Tom Meade: Thomassima Supercar_update - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 71 Old 11-12-2009, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Tom Meade: Thomassima Supercar_update

To allow newer readers to become familiar with Tom Meade and his involvement with Ferraris, what follows is a transcription of a past article:

Tom Meade --Artist and Craftsman

Tom Meade was born in Hollywood and raised in Australia and Hawaii. At a very young age he developed a passion for beautiful cars. In 1960, after a four year hitch in the Navy, he returned to Newport Beach, California, where he stumbled upon a Ferrari Testa Rossa. He coveted the car, even though it was priced far beyond his reach --at $4000.

The owner of the car told him about a warehouse in Rome full of used race cars that were being sold for a song. That was it. Meade packed a tennis bag, and with only $50 in his pocket, hitchhiked his way to Rome. He combed the city for the famous warehouse, which of course turned out to be a myth, just like the streets paved with pizza. He heard about a Ferrari being used on a Dino di Laurentis movie, but by the time he arrived at the set it was gone. However, he was offered the part of a British army officer in the film, and was cast opposite David Niven. The months of nighttime shooting left his days free for car hunting, but the results were still zero.

After the film wrapped, Tom ventured to Modena, Italy, home of Maserati --and Mr. Ferrari. While on a tour of the Maserati plant, he spotted a beautiful shape covered by a tarp. He asked the guide what it was, and was told, "scrap." but Meade pulled up the cover and discovered the remains of the prototype 350S V-12 built for Stirling Moss to drive in the 1957 Mille Miglia. After much begging and negotiation, the car was his... for a mere $420! With only nickels left, he found a friendly farmer who let him keep the car in the barn with the cows. Tom slept in the hayloft, ate off the land, and immediately went to work rebuilding the car. He made a daily trips to the Maserati factory to root out parts and eventually was given free run of the racing department. When the car was finished, he shipped it back to the States and hitchhiked his way home again. Back in America, he sold the car $2,700 --a huge profit for the time.

With the proceeds from his big sale, Meade returned to Modena, rented an apartment for $8 a month, and began brokering Ferraris, Maseratis, Lamborghinis, and Bizzarinis. He was the only American broker in Italy at the time, and became the “go to” guy for foreigners seeking Italian sports cars. His business began to grow, and he wanted to begin creating custom coachwork, so he moved his operations to a large warehouse, and his business continued to flourish.

Eventually he was selling many cars a month, with a large and well-equipped shop staffed by skilled craftsmen, many moonlighting from their day jobs at Ferrari or Maserati.

In 1962, Meade named his first custom-bodied car, built on a Ferrari 250 GT chassis, Thomassima 1, which in Italian means “the maximum from Thomas.” It was unfortunately lost in the floods of Florence. The first of his famous Nembo Spyders came in the mid 1960s, also built on a Ferrari 250 GT chassis. In 1967 he built Thomassima 2, a truly beautiful creation. In 1969 he built the third and final Nembo Spyder, S/N 2707, built as a lightweight competizione street version. A Lebanese Ferrari dealer out of Paris commissioned the car. The dealer took the car to Beirut and both he and the car have never been heard of since.

Also in 1969 came the Thomassima 3, which created a sensation when exhibited at Italy’s automobile manufacturers’ show in Turin, the most important and prestigious event of it’s kind in Europe. It was necessary to move the surrounding exhibits further back, to make room for the dense crowds surrounding Meade’s creation. The resulting worldwide publicity included his life story on 60 Minutes and a talk show appearance with Walter Cronkite and Roger Mudd. Mattel manufactures Thomassima 3 as one of its Hot Wheels collection. Feature articles followed in Road and Track and Motor Trend magazines.

As a result of the acclaim over Meade’s bold styling and beautiful designs some customers brought their production Ferraris to Meade and asked him to modify them into something unique and even more beautiful. Sometimes Meade fully re-bodied them, and other times he only modified parts of their factory original bodies, such as the 250 GT/L Lusso “Speciale,” offered here at Monterey, which he customized with covered headlights.

