My best friend of over 40 years, Tom Peloquin, went home to be with the Lord today. He was 64 years old. 

We met in Buick Exterior Studio in 1980, and we worked together there until I was transferred to Olds One in 1986. Tom was a major contributor to the Dean’s Garage book.

The last time I was with him was in May, 2019, during a visit to Michigan that included a visit to the GM Heritage Center. We corresponded frequently through emails and phone calls. We discussed car design, current events, faith, and family concerns. 

Tom was quick-witted, and had a real talent for recalling stories of the different characters (and their exploits) we met at GM Design that included gestures and vocals. He was a very talented designer, and especially appreciated the styling of the early 2nd Generation Firebirds. He had a 1974 Formula that he never had the time and resources to restore, but I understand his sons intend to finish it.

Tom was a faithful man to his family and his beliefs. 

He was like a brother. A once-in-a-lifetime friend.

I will miss him terribly. 

Gary

31 Comments
  1. John Houlihan

    Gary, I’m very sorry to hear of your friend’s death. The fact that he was so young makes it all the more difficult to bear. May he Rest In Peace.

    JTH

  2. William Harold Michalak

    So sorry to hear about Tom. He was a great guy and will all miss him!

  3. Carl Kofron

    Gary, I’m sorry to hear of your friends passing. It’s sad that he didn’t get a chance to enjoy his golden years, May he rest in peace. Carl Kofron

  4. Len Casillo

    Gary, so sorry to hear of Toms passing. Terrific designer and a true gentleman. Len Casillo

  5. Luiz

    Gary, I know your sorrow and I’m sorry. I also lost one irreplaceable friend.

  6. Kelly

    So sorry for your loss, my heart aches with you

  7. john manoogian II

    So sorry to hear about Tom. What a great designer and gentleman. He will be missed.

  8. Charles Pleier

    R.I.P.

  9. Glen Durmisevich

    Tom was truly one of the nicest guys and a talented designer. So sorry to hear he is gone. Thanks for posting this Gary. I know he will be missed.

  10. Clark Lincoln

    I never worked directly wit Tom, but always remember him as talented but always very modest about his skills. It’s sad to hear of his passing – of course as they say “the good die young”…
    Clark Lincoln

  11. Bruce Brooks

    Gary, I was so very sad to hear of Toms passing as I remember back to the time I worked with him in Buick One Exterior Studio from 1984 to 1987. He was a very gifted designer and I always enjoyed seeing his design renderings posted in the studio as well as the sketches on his desk. I also shared the enthusiasm he had for his Pontiac Firebird through our years at work. He will be missed by many.

  12. bill michalak

    Hi Gary So sorry to hear about Tom’s passing. He was a great guy an a friend to many designers. He was a great designer and will be missed by many!

  13. Bob Demick

    Gary, I was shocked to hear of Tom’s passing. I worked with Tom for several year at Design Center in mid 2000’s. He was a very talented designer, smart, caring and overall a good guy! May he Rest In Peace, and will be missed in the designer community.

  14. DICK RUZZIN

    Gary,

    Sad news about Tom. I know that Bill Porter and Dave Holls thought the world of Tom for many reasons. I never had the good fortune to work with him. We had occasion to talk once in a while, I always admired his design work and sketch technique that was so easily presented.

    He was too young. He was a wonderful example of the best.

  15. Ben Salvador

    Truly sad to hear this. Tom was one of the first designers who befriended me when I joined GM. Our friendship lasted over the years and even after my retirement, he would send me emails every so often, sharing articles or images of cars whose aesthetics he knew we appreciated. I’m glad that I got to spend sometime having lunch with him a couple of months ago (approx). I admired his talent and valued his friendship. He will be missed.

  16. Don Finkel.

    Sorry to hear this, he was always a gentleman to work with.

  17. George S Prentice

    I worked in Buick One for nine years, and shared many projects with Tom Peloquin. It was always a pleasure working with such a nice guy.

  18. Jason Bliss

    This is sickening news. As he was for many, Tom was one of my first mentors here at Design. From Day 1 he was kind, genuine and generous. Always a gentleman and the greatest to talk to about the old days. Many of his stories still stick with me to this day, as his advice was very helpful and accurate. He had a great philosophy about GM, design and life in general. Very stable and never a bit pretentious. He was quick to give a compliment too, which is rare at Design. A man of his word. I wanted him to get his Pontiac done so badly, for his sake. Makes me sick he never saw it done. Tom was an incredible guy, one in a million. Will be greatly missed.

