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.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Pininfarina at Wikipedia

Greatly surprised and honoured, I found my name in the most detailed international (English) PININFARINA PAGE at Wikipedia, all the more I never had anything to do with this worldwide internet encyclopedia. The original author of this report calls himself "Grugliasco" and added the address of my Fiat 124 Spider blog to the "References" part of this page on May 17. last year.

I really feel flattered and it feels like a compliment for my efforts in this specific automotive world.
The detailed and extensive Pininfarina page can be found HERE.

All the more confronting with the narrow-minded local Dutch Fiat 124 Sport Spider Register, ignoring my bilingual Fiat 124 Spider website and blog during more than 10 years, except at the moment of closure and funeral of my last month. Nevertheless I felt happy with other FANS AND ADMIRERS from every part of the world during all those years.

BTW: The username of the author is "Grugliasco", which is the name of a commune in the Province of Turin, where a part of the Pininfarina plants was situated, opened in 1958. Our Fiat 124 Spiders were built in the Mirafiori and Lingotto premises in Turin and in Rivalta di Torino.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tjaarda Design - part 2 - Coming to Italy

Illustrated above is a 1:10 scale model of a vehicle which Tjaarda designed during his last semester at the UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN.

Preparing for a degree in architecture, there were enough credits to take an elective on the side. His professor, AARRE KOTIVALO LAHTI, was a Professor of Art from Finland and made it clear that this elective was not a fun course. In other words Tjaarda could not design a sports car as was his desire!
So, to get around these limits placed by his professor, Tjaarda came up with an idea for a family car which he called a - SPORT WAGON.

As it turned out, Lahti had been on a sabbatical  in Europe during the summer of 1967, had visited all the well known design oriented manufacturers like Philips, Olivetti, Mercedes as well as the now famous carrozzeria's in the Turin area as Bertone, Farina and - Ghia.

Tjaarda Design - part 1 - Foreword

The designer of our Fiat 124 Spider, Mr. Tom Tjaarda, sent me in Februari/March 2004 a portfolio with a summary of his experiences, his automotive designs and industrial design projects as well as wonderful series of corresponding photographs.

This volume is dedicated to the professional work and experiences of TOM TJAARDA from the time he arrived in Italy in the summer of 1958 up to 2003.
A brief description of the way in which he was able to come to Italy to work as an automotive stylist will be followed by the professional experiences which Tjaarda participated in while working with some of Torino's exclusive design houses and world automotive manufactures.

Tom Tjaarda's scientific archive

From correspondence that I carried on a few years ago with the German automobile historian Dr. Stefan Dierkes appeared, that Tom Tjaarda for the benefit of a scientific archiving of his immense amount of produced work, the publicity rights of all his sketches, drawings, designs and photo archives from his very productive automotive life was handed over to the mentioned German automobile historian in July 2004.

I , Anthony Westen, still have contact with Tom Tjaarda, who is living in Turin and still runs his Design Studio there. He was among many other things design consultant for the exclusive automobile builders Spyker in Zeewolde (Netherlands) and is invited regularly by automobile builders in Detroit, Germany, Korea, Japan and China. He is still worldwide a celebrated and favorite designer and design consultant.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Three Castles at the Mosel

I made a magnificent tour with my 124 Spider to the Eifel and Mosel area in Germany last October and took a lot of pictures.
Playing with some photographic software, I drew up a short story of just eight simple still pictures that is giving an impression of a moving animation or video movie. only consists of 8 simple motionless pictures!

A suggestion for an animation of your Spider or your holiday trip? See more HERE.