Meade –living in California now, recalled in a recent interview that these “semi-customs” gave him a great satisfaction because they allowed him to add his personal touch to some of the great designs of the period. While he did not keep records, he believes his total lifetime production of modified and custom bodied Ferraris and Maseratis is less than 50 cars, making them exceptionally rare today. Praise for his work was abundant in the period, and his cars are increasingly sought after by modern collectors.
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post #2 of 71 Old 11-12-2009, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thomassima II update_restoration

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuTnwtjJy1I
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post #3 of 71 Old 11-12-2009, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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-pictured below top: Tom Meade (left) shakes hands with Enzo Ferrari (right) as Enzo hands Tom his personal contact information after a 40-minute conversation at the Modena Autodromo Race Track (now defunct).

-pictured below bottom: Thomassima II with P/4 Can Am cars, being tested the same day, seen in background on trailer.
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post #4 of 71 Old 11-12-2009, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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from Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Slice of Life, An Altered State: An Afternoon with Tom Meade

By Chad Glass

Having arranged a meeting today for conversation and coffee, I sped down Sunset Boulevard in Westwood, pretending I was in a Ferrari. The drive en route to have a second meeting with Tom Meade, whom I had been introduced to the prior Wednesday evening, became an exotic trip without having to leave town. It was sunny and mild as I downshifted through sweeping s-curves and hills. Tighter and turning, I could feel the front end gripping with the steering input; not bad for my modified Nissan, and enough to have me fantasizing about brief snapshots of a race I was never in, of memories I never had.

What was real was the journey to visit someone who not only had Enzo Ferrari himself provide his personal contact information to (and talk for 40 minutes with Tom –an unheard of event for nearly anyone in the world—to speak with Enzo for one or two seconds is a long time), but pay a visit to a man who perhaps outdid much of that marque’s iconic styling in it’s vintage heyday of the 1960s. Included in the pantheon of Italian coachbuilders of Pininfarina, Giugiaro, Bertone, Ghia, Vignale, Zagato, etc... the American born Tom Meade defies tradition, being perhaps more Italian than all the prior mentioned. Goggle the word “Thomassima” (Toe-MASS-ee-mah), and read about his rise to notoriety.

As for me, being a storyboard artist in the Hollywood industry, I was excited to be meeting a car designer, and yet more amazed to be meeting someone who had rebodied and redesigned Ferraris specifically. As I have grown more interested in Italian automotive design, while dabbling in trying out some sketched designs of my own, I was eager to have Meade look at what I had drawn, but more interested in experiencing what this man had to say in general.

Being a student of the world, I tend to absorb things that are interesting with free abandon. To be given an opportunity to learn something --anything-- from someone such as Meade, is a privilege and honor. Yet I choose to take it all in fun. Whatever we would discuss I already knew would be interesting. It would be because it’s about cars, extraordinary cars. Between gear shifts while looking down at my directions, creeping down the last street, I neared his residence and pulled off to park in the shade.

His residence is designated as a whole number and a half, like “367 ½”. So even though I am actively looking for a half-number, walking around the premises, I become challenged to find the front door. The half number somehow doesn’t make itself very obvious. I eventually find it by calling his phone number and listening for the ringing. It works as I find myself standing on the landing of a unit one floor up and across from his.

Upon arrival and greeting, Tom wants to go back to the corner coffee shop where we had first met. I sense and get the idea that this is the main rendezvous for future meetings. Coffee sounds great and I find that is but a short drive from his place. As we make our way through some back streets, I voice that to Tom: “I see, this is some kind of back way; I can see we’re near it already.”

“Yes, just like in Modena, I know all of the back ways to places,” he says as we approach nearer.

Arriving shortly, he suggests an ideal place to park, a sort of secret spot. He is correct and this makes everything flow very nicely, like the lines on a Ferrari. And finding a table outside on the sidewalk, among the din of the traffic and the people, he plunks down a thick book for me to see, what appears to be a collage of pictures and articles –memory lane for him, an expose’ of his life for me.

Straight away I open the thing as he begins to describe what I was looking at: Black and white pictures, all crisp and vivid, then color, abound. Very nice, and they all look like Ferraris to me, beautiful ones from the 60s and early 70s, but something strikes me:

They’re almost Ferraris. I see familiar cues making me want to say what model that one is, what this one is, to show him I know about Ferraris, and….. I can’t place any of them. They’re not Pininfarina or Bertone designs. They’re his. But they look like factory production cars.

