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
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