I cancelled the entire Balkan roundtrip project, called off overnight all the well prepared hotel reservations at the end of May and changed the roundtrip direction towards Italy.

In the few days that were left, I worked out and organized a wonderful 3-weeks roundtrip through the Italian districts FRIULI-VENEZIA, Trentino-Alto Adige, Lombardy, Piedmont, Liguria, Tuscany, Umbria, Marches, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto. And in every province a wonderful accomodation for 2 days to explore the rural region and to visit small pittoresque villages.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Additional blog address

An easy to remember and fool-proof additional web address for this blog is:
I just can't make it more simple !

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Tjaarda Design - part 9 - Rayton Fissore 2

In an additional note Tom Tjaarda wrote me about the Rayton Fissore MAGNUM / LAFORZA:

Designed in 1984 while I headed up the Rayton-Fissore Design Group, this project is significant in that it really started the era of the SUV type vehicle. It was the very first big off-road vehicle to use soft and rounded forms and to take this type of car away from the "truck-like" design concepts used previously.

More than 6000 of the MAGNUM / LAFORZA vehicles were eventually produced, starting in 1985, interrupted a few times and then continuing to 1998 - and put back into production with a revised design in 2003. The Magnum / LaForza Turin PSV features a 455 hp supercharged motor, driving 160 mph, luxury interior and a 2 ton frame. 
Available as a High Performance model or a fully ARMORED PERSONAL SECURITY VEHICLE (picture in front of the exquisite Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas). It is the only factory-built armored luxury PSV in the world.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Tjaarda Design - part 9 - Rayton Fissore 1

Tjaarda got restless after four years at Fiat, one reason being that the design center suffered from weak management which resulted mostly in all the important vehicles not being designed in-house but rather outside at Italdesign, Bertone and Pininfarina.

A new challenge came along to set up a design center for a group located outside Torino in the historic town of CHERASCO. Gulio Malvino, who was married to the daughter of the famed coach building family Fissore, had created a small factory to design and fabricate prototypes and small production armored cars and trucks.
Also involved in this business was GIANMARIO ROSSIGNOLO, who was the president and managing director of Lancia for many years and a friend of Tom Tjaarda.

Many interesting projects resulted from this new company. The Spanish company of SEAT AUTO had recently split with Fiat and were on their own now, looking for design expertise.

Tjaarda's relationship with Ford and Mr. LEE IACOCCA, who was now CEO at Chrysler, resulted in a number of prototypes being designed and built in the town of Cherasco. Also personal armored cars were built for Lancia, a very special jazzed up truck tractor called "cowboy" produced for Iveco, and then the now famous RAYTON FISSORE 4X4 MAGNUM, considered to be the very first SUV type vehicle, was then produced for the following eighteen years!

Following is a complete list of the vehicles which Tjaarda designed while working at Rayton Fissore:

SEAT RONDA                                                        production                      1981

SEAT GUAPPA COUPÉ                                         show car                         1981

CHRYSLER LEBARON                                           concept prototype           1982

CHRYSLER IMPERIAL                                           concept prototype           1982

SAAB VIKING                                                        SHOW CAR                   1982 

TORINO TAXI                                                         prototype                        1983

RAYTON FISSORE MAGNUM                                PRODUCTION                 1984 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tjaarda Design - part 8 - Fiat Auto

The job offer from Fiat came about in the winter of 1978, and turned out to be an interesting proposition in that it was a managing position for the Fiat Advanced Design Studio.

Working for such a big organization was a bit different form Tjaarda's previous experience but it was here that he was able to learn the techniques of industrial giants internal methods of management.
It was a difficult period regarding automotive design, especially at Fiat with many strikes and adverse political conditions. On the other hand many interesting developments were applied to car design such as the use of the wind tunnel for aerodynamic efficiency and the use of color-coded plastics for integrated bumpers.

Working in a design office together with 15 designers and modelers, the four years at Fiat resulted in a number of interesting prototypes with Tjaarda working this time not as an individual designer but as group manager. Following are a few of the projects which resulted in prototypes and styling demonstration models.

TIPO 4 - LANCIA / FIAT - 4 door                           styling models    1979

FIAT POLAND - off-road vehicle                            prototype            1979

FIAT BRAZIL                                                      prototype            1980

FIAT BRAZIL - small car                                      styling model      1980

FIAT 124 - restyling                                             prototype           1980

LANCIA Y-10                                                      PROTOTYPE     1981 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tjaarda Design - part 7 - Sinthesis

While still working at Ghia, Tjaarda teamed up with a friend, Peter Giacobbi, to design and build a running prototype. Called the SINTHESIS, this concept vehicle was hand built over a two year period. Using the power and suspension unit of the LANCIA FLAVIA placed in a mid-ship position, a new chassis was designed by Giacobbi and a coupé sports car body designed by Tjaarda to complete this hobby project.

