Welcome to the third instalment of our new weekly feature that puts the spotlight on those who make the automotive world go round. So far we have had insights from a fellow frontline journalist Alex Goy and the views of Honda PR Tom Lynch. This week we are very privileged to have the legendary Ian Callum, Jaguar director of design. He has been responsible for penning some of the most beautiful machines, not just Jaguars, to every grace tarmac.
As always, before kicking off we have to say a huge thank you to Ian Callum for donating some of his time to answer our questions.
Director of Design, Jaguar
What is it about cars that gets you fired up?
That is a very good question, I often ask myself that. I think when you start off very young with something that you take an interest in, it gets embedded in your psyche. If you were to analyse it, I suppose it is the look of the car. I love the way they look, some of them not all of them, but how they look dynamic. It is quite unique because most products don’t move, but with a car you create something that is both visual and dynamic, an experience… I love motor racing and I think that is the ultimate form of the dynamic side of a car.
What is your earliest car related memory?
I think I was about 3 years old and I saw a Porsche 356 and I asked my grandfather what that car was. I was stunned by it! I remember being notably take in by it and I think that was my first realisation that I loved cars. My first realisation that I loved Jaguars was when I saw my first E-Type in 1961. I was about 7 years old. My grandfather who lived in Edinburgh took me down to a dealership. I had seen it in the back of a magazine and so we went to the dealership and I just thought wow! The future had landed.
What was your first car?
My first car was a Volvo PV 54 and I bought it off of my tutor, Peter Stevens. It was a hotrod, widened, big American wheels on it. Unfortunately it didn’t have an engine. Eventually I got it running and I would go down to the Kings Road and cruise in it on the last Saturday of the month. That was a big deal to be able to join the Kings Road cruise. I couldn’t afford to run the Volvo, so I sold it. It is one of the cars I wish I had kept.
What is your current set of wheels?
My company car is an F-Type R Coupe. I am very spoilt as I get a new company car every 6 months. I quite often fall in love with them and so when I order the next one, it’s just the same. I actually get quite attached to my cars. I have that and a few private cars of my own.
What would be your perfect road trip?
I’ve done it! It was actually the result of a similar question in Motorsport Magazine… “If you had the last road trip of your life, what would it be?” I said it would be in a Ferrari 250 SWB heading up the west coast of Scotland. Beautiful roads up there and you can really drive a car safely up those roads. Someone who has now become a good friend, Clive Beacham. He said I have a 250 SWB so why don’t we drive up the coast? It was the experience of my life. That car was actually the number 7 Sterling Moss car. That was one of the best road trips I have ever done, it was a very personal thing.
What would be in your dream 3 car garage?
Erm, oh god. I had better say a Jag in this somewhere! Haha. Three, that is hard. I’d have a Ferrari 250 SWB because it is my favourite car. The other would be a Jaguar XJ Coupe, I do have one of those. Finally it would be a 1932 Ford hotrod, of which I also own.
It was an absolute privilege to interview Ian Callum, and once again, we thank him for taking part.