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A Young Ian Callum Wrote To Jaguar In 1968 Asking How To Become A Designer

Illustration for article titled A Young Ian Callum Wrote To Jaguar In 1968 Asking How To Become A Designer

There aren’t a ton of modern car designers who can be called household names, but Jaguar Land Rover’s Ian Callum at least comes close. The British manufacturer is in the middle of a genuine design renaissance and we have him to thank for it. But everyone starts somewhere.

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Today on Twitter, just a day after unveiling the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace, Callum revealed how 50 years ago he wrote to then-Jaguar Vice President Bill Heynes asking for advice on how to design cars for them.

He sent that letter on March 1, 1968, and on March 1, 2018, Callum unveiled the very first production electric Jaguar, that he designed:

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This is the only good thing that’s ever happened on Twitter.

Callum went on to graduate from the Royal College of Art in London and began a storied career at Ford, TWR (where he defined Aston Martin’s designs for decades to come) and finally ended up at Jaguar in the 2000s. He’s been there ever since, making some of the best-looking sports cars, wagons, sedans in the industry, not to mention some of the only good-looking crossovers.

It’s amazing what happens when you set your goals high.

Illustration for article titled A Young Ian Callum Wrote To Jaguar In 1968 Asking How To Become A Designer
Photo: AP
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Editor-in-Chief at Jalopnik. 2002 Toyota 4Runner.

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DISCUSSION

duke-of-kent
Duke of Kent

These kinds of stories are really cool. I love those types of things. I remember reading about at least one modern astronaut who wrote to NASA as a kid and received a great response.

With the decline of postal mail, I wonder if we’ll see stories like this in the future or if they’ll be reduced to: “A Young Jeighden Smith, currently Tesla’s Chief Engineer, Tweeted at Elon Musk 30 years ago in 2018!”