The car was shown in the TURIN AUTO SHOW in 1972. The public showing of this one-off prototype turned out to be shocking and created dramatic speculation as to who did it, where did it come from and what was its purpose. Even DeTomaso called his friends at Fiat to find out if they had engaged Tjaarda to work for them !

The ashes settled when both Giacobbi and Tjaarda produced all the evidence that it was indeed - a hobby project.

The SINTHESIS was awarded the PEOPLES CHOICE AWARD in the 2011 LA QUINTA DESERT CLASSIC CONCOURS d'ELEGANCE (scroll furter down), in the 1992 CONCORSO ITALIANO  and was also displayed at the 1997 PEBBLE BEACH  CONCOURS d'ELEGANCE. The car is now in permanent display in a Automobile Museum in southern California.

The divided circle selected as THE LOGO for Giacobbi's and Tjaarda's one-off GT coupe, Sinthesis, tells the whole story: "The Yin and Yang of it", to use the owner's words.

Giacobbi and Tjaarda have accomplished an ambition that most of us have merely fantasized....they have had a car built to their own specifications. By that, we don't mean anything so prosaic as ordering from some manufacturer's lengthy list of options, powertrains and colors. Anyone could have done that, at least up until a few decades or so ago. Engineer Giacobbi and designer Tjaarda spent two years creating a one-off GT solely for their own personal gratification, a car they intended to drive daily as his "beater". Built in 1970, Synthesis was the first car to be fitted with air bags - for both driver and passenger.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tour along the magnificent Croatian Adriatic coast 2

As mentioned in my previous post, the initiator of the tour in Croatia along the Adriatic Coast is Sany Antonio and can easily be recognized by one of his 8 (eight!) Fiat Spiders as you may see HERE.
And a number of his Spiders HERE.

Sany wrote earlier about his passion for the 124 Spider: 
Myself, I am an Italian sportscar collector. My 'Spider-connection' and involvement with the 124 Spiders started 40 years ago. I had and enjoyed many of them. In the late 60' I lived in Bavaria, when I bought my 1st 124 Spider, a 1400 ccm AS model. I remember driving my Spiders even during the winter, when going skiing in the Alps!

From the late 70' I lived for 7 years in South Africa and there, I have found and also bought the only 2 Spiders available (in the whole country). Of course, I did restore them too, and drove them all over. I made few long trips in South Africa and several times I visited even the Cape of Good Hope with my black 1968 AS Spider.
In 1984 I moved to California and of course, soon I have found new Spiders and drove them all along the Pacific coast from Mexico to Oregon and all across the USA.
In an 1983 DS Spider I drove from Los Angeles, along the Route 66, all the way to Chicago and Detroit. I was close to the Niagara falls, have crossed America from North to South, to Georgia and Florida. And at all times I had at least a few Fiat 124 Spiders in my garage.

Then in 1996 I did move my vintage car collection back to Europe. There were 11 cars, those that I 'could not' leave behind and 'had' to ship from Los Angeles to Bremen. Later, one by one, I drove them down to the Mediterranean, back to the roots, to Croatia. Since then, I have sold a few of them, as the storage/ parking space has become a problem here.
Soon after I moved here, in 1997 I founded our Spider Club Croatia.

Details about the day-to-day Adriatic Coast / Croatia round trip program you find HERE.

About the approximate costs of lodging during the tour Sany Antonio reports:
If you would choose an accommodation in a private apartment you would have to spend Euro 80- for a very good & clean apartment per night for 2 persons. That does not include breakfast, as one can get things in a nearby store and prepare breakfast in the apartment or just have in a nearby café a coffee, tea, juice & a croissant for just a few Euros. 
And those are the prices in the SELCE region (in the North on the Croatian coast) and in Split we have a nice lodging in a little private hotel right by the water for about 45- Euros per person, including a nice breakfast too. In Dubrovnik I have also found good , nice and clean rooms for Euro 50- per night for 2, included breakfast. This lodging is right down by the water, in a little beautiful bay , just 5 km in front of Dubrovnik.
Anyhow, if you prefer individual lodging in hotels...then there are many in Selce, Split, Dubrovnik and all over the coast...and you can find and book them on the internet in advance. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tour along the magnificent Croatian Adriatic coast


Mr. SANY ANTONIO from Croatia (click his name to read more about him and his passion for the 124 Spider) is the initiator of a magnificent 15-days tour next June when the roads are not that full and the weather is NOT TOO HOT yet. A perfect period in which hotels and good private accomodations are still available.

