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 DE TOMASO gave a call to Tjaarda asking if he was interested to rejoin Ghia. Even if having a reputation of being rather difficult and demanding, De Tomaso 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 De Tomaso 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.

Following is a list of the cars which Tjaarda designed while working at Ghia from 1968 to 1975 with DeTomaso, then to 1979 with the Ford Motor Company of Dearborn.

SERENISSIMA 3500 AGENA                                   prototype    1968

ISUZU SUPER SPORT BELLETT                              prototype    1969

ISUZU STATION WAGON                                         prototype    1969

LANCIA FULVIA COUPÉ                                          show car     1969

LANCIA FLAMINIA MARICA COUPÉ                         show car     1970

FORD-DE TOMASO PANTERA                                  production  1970

DE TOMASO RACING CAR                                       formula one 1970

MUSTELA COUPÉ                                                   show car    1971

DE TOMASO DEAUVILLE 4-DOOR                            production   1972

DE TOMASO LONGCHAMP COUPÉ                          production   1972

ZONDA COUPÉ                                                       prototype    1972

FORD FIESTA                                                         production    1973

PANTERA II                                                             prototype    1973

MUSTELLA II                                                           prototype    1973

GHIA COINS                                                            show car    1974

FORD MAVERICK                                                    prototype    1975

© Copyright Anthony Westen 
In virtue of a personal relationship exclusively written for me and my Fiat 124 Spider Blog - The Netherlands. 
Auf Grund einer persönliche Beziehung exclusiv geschrieben für mich und für mein Fiat 124 Spider Blog - die Niederlande. 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of Anthony Westen - Netherlands.

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.

The editorialization of their pricing data is conducted by a host of contributors, but it is all filtered through independent appraiser and senior ASA member David H. Kinney.
Kinney is a renowned market expert who writes regular columns for AUTOMOBILE, AutoWeek, Hagerty, and Octane magazines, and contributes to the New York Times.
He is deeply involved in the hobby, judging at events, attending dozens of auctions annually, routinely buying and selling cars, and appraising hundreds of vehicles per year. The prices reported on Hagerty's valuation tools are the product of Kinney’s market expertise.

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 !
Access to data is only part of the story, however. It is Hagerty Price Guide’s familiarity with the industry and close association to the market itself that translates raw data to meaningful insight. The classic car marketplace behaves differently than the new or used car market does.

In particular, classic cars are an emotional purchase and their buyers scrutinize their details to a much greater extent. There can also be a tremendous variance between cars of the same year/make/model description. As such, it is imperative that all of a vehicle’s details are understood before interpreting a sale price’s comment on the market.
Low mileage, full documentation, overall condition, rarity, and significant modifications can all greatly affect a vehicle’s value – more so than with a three-year-old car.
At Hagerty Price Guide, they don’t just look at a given model’s transactional price and volume. They note condition, history, optional equipment, quality of restoration, degree of documentation, and sales venue, just to name a few.

The values Hagerty Price Guide publishes are not programmatically computed, but rather they are filtered through their experts’ collective experience. Instead of relying on an algorithm to interpret all of the data they have compiled, their analysts go to great lengths to understand the individual reasons that a car sold for the amount it did. In addition to looking at recent sales data for a given model they also overlay other market factors to provide a more grounded vantage of the vehicle values they publish.
Inventory, demand, recent trends of similar vehicles, movement within related market segments, and general directions of the car market overall all influence a car’s published value. They also evaluate changing tastes among buyers and developing fads within the hobby, and they relate these inputs to larger economic factors outside of the car hobby, like home equity crunches, employment statistics, and fuel prices.
Through this effort, you can be assured that the prices they report are fully considered, exhaustively researched, and – most importantly – accurate.

The Hagerty Valuation Tools are provided to help you make informed decisions when buying or selling a classic car.
In just 4 clicks , you'll get full access to the latest Hagerty Price Guide valuation data, including values across four condition ranges, value changes over time, model history and VIN decoder.
Best of all, it's completely free ! Value your car NOW.