  19. John Mack

    I am so saddened to hear of this news. I had the pleasure of working with Tom for a while back in 2011. What a class act, always professional, a gentleman, a faith filled family man with a full life in front of him. He will be missed.

  20. Gary Mack

    I met Tom the first day I joined the GM Design team. He was a great mentor, designer and friend. He will be truly missed.

  21. Bill Porter

    Tom was an excellent designer and a true gentleman. Always a great asset to the studio team. It was a pleasure to have known and worked with him. His passing is a sad loss for our design community.

  22. Doug Peloquin

    Thank you all for the kind words about my brother Tom. It means more to me than I am able to put into words.

  23. David McIntosh

    Thanks for posting this sad news. I worked with Tom in Chevy 2, and remember his contributions on GEO and others. After I transferred to a different studio I would still share lunch with him and Jeff. He was a wonderful person, talented and very moral and honest. His opinions were well thought out. I was looking forward to seeing him for lunch again, to share stories and observations. He will be missed.

  24. Chip Thole

    Shocked and saddened to hear of Tom’s passing. I worked with Tom when I first hired into Cadillac, he always had great stories from his time in GM design and was generous with his friendship and advice. Such a kind man and a great designer and human being. He will be missed!

  25. Reginald M. Gay

    Like so many of us here at GM Design, I am profoundly sadden to hear that Tom passed. I can vividly recall working with Tom in Cadillac and Chevrolet Exterior Studios. Years later in the Design Accessories Studio on an interim assignment. Tom was a outstanding professional and he possessed a wealth of knowledge regarding outstanding car design. His love and passion for his job was only surpassed by his love for his family. On occasion, Tom and I would have conversations about good, impactful, and historical automotive designs. Often times these conversations would segue into amazing airplanes both past and present. I admired Tom’s timeless enthusiasm regarding design possibilities. Tom also enjoyed conversations centered around guitarist Pat Methney, who we mutually admired greatly. Tom was a true gentlemen that I had an enormous amount of respect for. A man of true character. Tom will be profoundly missed by the so many lives he touched.

  26. Chuck Peloquin

    Thank you for remembering Tom. He was a good brother and a good man. He will be missed.

  27. Craig Sass

    As much of a pleasure it was to have worked with Tom, the real pleasure was getting to know him personally. Talking old Pontiacs, classic transportation designs, music and anything else that sparked his memory. When we would talk family it became so clear that was his true passion. His love for his family was unmatched. Someone else said this of Tom, “It always seemed like he knew something most of us don’t.” He knew the what was most important in life, family, faith and friendship. He touched so many without even trying. He will be missed, but always remembered.

  28. Marc Florian

    I was very, very saddened when the news of Tom’s passing reached me over the holidays. The halls and walls of the GM Design Center are hard to imagine without him. The pandemic has taken all of us away from our routine at work, one of which was hanging out in the “Orange Room” (the GM Design 3rd floor cafeteria) at one of the big round tables by the huge windows overlooking the Tech Center lake and chewing the fat, or automotive grease if you will, with Tom. Or talk about anything else for that matter. It was great to have somebody like him around who was a real connection to the cars and people who shaped them (including Tom himself) going a few generations back. To say he will be missed is an understatement. My sincere condolences to his family and all who knew and appreciated him.

  29. Jon Albert

    I never worked directly with Tom, but I knew him well- integrity, a sense of humor and immense design talent, but self-effacing and devoted to his spiritual faith and to his family, he was always interesting and a fun guy to hang out with. He will be missed but never forgotten.

  30. Dennis Burke

    On top of being an excellent designer Tom was one of the kindest, gentlest people I’ve ever known. He will be greatly missed.

  31. Clay Dean

    I was saddened to read of Tom’s passing. I never really got to work with him, but always was inserted by his work, and more importantly just loved his calm, genuine kind spirit. He always had a kind encouraging word and just radiated peace, calmness and welcoming. I’ll always remember him as a friend to all.

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