Two years ago Sany Antonio wrote: It would be nice to meet some new Spider enthusiasts / friends, and for sure it will be an unforgettable Spider tour, with the top down along the ADRIATIC COAST, over to the Islands, then to DUBROVNIK and back to Split and in the mountains to PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK.
If needed, I can arrange accommodation during the roundtrip, here on the Northern coast where I am at, or in Dubrovnik where one other Spider Club Croatia member has rooms/apartments too to rent, right down on the water.

In my own Spider collection today, I have a 1970 BS1, 1971 BS1 USA Racing, 1975 CS1, 1983 DS Pininfarina Azzurra, 1958 1200 TV Pininfarina Spider, 1957 1200 Pininfarina Spider (in restoration process), 1986 Maserati Spider 2500 Zagato, 1976 A.R Alfetta GT Sprint Veloce 2000 Injezione and a 1968 Fiat Dino Spider (in restoration process).


Now - Spring 2014 - Sany Antonio repeated his unique offer and wrote:
I hope to hear from you and meet you and some of your Spider enthusiasts from Northern Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom) here in Croatia for a magnificent long Spider round trip along the Adriatic coast .... with the top down. Also other open roadsters are more than welcome !

Anyhow, I seized this new opportunity right away and booked meanwhile a motorail train that will bring me and my Fiat 124 Spider in one night from Düsseldorf (Germany) to Villach (Austria) close to the Slovenian border to avoid driving boring highways southwards. From there it is only 250 kilometres to SELCE (near Rijeka) where Sany Antonio will start his unique Croation Adriatic round trip.

Total length of the 15 days trip in Croatia about 2000 kilometres.
Needless to say, that your Spider (or Roadster) should be mechanically in top condition.

Let me know and send a message to
Participants must be registered before May 1. 2014
Details about the day-to-day Adriatic Coast / Croatia round trip program you find HERE.
Information about motorail trains to Villach you'll find HERE.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

On repeated request: electrical schemes

Two of the frequently visited pages of my former web site were the pages with the electrical schemes. Because these pages were still on my external hard disk, I repost these pages with pleasure on my blog again.

Click HERE to open the complete electrical schemes of the 124 Spider - USA versions 1970 in four parts that can be downloaded and printed.
And subsquently click HERE (or below) to get a compilation of 46 (!) electrical circuit schemes according to the below-mentioned specifications. These files can be downloaded and printed as well, to use it as you wish.

    • Relay Location
    • Key to 1976 124 Spider Wiring Diagram
    • Fuse A and Unprotected Circuits
    • Fuse B
    • Fuses C, D, E, F, G and H
    • Fuse 1 and Inline fuse
    • Fuse 1
    • Inline fuse and Unprotected Circuits

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Tjaarda Design - part 6 - Ghia DeTomaso

In the spring of 1967, ALEJANDRO DETOMASO gave a call to Tjaarda asking if he was interested to rejoin Ghia. Even if having a reputation of being rather difficult and demanding, DeTomaso was full of ideas and had many projects in mind. In fact, the ten years Tjaarda spent at Ghia the number of prototypes and production cars which emerged was startling, to say the least.

GIORGETTI GIUGIARO had worked at Ghia before Tjaarda's arrival and had started to rebuild their reputation with such cars as the MANGUSTA, the MASERATI GHIBLI and a number of show cars.

LEE IACOCCA, then at Ford, came along to work with DeTomaso to produce the Pantera, the Deauville, the Longchamp and a long list of prototype study models used as incentives for Ford production vehicles, the most famous being the FORD FIESTA, being produced in great quantity.

By 1975 the reputation of Ghia had grown to the point that Ford bought the Ghia company outright. De Tomaso left in 1976 to set up his own small empire with Maserati, Innocenti and the Guzzi and Benelli motorcycle companies, however Ghia continued on as the Ford European Design and Prototype Center for many years until closing down for good, in the year 2000.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Life - and money - is better in a classic

At the HAGERTY web pages - see my former blog - I learned, that the auction price of the unique and extremely rare 1966-1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder, designed by Tom Tjaarda, moved up exceptionally in the last 7 to 8 years. Just have a look at its spectacular rise HERE and HERE.
To be exact: it quadrupled in a period of 7 years !

On Hagerty's web pages you'll find valuation tools which are designed to empower enthusiasts who are buying, selling, or simply becoming familiar with a classic.
They provide vital details on a vehicle’s value in a variety of formats, and strive to deliver a meaningful visual representation of not only a car’s present value, but how it has performed in the past and where it might be headed in the future.

They do this all in an effort to make you a smarter enthusiast, and they strongly believe that greater information and transparency in the marketplace lead to more satisfied owners and a healthier hobby overall.