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.

1962      FERRARI 330 2 PLUS 2

1963      FIAT 2300 COUPÉ



1965      MERCEDES 230 COUPÉ



 1965      FIAT 124 SPYDER

Note: The Corvette Rondine concept was used as the base styling theme for the Fiat 124 Spyder, hence the similarity.

© Copyright Anthony Westen 
In virtue of a personal relationship exclusively written for me and my Fiat 124 Spider Blog - The Netherlands. 
Auf Grund einer persönliche Beziehung exclusiv geschrieben für mich und für mein Fiat 124 Spider Blog - die Niederlande. 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of Anthony Westen - Netherlands.

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.

While at Ghia, Tjaarda was sent to Germany during August of 1960 to work on the design of the exterior and interior of a monorail train which was to be constructed on the Italia 61 fair grounds. This ALWEG-BAHN ran the full length of the site and over an artificial lake.

Tjaarda worked as a consultant for six months with the famous architects GABETTI & ISOLA and was responsable for helping design and fabricating all the scale models used to build the final full scale exhibitions.

© Copyright Anthony Westen 
In virtue of a personal relationship exclusively written for me and my Fiat 124 Spider Blog - The Netherlands. 
Auf Grund einer persönliche Beziehung exclusiv geschrieben für mich und für mein Fiat 124 Spider Blog - die Niederlande. 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of Anthony Westen - Netherlands.

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 coupe'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.

Next was a show car called the 1959 GHIA SELENE which was shown in the Torino Auto Show in 1959. This prototype had a unique seating arrangement of two people in front of the front wheels and four passengers - facing each other - between the wheel base, and the engine in the rear. Not the best arrangement for stability, this vehicle nonetheless found interest from Russia, which was then used as a concept to design taxis for Moscow !!

Anther show car designed by Tjaarda was the IXG DRAGSTER. This concept was shown in the 1960 Torino Auto Show and the one-seater lays claim to being the first vehicle to make use of under-body aerodynamic design meant to reduce wind drag and improve performance. It was recently sold to a collector when Ford auctioned off a good part of their prototype car collection.

During this period Tjaarda contributed to many other vehicles including the next generation
and various concept cars for Renault,
and the
ALWEG MONORAIL for the Turin International Fair in 1961.

© Copyright Anthony Westen 
In virtue of a personal relationship exclusively written for me and my Fiat 124 Spider Blog - The Netherlands. 
Auf Grund einer persönliche Beziehung exclusiv geschrieben für mich und für mein Fiat 124 Spider Blog - die Niederlande. 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of Anthony Westen - Netherlands.

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.

Luigi Segre, the owner of Ghia, mentioned that they were looking for a designer and asked Professor Lahti if he had some student who might work in Italy for a year.

What followed this simple offer is documented in the next volumes, and of course the projected one year stay in Italy turned out to be a bit longer than anticipated.

© Copyright Anthony Westen
In virtue of a personal relationship exclusively written for me and my Fiat 124 Spider Blog - The Netherlands.
Auf Grund einer persönliche Beziehung exclusiv geschrieben für mich und für mein Fiat 124 Spider Blog - die Niederlande.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of - Netherlands.

Tjaarda Design - part 1 - Foreword

The designer of our Fiat 124 Spider, Tom Tjaarda, sent me in 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.

Many projects which Tjaarda created were non-automotive and include motor scooters, boats, industrial cleaners, boutiques, and a host of other products in the general design category.

During his four decades in Italy, Tjaarda worked as a designer/stylist for a number of years first with GIA then PININFARINA. In 1969 Tjaarda became chief stylist with DETOMASO and in 1979 moved to FIAT as director of advanced design.
In 1982 he set up a new design center for RAYTON FISSORE, outside Torino in the historically famous city of Cherasco. In 1986 Tjaarda then set-up his own company known as TJAARDA DESIGN.

Tjaarda works primarily as a consultant, his base being a studio which is located in the Business center of Torino. Even if a small office, it is here that numerous projects are conceived and elaborated, then further developed into full scale static demonstration models and running prototypes using the numerous modeling facilities located around the Torino area.