“That’s a Nembo Spider,” he says.

“Wow,” I say, “that is just gorgeous, the best spider version of a Ferrari I’ve ever seen.” I could stare at it for the duration of our time together, but other pictures await.

Page after page I have the same kind of reaction. The different models of cars are all equally as compelling to see, somehow looking a little better than the factory cars. They’re at least models that Ferrari should have built.


stay tuned for next week's installment
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post #5 of 71 Old 11-12-2009, 12:04 PM
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Nembo spyder, #1777 at Goodwood Revival 2007. Just gorgeous.

And that thing in the first post, the CanAm (not a P4 anymore by then), is also s*x on wheels! I am wondering though what exactly it is because it looks very different from the 350 CanAm as offered for sale at Maranello in May.

In any case, Tom's alright...


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post #6 of 71 Old 11-12-2009, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzyO View Post
Nembo spyder, #1777 at Goodwood Revival 2007. Just gorgeous.

And that thing in the first post, the CanAm (not a P4 anymore by then), is also s*x on wheels! I am wondering though what exactly it is because it looks very different from the 350 CanAm as offered for sale at Maranello in May.

In any case, Tom's alright...


Onno
that's not a CanAm nor P4, that is the Thomassima II

the CanAms are in the background, as stated

nice pics of the Nembo, btw; a stunner
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Onno, do you have any more pics of that Nembo?
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post #8 of 71 Old 11-13-2009, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viscount aero View Post
that's not a CanAm nor P4, that is the Thomassima II

the CanAms are in the background, as stated
Ah, thanks!

@Vitalone - yes, I do have a couple more.


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Onno thanks!
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post #10 of 71 Old 11-16-2009, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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A Slice of Life, An Altered State: An Afternoon with Tom Meade, part 2

I see fragrances of a GTO Series 2, California Spider, 250 SWB, 275 GTB, others. But as whole cars they’re not any of those. Looking at Meade’s cars, the overall effect would be as if Ferrari were to add extra dashes of spices and herbs to the sauce, letting it sit overnight for that “2nd day taste,” resume baking the next day, producing a more flavorful car, with nuances overall to dramatically alter the visual experience.

I am impressed on many levels certainly, but the main thing going through my mind is the sense of respect and humility I am feeling upon seeing the legacy that this man has created. I’ve met many visual artists, painters, movie people, musicians, some of my childhood heroes –but never a living legend such as this man. I can’t stop repeating myself with saying “wow” and “amazing.”

“I learned all of this the hard way --the very hard way. Some of the things I have lived through would leave your mouth hanging open. It has taken me 50 years to learn how to make the new Thomassima.”

When he says this to me I am again taken to another level of thinking, like a slow bullet entering my skull. The cars, the coffee, the afternoon sun, the level of design, the memories and times of this man in Italy somewhat become my own –it all begins to penetrate as I speak:

“You are one of those types of people, a Clint Eastwood type. You’re much less mainstream, in relative obscurity today… you are a living legend, an icon.”

He appears happy to hear this, somewhat surprised, perhaps, to hear me assess him in this way. And I continue:

“Because you create boutique products, highly specialized niche products, exotic cars, only true connoisseurs will know who you are. I must be one of those people now because I was lead to this.”

“The Thomassima is more known than you think it is,” he assures me.

As a draftsman myself, a largely self-taught storyboard artist for Hollywood movies and tv commercials, I am well aware of many areas of design and art that are not really my niche. Insofar as cars are concerned, I am merely a bright-eyed hobbyist at best, having drawn original car designs only very infrequently.

And drawing something already made, as I have done hundreds of times, if not thousands of times, will never qualify me as an automotive designer. That is for rich kids who go to places like Art Center or somewhere else to learn industrial design. Worse, that is a special talent, perhaps, that I may not even possess. Only lucky people end up as car designers.

Tom responds: “Art Center creates cookie cutter students who make all the same kinds of designs. They’re trained to become the same.”