It's all about passion . . . . and money

Traverse City, Michigan USA
In 1983, Frank and Louise Hagerty realized that appropriate insurance coverage for their collector wooden boats didn't exist. So — armed with years of general-lines insurance experience — the Hagertys launched a revolutionary agreed value policy for collector boats. Within a few years, half of the vintage boat owners in the country were Hagerty clients.

In 1991, HAGERTY created a similar product for collector cars.
And in 1995 two of Frank and Louise's three children, Kim and McKeel, came home to run the family business - despite their vows to never make a career of insurance!
Together they've overseen the company's tremendous growth, which has been supported by a great product, exceptional client service, cutting-edge technology, creative marketing and, of course, intelligent, forward-thinking and hard-working employees.

In 25 years, Hagerty has grown from a small agency headquartered in the Hagerty family basement to the leading provider of collector car and boat insurance in the world !

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mail from Tom Tjaarda

Dear Anthony,

Am surprised that the Italian mail system is now functioning very well and you have already received the material which I sent. Actually I sent this to you thinking that it would be usefull for your archives and to use it as you wish, when the need comes up, since you are interested in many forms of art, design and architecture.

Interesting that you are a jewelry designer. Where I live in the hills of Torino, my neighbor is married to the nephew of Pietro Frua, the famous Torinese auto designer. He is a well known jewelry designer himself and also owner of the entire Frua archives which is housed on the property where I live.
I am sure that you learned patience from your profession.

Let me know if you need something more concerning my work or if I can be usefull in some way. Someday I will have to create a new website, more complete and up to date and so may call in on your expertise on this project if you can spare the time and naturally accept being paid for this service.
But for now I have enough to think about concerning the new PSV vehicle we are reading for production and also a new sports car which should be ready for next years Geneva show.

All the best for now
Tom Tjaarda

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tjaarda Design - part 5 - Pininfarina

After the hectic and exciting period of Italy 61, things settled down a bit when moving on to the Pininfarina design studios.
Deadlines were an important factor, but first of all the design mock-ups had to be absolutely perfect before being given the OK by Battista Pininfarina to be made into running metal prototypes. This was an important aspect, every line, surface and form had to be dead on, even the angle of the exhaust pipe.
Wooden bucks would be first covered in hammered out aluminum panels, taken out into the sunlight and covered with oil to detect any imperfections. Striving for such perfection sometimes took a lot of time, but also put Pininfarina on the international map of automotive design.

The first model designed by Tjaarda was the FERRARI 330 2 PLUS 2. This occurred after almost a year with the firm but after that, many more started to emerge. FRANCO MARTINENGO (right, with Tom Tjaarda left) was the director of design and encouraged and supported Tjaarda in working together on the numerous vehicles coming out of the Carrozzeria Farina design studios.
Following is the list of cars designed by Tjaarda while working there from 1961 until 1966.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tjaarda Design - part 4 - Italia 61

In the winter of 1960 Tjaarda was offered a job at Pininfarina, known then as simply Carrozzeria Farina. Before going directly to work for them however, he was put on special assignment with a group of architects which were planning a huge exhibition known as the

The maestro himself, BATTISTA FARINA, was the director of this exhibition which was part of the overall international fair being planned for Torino during the summer of 1961 called ITALIA 61.
Click HERE to see more pictures of this unique Tjaarda monorail train.

ITALIA 61 was a huge success and took place during an important phase of Italy's emerging from the bleak period after the Second World War into a new and positive attitude and economic prosperity. "The Economic Boom" as they called it, and everyone seemed happy and full of enthusiasm for the future.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Tjaarda Design - part 3 - Carrozzeria Ghia

Coming to Italy in the late summer of 1958, Tjaarda was fortunate in that he was fresh from studies in college, for he had to learn Italian and pick up the techniques of designing automobiles, both as quickly as possible.

LUIGI SEGRE was a very charismatic type and had friends everywhere, especially in the States which resulted in many projects being done for Chrysler and Ford. Special coupé's were built for the famous Hollywood actors Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin - known as the RATPACK. And along with the KARMANN GHIA, a delightful little coupé, really put Ghia on the map.
Click here for more detailed information about the Karmann-Ghia Coupé and Convertible.

Ghia had many important clients such as KARMANN (Wilhelm Karmann right, Luigi Segre left) and HERE (Mr. and Mrs. Karmann and Ghia's Luigi Segre with the Karmann Ghia cabriolet), Renault, Chrysler, Fiat and even a company from Poland, called Polinez. They also made limited numbers of the FIAT 500 JOLLY BEACH CAR.

The first car Tjaarda designed was the INNOCENTI 950 SPYDER, which was then put into production from 1960 until 1965.