© Copyright Anthony Westen
In virtue of a personal relationship exclusively written for me and my Fiat 124 Spider Blog - The Netherlands.
Auf Grund einer persönliche Beziehung exclusiv geschrieben für mich und für mein Fiat 124 Spider Blog - die Niederlande.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of Anthony Westen - Netherlands.

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.

Due to a full scheduled agenda still, Tom Tjaarda requested this automobile historian in particular to archive his files, because he was well-known with the material: he had already successfully archived and charted before the life and work of the legendary car designer Pietro Frua ( 1913-1983 ).

In short
I am happy that Tom Tjaarda already had written his Fiat 124 Spider story for me and had sent me the exclusive summary of his Automotive Design and Industrial Design projects as well as all the corresponding photos (in February-March 2004) a good length of time before the mentioned historian came into sight.

I am very proud, that Tom Tjaarda wrote this story exclusively for me and my website. Together with the conclusive copyright protection by the German historian since July 2004, the exclusivity of the exposed material of Tom Tjaarda on my web blog will be well preserved and protected adequately.

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.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Like a Phoenix

Now that I had to close my site and my site involuntarily, I will republish gradually all my files, photos, images, videos and music about my precious 124 Spider again through this new Spider related website.

Background: my site Spidersweb was hacked completely twice in the last week of December 2013 and in the following first week of January 2014 and all my 500 ( bilingual ) web pages were infected by morbid malware intentionally, sent by outside sick morons so that I no control over my heavily infected site anymore.

After more than 10 years ( from 2003 on ) designing, creating, writing, translating, illustrating and - last but not least - financing privately, I had to remove all my files, photos, images, videos and music, and to close my site instantaneously after consultation with my hosting company, when the site was hacked for the second time last January 10. 2014.

Anyhow, I herewith welcome again all my loyal worldwide Fiat 124 Spider friends, visitors and interested persons to my well-attended new Fiat 124 Spider website !

Monday, January 20, 2014

Good wishes follow-up

According to WIKIPEDIA a coincidence (often stated as a mere coincidence) is a collection of two or more events or conditions, closely related by time, space, form, or other associations which appear unlikely to bear a relationship as either cause to effect or effects of a shared cause, within the observer's or observers' understanding of what cause can produce what effects.

Read about my definition of this word HERE and the role my Fiat 124 Spider played in this story.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Good wishes never too late . . . .

Although not an automotive issue whatsoever (if you allow me once a year), I would like to redirect you to a few pages of mine that I sent to my relatives and friends at the beginning of this new year.
And now through my 124 Spider blog to ALL OF YOU SPIDER FRIENDS ! Read and view more HERE. and hacked

More than 10 years I was designing, creating, writing, translating, illustrating and - last but not least - financing privately, when recently my personal websites and were hacked. Anyhow, most of the information, pictures, graphics, music and video's were saved.

I intend to continue my Fiat 124 Spider site in a different form as a blog,  which is more flexible and less vulnerable than a standard website.

Anthony (

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Passionate lover and his muse

Already during many years I am following a magnificent shaped diary with about 70 entries and wonderful clear ( technical ) pictures from the passionate Spider-lover Eduardo ( Eddie ) Relvas and his muse ( he calls her tenderly ' Betty ' ) from Portalegre, Portugal under the compelling title:

Today ( September 30. 2012 ) Eduardo writes in his diary:
'Reading back on my previous posts, it seems I've acquired the routine of apologising at the beginning of every post for not writing more often. So no more apologies.

No, the irregular post frequency does not mean the car has not been in use. Far from it.
In fact, it continues at its peak. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, and get the story up to date.

First event to take place after the last post was when I finally bit the bullet and admitted that the engine would never be properly sorted until I took matters into my own hands. Regular readers will remember my complaints that it never was as smooth as I knew the 1438 should be, and through several failed attempts it kept running too rough for my taste. So come Easter, and the engine was extracted from its usual resting place for a quick recommissioning...