While chewing food as he says this, I stop chewing to laugh with the food in my mouth. I feel uplifted and in accord with his thinking. It’s easy and a release for me to assume that attitude, being someone who never went to brand name schools. But the weight behind Tom saying it brings a fresh validity to the statement.

Regardless, with no formal training in anything really, I often feel pathetically out of my depth when I attempt to render an original car design. At best I feel like a fake. And the feeling is only amplified upon seeing Tom’s cars. But, alas, he wasn’t formally trained either. Neither was Enzo. And that is somewhat unbelievable when looking at what they can/did create, and what Tom has yet to do.

Whatever fantasies I may have entertained long ago of designing cars, of being part of that culture in any way, have long since faded with age –but have they really? For all the times I’ve imagined being behind the wheel in a car chase, drawing the scene by placing myself in the driver’s seat, by collecting a long list of speeding tickets, of going to hundreds of car shows, import car events, I never crossed over into actually creating the fast cars to be admired and collected. In all honesty to myself, I am no one special as I have been, and am, just another admirer, a consumer. But an enthusiast, nonetheless.

I’m the type of person who considers the sound of the engine to be important enough that no radio exists in the cars I own and drive. The soundtrack of the exhaust and gears changing in a tunnel, the moments that a sports car is heard above anything around, can be among the most intoxicating sounds ever experienced. In this way I consider myself a connoisseur of the sound a car makes as well as of the car itself. And as my interests and tastes in cars continue to expand, I realize that about the most uniquely exotic sound is from a Ferrari.

Other makes are different, can be nice, but nothing is really like a Ferrari’s sound. It’s a less-heard, head-turning event when you hear it. And I’ve read that it has a lot to do with Ferrari’s penchant for using flat-plane crank shafts in their engines (where the shaft lobes are directly opposed, different than the more commonly seen crank lobes offset at greater or lesser angles to each other). What results is this high-strung, high-revving, high-pitched symphony, something similar to a Formula One car.

I can only imagine what the sounds the Thomassima cars are like; better yet, how they feel to drive. I’ve been around car culture for years but only rarely have I driven the cars of my admiration. I’ve driven some, but not enough.

Amid my enjoyment of the afternoon, our meeting begins to elicit certain feelings, as if I had missed/am missing the big party, born into a time and situation that unfairly places me far and away from ever being able to grasp or have what I want.

Yet, paradoxically, I feel as if I am living in a moment of the beginning of something greater and more involving than most things I have pursued up to this time, at least in a long time. I feel that I am in an altered state, as if faerie dust is being sprinkled over the whole afternoon. It’s not just the black coffee. I feel empowered and excited, not down on myself. What I have not become, what I never had, who I am not… none of that matters. I’m not dead yet and I’m riding a wave of happy magic.
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A Slice of Life, An Altered State: An Afternoon with Tom Meade, part 3

I still want to show Tom my drawings, even though by now I fully realize they will be seen as inferior. Not in how they are rendered per se, but in how I designed them (or lacked in the designing of them). My lack of imagination will surface immediately and I will appear orders of magnitude naïve. I begin feeling intimidated as I voice this to Tom.

I have not felt this way about something in a long time. After all I have attained and realized to a level of proficiency with my drawing skills that typically impresses others. Certainly, the rise I may get from an admirer are wonderful, even as the shelf-life of a compliment tends to be fleeting and ultimately dissatisfying.

Alas, this was to be a lesson, yet again, in humility. Literally I would soon be humiliated. And I was asking for it. I have been asking for it all my life, throughout the many chapters I have encountered. Moving out west to LA was a movement in this direction into humility and fear –headlong into a risk that guaranteed only that I would encounter unknown things. Some terrible, some great. And I am there again.

As Tom and I continue talking and sharing our lives’ stories, my role fast becomes the listener, the one absorbing from the elder statesman. What I had done up until this very hour begins to shrink and disappear into a shadow of a figment of an imaginary thought. But somehow I manage to blurt out something:

“A dream of mine, a big one, is to have a spot of land with a big house by the mountains and the ocean, with a giant multi-car garage, and a soaring workshop space where I can create giant paintings of cars and other amazing things –to have some level of renown”

“Yes, I’d like to see your drawings,” he says.

