Occupation: Director of Design, Jaguar
What is your greatest achievement? Bringing Jaguar Design back to its rightful place. I have other favourite achievements such as the Vanquish and DB9, but this one means the most.
What is your biggest regret? Very few so far… perhaps not making enough money!
Whose work in the industry today do you admire most and why? Walter De Silva is doing an admirable job at VW. He understands the balance of good taste and creativity. [Brother and Ford design boss] Moray Callum is good too!
Who inspired you to join the industry and why? I was inspired aged about four! I decided one day I’d be a car designer. I loved drawing mechanical objects and that evolved into drawing cars. My grandfather encouraged me.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Surround yourself at work with good people and friends. Also take time to think!
What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing in the next year? After achieving what we set out to do 10 years ago – re-invent Jaguar the next phase is the difﬁcult one: how to keep the energy going and ﬁnd the next credible step.
What car do you drive for fun? My XKR is fabulous, but occasionally I take my ’32 Ford Deuce hot rod out for a 450hp blast.
When did you last go for a drive for the sake of it? Where did you go? The last time was while visiting my home town of Dumfries. I drove on the A75 to Castle Douglas, across to Gatehouse of Fleet, then back along the A710. It was in an XKR and the scenery was gorgeous.
What’s the best moment you’ve had in a car? The Mille Miglia in a 1952 Jaguar C-type.
What was your ﬁrst car? A Volvo P544. I put an 1800 engine in it and it did 12mpg.
Did you pass your test ﬁrst time? No – too impatient.
How will most cars be powered in 30 years time? I’d bet on predominantly electric.
It’s your last drive. One car, one road. Which and where? Wow, what a question! The north of Scotland, up past Ullapool as far as the tank would take me, in a Ferrari 250GT SWB.
What music do you listen to in the car? Last weekend it was Bowie, Springsteen, Stan Getz and Kasabian… quite eclectic.
What’s the best book about cars or car people you’ve ever read? How to draw cars by Frank Wootton. My grandfather gave it to me at the age of seven… it probably changed my life.
Have you ﬁnally escaped ‘the bloke who designed the DB7’ tag? Yes, most of the time!
Can you describe Jaguar design in one sentence? Exciting proportions, pure surfaces, beautiful lines, and modern.
How did it feel when the German press ranked the new XJ above home-grown rivals? Wonderful. But this is not just about design. The car is engineered beautifully and drives brilliantly.
Have you designed a racing car? Would you like to? I worked on the Cosworth Escort with John Wheeler, designed the body for the Nissan 390R Le Mans, worked with Tony Southgate – a great experience. I have a passion for sports cars.
The E-type was launched 50 years ago next March. How will you celebrate? Things are happening on the corporate side with input from Jaguar Heritage. Beyond that, wait and see…
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