The Scottish design chief for car manufacturers Jaguar has brought a 60s classic up to date with a redesign of the Mark 2.
Dumfries-born Ian Callum unveiled the car which has been re-engineered by leading restorers Classic Motor Cars Limited (CMC) at the opening of the company's new headquarters in Bridgnorth, Shropshire.
The car, which was used by the late John Thaw in the classic TV show Inspector Morse, was re-launched after an 18 month joint project between Ian and CMC.
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They wanted to retain the integrity of the original Mark 2, whilst making it even more exciting in shape and performance.
Former Glasgow School of Art pupil Ian, said: "This is a very personal statement. A long held notion that, although the Mark 2 has always been a beautiful car, it could be even more exciting in shape and performance. Whilst maintaining the purity of the car's form, I wanted to add a number of modern twists to the design. Simplification and clarity was my objective."
Ian has been involved in the design of all the latest Jaguar models including the new XK, XF and XJ, and now with the new F-TYPE.
From the moment he laid eyes on the Jaguar XJ6 when he was 14 in Dumfries, the designer knew he'd found his dream job. Inspired, he sent some sketches to the then chief engineer, Bill Heynes, who encouraged him to follow his heart.
Early on, American cars had a big influence on him. "I recognised the design in them, almost the exaggeration of design. They were definitely more expressive, and in my mind, America was extremely glamorous… The '65 Buick Riviera was my favourite. And it didn't come from seeing the cars - it came from not being able to see them."
Ian studied at the Glasgow School of Art before taking a Masters in Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art in London.
His talents had already been noted by Ford and for 12 years he was involved in designing some of the company's best-loved cars before joining TWR, where he took on high-profile projects for the likes of Aston Martin (the DB7, Vanquish and DB9), Ford Puma, Volvo C70 and Nissan R390.
The car has been redesigned by Ian for his own personal use and, working with CMC's engineers, it now boasts a huge number of aesthetic and technical modifications that make this a practical, reliable, enjoyable and exciting everyday vehicle.
Featuring a modified and uprated 4.3 litre XK engine, 5-speed manual gearbox, unique independent rear suspension and upgraded front brakes, the Mark 2 provides an intuitive driving experience.
Commenting on the specifications, Ian said: "The stance of the Mark 2 is already excellent, but I wished to make it even better. The car's form is now 30mm lower and sits on 17" split rim spoke wheels. The bumpers are now part of the overall form. It is a fine balance of extracting and adding.
"I have always loved traditional louvres as seen on many older race cars. Four louvres appear on the side of the car to add to that sense of power and 'something different'. Of course they had to work, so they have been designed in a low-pressure area for a better internal airflow from the modified engine."
The suspension has been designed and re-engineered by CMC. The front incorporates a bespoke power assisted rack, uprated coil springs, roll bar and wishbone bushes, adjustable dampers and solid subframe mountings, repositioned to improve anti-dive characteristics. The unique independent rear suspension now includes uprated coil springs, blade control wishbones, outboard disc brakes, an anti-roll bar and adjustable dampers.
The car has been fitted with Clarion's NZ502E single DIN multimedia station, a high technology in car entertainment system with a 16cm flip-out touch screen, amongst other features, and component loudspeakers in specially-designed housings. The cabling has been provided by VDC Trading, as used in the world's top recording and mastering studios, such as Abbey Road.
Ian added: "Every time I go to CMC it excites me to see so many wonderful machines being worked on with passion. I always leave feeling a much happier person."