With that, reaching into my leather case, I produce 2 finished concept sketches of a red Ferrari front V12 GT, and a fantasy version of the Dino, in yellow. They were drawn last year sometime, yet I don’t bring that up as an excuse. I am already fully exposed.

He gives them a look and says in a supportive tone: “Oh I see you can use what I can show you. This first one, it kind of looks like the 599. Did you have a picture of the 599 in front of you when you drew this?”

“No, it’s from my imagination,” I say

Tom responds “One of my main weaknesses is that I love beauty, and your drawings, they’re not more beautiful than the basic Ferraris. Would someone pay for a one-off like these, over 1 or 2 or 3 million dollars, when they can buy a mass-produced Ferrari that is already as beautiful, for about 3 to $400,000? They can just go out and buy a 599.”

Looks like I will not achieve any renown with these drawings.

Likewise, I cannot say anything in rebuttal. Looks like a checkmate to me. I admit as well that I am not entirely ready to hear what he is saying as it’s something nobody has ever really told me. Being that I am prepared for criticism, I am not so crestfallen. Yet I am unsettled. I feel it in my whole body as I hear the truth being laid down about my work.

By now I have learned, from years of being exposed on jobs in Hollywood, to just take it like a man and shut up and be glad for the lesson. So I don’t take the criticism so personally as it is an excellent gift. The pangs of hurt are treasures.

“I want you to begin thinking of everything in terms of beauty,” he offers, “but these drawings do not show beautiful cars; they show nothing new or different.”

Up to this time, I never had things put to me this way… beauty? So simple yet something I honestly had either forgotten about or did not consciously implement. Whatever the case may be or might have been, I awaken out of a sort of sleep upon hearing this.

The faerie dust begins dusting the area even more; I instantly see my drawings and the photos of his cars with new eyes. The changeover is instantaneous. My drawings instantly appear as if some other person besides myself has drawn them. “I will never draw that way again,” I say to myself, assuming the position of someone different, as I am shown something greater.

Suddenly, too, I see how utterly hard it is to come up with something that looks good and new in the round, in 3D. It’s even worse because the subject matter is automotive. Everyone has an instant opinion and recognition with a car design. If something looks bad on a car, it looks really bad and is unforgiven.

He adds “Look at how your lines flow; they start and stop and have no meaning. What is this? (pointing to an area on the front of the Dino) What were you thinking? The front is too high, the fender arches don’t rise above the hood, the headlights are unattractive, the grille is too tall and flat. And there are no relationships between the different areas of the car.”

So much is wrong with what I had drawn that I sit wondering if I did anything right. Yet I don’t dwell on this. I am already a changed man and invite more.

“Do you like any of the modern Ferraris?” I ask.

“Mmm not much; I like some parts of them but generally no,” he says.

“What do you think of the 458, the new one?”

“It’s close but…. what about the tail lights? They look like… they remind me of someone with gum disease, the way they designed how the tops of the lights go into the body. They did that same thing on the 430, the receding gum tail lights.”
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A Slice of Life, An Altered State: An Afternoon with Tom Meade, part 4

I laugh out loud when he suggests this, having never heard that before. I agree with him even though I like the 430 and 458, save for the strange headlights on the latter car.

“I don’t care for the headlights on it either, they’re too complicated,” he says.

“The 458 looks better when it’s moving. I’ve seen footage of it,” I say. He doesn’t really respond.

“The biggest problem with modern Ferraris is that the original maestro designers are gone. And the designs must appeal more and more to all kinds of people. I have freedom to make and do what I want. But I don’t compete with them on their level, so I have to go and make my cars more beautiful and of higher art. But I don’t have the billions to spend. Yet I have to try beat them. Otherwise I have nothing special; my cars will not be worth more than a Ferrari if I barely meet their standards. It’s like David and Goliath,” he says.

Agreeing, I say “You’re a boutique car maker, of the old world, how it used to be for Ferrari when they were still a company developing in a cottage industry.”

“Absolutely yes,” he agrees “it all used to be a cottage industry. Not anymore. It used to be about beauty, now it’s just about money. I never see a car which I consider especially beautiful.”

