After twenty years as Jaguar’s Director of Design, Ian Callum will retire on July 1 this year. Callum was born in Dumfries in 1954, and fourteen years later he wrote a letter to head Jaguar engineer William Heynes, saying that he wanted to design sports cars. Heynes advised him to study and work hard.

He did both, attending several educational establishments starting with the Glasgow School of Art. By the time he got the Jaguar job in 1999, ten years after Heynes had died, he had experience first at Chrysler and later at Ford and TWR Design.

In the early days he worked on small items such as steering wheels, but by the turn of the century he had become largely responsible for the look of complete cars, many of them now regarded as triumphs of automotive design, perhaps most notably the Aston Martin DB7.

Remarkably, he is not the only car designer in his family. His younger brother Moray is the Vice President of Design for Ford, and in a previous job at Mazda led the team which created the third-generation MX-5. He and Ian are the only siblings to have jointly won the Jim Clark Memorial Award presented annually by the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers. Ian is also the only person to have won it twice, having received the honour on his own several years earlier.

Ian’s replacement at Jaguar will be Julian Thomson, who has been at Jaguar for 18 years and will move up from his current role as Creative Design Director. Thomson’s previous work includes the Lotus Elise, which he has acknowledged as being inspired partly by the Ferrari Dino.

Ian’s own back catalogue is even more impressive. While he will continue to work for Jaguar in future as a design consultant, this is a good time to look back over some of the cars he has been involved with in the past.