Excerpt by Rory Jurnecka, Automobilemag.com, January, 2017. “Catching Up With Tom Tjaarda, Automobile Designer” Tom Tjaarda (1934-) is an American designer who based his career in Italy, working for many of the country’s top design houses [Ghia, Pininfarina, Fiat, De Tomaso, Rayton-Fissore] where he penned cars such as the original Fiat 124 Spider and the… Read More »
Patented by Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera (super light) in 1936, the superleggera system consists of a structural framework of small-diameter steel tubes that conform to an automobile body’s shape and are covered by thin alloy body panels that strengthen the framework.
Why the engine in the back? In conventional cars, a front engine turns the rear wheels through a long drive shaft. But Volkswagen’s rear engine gives direct power to the wheels, saving weight and power. It is the most efficient and economical design. It means greater visibility when driving–you see over VW’s snub nose. And… Read More »
Type 14 Timeline 1950 Unknown to Karmann or VW, Carozzeria Ghia’s owner Mario Boano designs a VW coupe. The “paper car” refines previous Ghia styling ideas. Ghia tries building the car but VW won’t supply a chassis. Meanwhile, Karmann and VW discuss building a Beetle-based sports convertible. VW’s management… Read More »
There is a living tradition of German car design that is derived from the 17th and 18th century Enlightenment ideals of reason, logic, and systematics. The general aims of this manner of thinking are focused on the everyday activities of people; and how the individual and society, each, could be changed for the better. In… Read More »