The surrealism of the day going into evening maintains a nice level of enjoyment, an altered state that I accept and have accepted. He is talking about creating a hand-built supercar without compromise to quality or performance, going directly to compete with everyone’s reputation and design aesthetic.

“The Thomassima will be entirely hand-built. The panels of the body will be hand-beaten in aluminum, with a hammer, around a mannequin (wire frame). Nobody does that anymore. It’s all computerized now.”

He continues: “Brembo is making the braking system for this car, specifically for this car. I was also going to use a Ferrari frame for it, but when I moved it was stolen. But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. After the incident, I teamed up with an English engineer, an absolute genius, who designed the chassis and suspension for the Aston Martin GT race car last year for LeMans.

“He’s also designed chassis and suspension for Forumla One. For the Thomassima, we have teamed up together, designing the suspension and chassis to be at the avante garde of engineering.”

At some points in hearing him speak, I am taken by the matter-of-fact delivery of what he is doing. It is not phrased in terms of “someday, I will make a car; I hope it is… blah blah blah.” There is no nonsense here. Instead, the message is clear: He has actually started building the chassis, suspension, and many of the components. In my summation, he is a doer and not just a talker.

Most people in any given business that I typically find myself interacting with never approach this kind of endeavor for any reason. Even film directors talking about what they are going to do, how they want the scene to look…. all of that is great and fun to be a part of, but in this context seems to be a more common issue.

But not this.

This is different. The scope of what Tom speaks of takes all afternoon to recount, all day to hit me as more and more is further revealed, about the Thomassima project, and about myself. Rather, I am perpetually eased into a jarring string of moments that quietly present themselves in the gentle shower of falling faerie dust.

The sun sinks lower, the chill of autumn begins to bite the air; we pack up our stuff and head out. Tom remarks on the process that he will use to create the tail lamps for the Thomassima –which will be made in Murano, Italy, from glass, not plastic. Many of the components in the Thomassima will be made of glass, but I’m not allowed to comment further.

After that visit we go to dinner. The day has tired me out, my head is reeling.

In moments between conversation, under the weight of dusk, I ask myself why am I hearing all of this? Why did I meet this person really? Certainly there are others with whom he has in close confidence to reveal secrets to instead of me (and throughout the day he does reveal such things to me that I am sworn to silence over).

In reminiscence, Tom recounts “I’m the last remaining one from that whole era. All of my contemporaries, the ones who I learned from –the Maestros-- they’re all dead.”

Certainly if such a maestro is in existence today it is indeed him. He’s been building cars and living in Italy all of his adult life –that’s 50 years, making him more Italian than American.

The solitariness of his condition makes itself very clear as I contemplate from what time in history he comes from. It’s quite a bit before my time, so this is like being in an animated time capsule. Inasmuch as I have in common with him, I am in stark contrast to him.

But the opportunity to board the train on this journey, as he builds a car in early Enzo era tradition, with the technology of tomorrow, is strangely wonderful. As he stands as a last remaining link to that distant time, I am anxious to get on with the next installment to this continuing saga…
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post #13 of 71 Old 12-25-2009, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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A Slice of Life, An Altered State: An Afternoon with Tom Meade, part 5

Below are listed current specs on the new Thomassima:

“Old World body outside mixed with New World technology inside,” and, according to Tom:

“I have already made a trip to Italy and contracted with my old body man who used to work for me. I’ve brought him out of retirement, so the new Thomassima should reflect the original beauty of the vintage cars.”


Engine:
-Supercharged 4-cam, front-engine V12 with titanium rods, springs, hollow valves, keepers, and locks, etc.

