Jaguar’s chief designer Ian Callum has gone back in time to deliver his latest product, a custom-built 2014 version of a 1962 Jaguar Mark 2.
The born-again classic was an 18-month project between the designer and Classic Motor Cars in Shropshire, England. “The stance of the Mark 2 is already excellent, but I wished to make it even better,” said Callum.
“The car’s form is now 30mm lower and sits on 17-inch 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.”
Under the bonnet is a 4.3-litre V8, a slightly enlarged version of the 4.2-litre unit from the Jaguar XK, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The suspension has been brought into the 21st century, with a new independent rear set-up, upgraded springs and adjustable dampers at all four corners, as well as new front and rear roll bars, and disc brakes. Steering is a new power-assisted rack.
The interior is all Scottish leather, done in a rich shade of red. Modern features include a Clarion multimedia system with a 16cm flip-out screen, and loudspeakers in bespoke housings.
“This is a very personal statement,” Callum said. “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.”
• I had dinner with Callum a few years ago at a restaurant in Sydney. We spent a few hours talking about things he could confirm and things he couldn’t, or wouldn’t. Towards the end of dinner I asked him to sketch on a white linen napkin a coupe blending the best of two-door Jaguar and Aston Martin design. A few brush strokes with a pen and a sleek shape began to take form. Then he stopped. “I don’t think I should finish this,” he said, smiling and perhaps fearing that a complete sketch would find its way into print. He folded the napkin and slipped it into his pocket. Pity, I was going to ask him to sign the finished product so I could frame and hang it on a wall.