The ultimate italian coachbuilder site

Tom Tjaarda’s last creation: The Fiat 124 Targa

Presented at the “Super Car Parade 2019” at Parco del Valentino, exhibited at Circolo del Design di Torino, the one-off “124 Tjaarda Targa“, by Tom Tjaarda, was subsequently awarded as “show car” at the Castello di Meano Elegance Competition.

The car tells the gripping stylistic journey of Tjaarda, from the Corvette Rondine show car by Pininfarina of 1962, from which he took inspiration for the roll bar and roof shape, with a distinctly sporty character and a transparent showcar greenhouse.

The plexiglass roof reminded Tjaarda of his father John’s experiment on the Lincoln Zephir. On the Targa it can be removed with a quick maneuver by one person and housed in the luggage compartment. Tom’s intent was to present a new genre of 124, a Targa. The roof is clearly lower than the standard Top forming a single line with the rollbar and the elongated tail of the car. New lowered seat rails have been built, thus changing the driving layout which also allows a more comfortable driving position.

Tjaarda chose the only possible candidate as donor car: the 124 France blue with the Brescia license plate that was published often, so much that in the eyes of the designer now it was a famous specimen.

Moreover, Tom wanted to work on a car in excellent condition, that he was driving and also knew very well. He personally directed the main phases of the realization: the study of the shape of the roof and rear window, the lengthening of the tails and the housings of the new conical back lights.

The front is well-finished and features a hand-made solid aluminum trim, bumper split and bonnet with drop-shaped humps. Those were later the subject of several interventions. Tjaarda defined them as “timid” due to their small size, then imposing, till its definitive shape that the designer liked to be proportionate with the car. Tjaarda wanted to propose once again the interiors of the 124 Rondine, expressing the desire of shades of gray, then reverberated on the bodywork.

To differentiate it from the Rondine he wanted a nautical inspiration: the use of wood also on the central console and above the back seat, as well as for the steering wheel, brass for the instrumentation rings used alos on the Rondine but intentionally deeper, motorboats inspired pull-switches. The mechanics shows an elaborate 2 liter and a differential with short ratios, so much to induce Tjaarda to nickname it the “bomb“. Tom sighed happily said: “this time we have to sacrifice a bit of elegance in the name of sportiness “, without success because the 124 Targa is a real elegant lady when parked but a bomb on the road. The silver bodywork on top, and light quartz on the sides in order to emphasize the belt line. Tjaarda wanted a bi-color car which need to be discovered with the look, therefore without particular contrasts. The “124 Tjaarda Targa” revives the expressiveness of the great Italian bodyworks of the years sixty for the classic ways of making, although Tom intended to make a new one project, a new type of 124.

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Tribute to Marcello Gandini with the Prototype Unveiled at the 1972 Geneva Motor Show: A Unique Model Exuding Elegance and Personality

From May 24 to 26, the BMW Group Classic and the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este will host the legendary Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. The most spectacular cars from different eras and around the world will compete in various categories to win prestigious awards. Among these are the coveted BMW Group Trophy awarded by the Jury, the traditional Coppa d’Oro based on public votes, the Design Award for concept cars and prototypes, and the special ASI Trophy for the best-preserved post-war vehicle.

The presence of the Automotoclub Storico Italiano (ASI) at this unmissable international event is highlighted by the display of the Citroën GS Camargue prototype from the ASI Bertone Collection. This car enriches the theme dedicated to Marcello Gandini – the recently deceased master of car design – set up in the park of Villa Erba on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26. Also at Villa Erba, as part of the “Amici & Automobili” event, the ASI-affiliated Veteran Car Club of Como will accompany the Camargue with a precious selection of historical cars from its members.

The Citroën Camargue was first presented at the Bertone stand at the 1972 Geneva Motor Show, where it was met with great enthusiasm from both the public and the press. Built on the innovative Citroën GS platform, which was launched in 1970, the Bertone coupé, styled by Marcello Gandini with the assistance of Marc Deschamps, retains the compact sedan’s layout and dimensions. The car features distinctive front and rear overhangs – the front being much more pronounced to enhance the car’s dynamic look. Lower and wider than the GS, the Camargue boasts a wedge-shaped front typical of Gandini’s style, contrasting with a truncated rear end supporting a broad, panoramic canopy with amber-tinted glass, paired with a chic metallic champagne-colored body. Despite its striking and original design, the Bertone proposal did not reach commercial production due to Citroën’s economic crisis during those years, which led to its merger with Peugeot in 1974.

The format of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este includes a double location in Cernobbio, on the shores of Lake Como. On Saturday, May 25, the exclusive Hotel Villa d’Este’s park will host the display of all competing cars, the jury inspection, voting, parade, and the awarding of the Coppa d’Oro and special prizes. Simultaneously, Villa Erba will host the “Amici & Automobili” meeting with an exhibition of historical cars from clubs and enthusiasts.

On Sunday, May 26, the event will continue at Villa Erba with a festival celebrating automotive passion: all cars in the competition will be displayed in the park until the concluding parade, where the Design Award, class prizes, and honorable mentions will be awarded.