Gearbox:
-6 speed transaxle, custom-engineered and manufactured solely for this unit

Chassis:
-2015 technology, monocoque chassis /LeMans competition race car design and construction using many lightweight and exotic materials
-Gas tanks of hand-formed aluminum, riveted with internal fuel bladder, with “yesteryear” look as seen on the 250LM Ferrari race car
-Target weight is below 2000lbs including fuel, water, and oil

Brakes:
-Carbon-ceramic/special alloy caliper Brembo, custom application braking system, made and created especially for the Thomassima; more advanced than the braking system on the Ferrari Enzo

Suspension:
-General Formula One racing suspension, with lightweight A-arms and rear axles of carbon fiber
-Magnesium hub carriers
-Computerized electric power steering

Body:
-Hand-hammered aluminum, 1.5mm thickness –done in the old style method akin to the 315S, 335S, and pontoon Testarossas-- with carbon inner panels
-Tail lights, emblems, instrument faces, created out of glass in Murano, Italy
-Ground clearance: 3.5” front/4” rear

Wheels:
-Hand-spun 356 T6 aluminum: 20” dia/11” wide front, and 13 1/2” wide rear
-Pirelli P-Zero tires –front and rear, featuring widest street tires made

Tom commenting on the wheels: “They’re for me absolutely gorgeous and very unusual and never before seen, designed especially for the new Thomassima”


Interior:
-One-piece carbon fiber interior structure

Seats:
-Integral to chassis/fixed

Upholstery:
-On seats and kick panels only

Pedals:
-Movable hand-machined aluminum pedals that adjust and move to driver’s height, up to 6’-8”

Steering:
-Power assist via variable computerized electronic steering
-Telescopic/tilt steering column
-Ebony-covered and hand-polished steering wheel, inlaid with 40-thousand year-old mastadon fossil ivory

Dash:
-Polished/hand-shaped aluminum dashboard

Seats:
-Black leather, black suede, and polished aluminum interior highlights made in carbon fiber

Instruments:
-Created in Murano, Italy out of glass, never before seen or attempted in a car


To add, one of Tom’s admirers, a longtime wealthy Italian Ferrari collector, has so much faith in the new Thomassima project that he has stepped forward and offered to financially back the endeavor.

This allows Tom to use all of the technology and technical innovations that he has wanted to incorporate into the new supercar. These facts guarantee its fast and high-level completion.

I can well imagine that the new Thomassima, upon release, will stun the automotive world. I can’t wait to see it come to fruition, and I’m honored to be given the duty of reporting on it’s unfolding process.
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post #14 of 71 Old 12-25-2009, 11:50 PM
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Impressive. When is the first prototype expected to be ready?

Also is it a traditional manual gearbox or paddles ?
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post #15 of 71 Old 12-26-2009, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viscount aero View Post
“Old World body outside mixed with New World technology inside,” and, according to Tom:

“I have already made a trip to Italy and contracted with my old body man who used to work for me. I’ve brought him out of retirement, so the new Thomassima should reflect the original beauty of the vintage cars.”
Sounds fantastic: not just retro looks, but real 'old-skool' craft. Can't wait to see it...

A horse is a horse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to a horse of course. That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mister F.
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post #16 of 71 Old 12-26-2009, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Impressive. When is the first prototype expected to be ready?
specific release date has not been disclosed; will update

Quote:
Also is it a traditional manual gearbox or paddles ?
he wants both, but prefers 3-pedal/stick shift manual; final decision not yet determined

Last edited by viscount aero; 12-26-2009 at 11:15 AM.
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post #17 of 71 Old 12-26-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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Very interesting story. Wow 50 years ago 8 dollars got you very far. These days a meal at Mc Donald's will cost you that.

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post #18 of 71 Old 12-26-2009, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Very interesting story. Wow 50 years ago 8 dollars got you very far. These days a meal at Mc Donald's will cost you that.
true that

And thank you for your interest; I will be adding to this thread as I compile and create more articles

I'm meeting w/Tom soon, after the dust settles from the holidays, to gather more material
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post #19 of 71 Old 07-30-2011, 12:35 AM
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specific release date has not been disclosed; will update


he wants both, but prefers 3-pedal/stick shift manual; final decision not yet determined

Any news on this project?
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post #20 of 71 Old 07-30-2011, 03:31 AM
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Engine:
-Supercharged 4-cam, front-engine V12 with titanium rods, springs, hollow valves, keepers, and locks, etc.

.
I missed this thread. I spoke with Tom but designing a supercharger set-up for a v12 for him......oh....maybe 2006?. I wanted to help but just didn't have the time at that point and finally had to decline. He was talking very light car so this must be the project.
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