I took the opportunity because the engine was starting to show the very first symptoms of tired main and rod bearings, and the timing belt was due as well, so timing was perfect.

Within a couple of days I'd gone through it, inspecting the general state of affairs, and dismantled the lot. Then the overhaul proper started:

The whole engine was cleaned and checked. I was quite pleased to see that the engine was very well preserved, not showing anything to worry about. I did find the culprit of the vibration, though... someone that had been there in the past assembled the whole bottom end not paying attention to the factory balance marks. The crank, flywheel and even the front pulley and cover assembly are all staked to show their relative positions so that factory balancing is preserved. There was also one piston with the rings incorrectly spaced, so that might not have helped either.

Soon I was into the assembly phase... I love this sort of work.

And it wasn't long before the whole lot was being put back where it belongs...

I know, I could have taken the time to spruce up the engine bay, but this was done against the clock as I only had the two weeks of Easter break so I could use the missus' car to get to work. And I did it, with not much time to spare, but it went back into service.

Soon after that, I had a conference to attend in Evora, 100 km away, and this was my first real opportunity to test the newly-minted power plant.

As you can see, the old gal was finally put back the way it should. The engine now revs eagerly and smoothly, and it's an absolute delight to drive. It winds all the way round the rev counter scale with no hint of displeasure at being put through its paces. A proper Italian engine, at last! Success!'

Now that I 've boosted your interest in Eduardo's gorgeous diary, you better visit his own pages about HIS RESTORATION PROJECT THAT STARTS IN JULY 2004 .

( Diary entry and picture reproduction granted with Eduardo Relvas' permission. )

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fascinating Automotive Designs

About ten years ago I stumbled over a thrilling picture of a quite UNUSUAL MOTORCYCLE .
Because of my unremitting curious nature, I wanted to know who designed and created this
WONDERFUL VEHICLE and found out on a Russian ( ! ) website, that it was created by the Italian engineer, automobile and motorcycle designer ( Francesco Zefferino ) FRANCO SBARRO , living and working in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

And . . . . on these completely unexpected Russian pages a fascinating new world opened in front of me. I lost all my consciousness of time and was dreaming in a fantasy world for many, many, many hours.
I found myself on the website of CARDESIGN.RU which was at that time only in the Russian language. Because of the widespread international interest in the site, a part of it was separated later in the English language with the address CARDESIGNCOMMUNITY.COM describe themselves as: a professional informative online service and online community aimed mainly at professionals in the automotive industry, design students and transportation design devotees.
The project was launched in 2001 as a Russian-speaking web-source, which deservedly gained general popularity in Russia and other countries – starting with the specialists, who work in the industrial and automotive design sphere. today is the most Ru-net wide popular resource of transportation design, it is visited monthly by over 200 000 people, who view about 1.5 million pages. They are confident that will multiply its success!’s audience are always in the know, about the latest red hot information in the automotive world and allied fields. On they post fresh Autonews, their reporters visit all the main International Auto Shows and exhibitions, providing quick and detailed reports and photo-reviews. They cover, best transportation design degree-shows, carry out analytical test-drives, do interviews with famous designers, publish historic reviews, inform of changes in design studios and world famous schools preparing industrial designers, announce design contests which are being held all over the world, introduce their readers to some useful information in allied design spheres. The site has a reputation as an independent source of valuable current information in the transportation design field. is an international online community for automotive designers. Their mission is to introduce designers to the automotive market and being an informational source on design subjects.
    They facilitate with:
  • effective and convenient interaction between transportation designers all over the world;
  • enriching the design outlook for their audience;
  • self-development of young specialists and those who want to become a designer – in professional, informational and personal aspects;
  • establishment of direct communications between the designers and their potential employers.
A magnificent concept creation and prototype was made for BMW: the BMW i8 Concept Spyder 2012, which was on the Moscow International Automobile Salon from August 31 - September 9, 2012:

( The represented pictures are taken from the website of )