News : Classic Motor Cars unveils Ian Callum’s Jaguar Mark 2 at opening of new premises

CMC- Ian Callum's Jaguar Mk2.1

A unique Jaguar Mark 2 re-designed by Ian Callum, Director of Design at Jaguar Cars, and re-engineered by leading restorers Classic Motor Cars Limited (CMC) has been unveiled at the opening of the company’s new headquarters in Bridgnorth, Shropshire.

The building was officially opened by motorcycle and Formula One Grand Prix World Champion John Surtees OBE and the car was unveiled by Jaguar’s legendary test driver Norman Dewis.

CMC’s new building complex is one of the biggest of its kind in the UK. Fitted out to the highest standards and with new paint and trim shops, it provides some 40,000 square feet of production space, allowing CMC to cover every aspect of a car’s restoration in-house, except for chrome plating. Another 24,000 square feet is provided for bespoke classic car storage.

This exciting 18 month joint project between Ian Callum and CMC has endeavoured to retain the integrity of the original Mark 2, whilst making it even more exciting in shape and performance.

Ian Callum 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.”

The car has been re-designed 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 by Callum 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.”

CMC - Ian Callum's Jaguar Mk2.2

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.

Peter Neumark, Chairman of CMC, said: ‘The wide-ranging list of modifications in the Mark 2 shows just how much design and engineering development has gone into this venture from the original car. To be chosen by Ian Callum to work with him on his project is a testament to the skills and passion that exist within our business, and is something that CMC are immensely proud of.”

Ian said: ‘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.”

John Surtees OBE said: ‘I have long admired the designs of Ian Callum, to be present at the unveiling of Ian’s personally re-designed and updated Jaguar Mark 2 is a privilege, and I am honoured to be officially opening the premises that have made this extraordinary project possible.”

Norman Dewis said: ‘I have been associated with Jaguar for more than 60 years and was their Chief Development Test Engineer for 33 years. I have always been excited to work with them and over the years I have come to know and respect the work that CMC have carried out restoring Jaguar’s heritage. Mark 2 by Callum is something special and I was delighted when I was asked to unveil the car. It is something that both Ian Callum and CMC should be very proud of.”

Any AROnline readers wishing to see Ian Callum’s Jaguar Mk2 in action can do so by following this link to the short video which CMC has posted on YouTube.

[Editor’s Note: Readers may need to replay the above-mentioned video as there seems to be a technical problem when the clip uploads and runs for the first time.]


Clive Goldthorp


  1. Miserable purists. It looks awesome and I’ve always been a fan of the retro modding scene. It’s his car and he can do pretty much anything he wants with it.

  2. I thought it looked very well detailed and beautifully crafted.
    A nice tribute to him and to CMC.

  3. Hardly the easiest of designs to update and move away from the tradition of shiny walnut trim and loads of chrome. But what an amazing transformation! The interior is especially special with its modern quilted red leather seats and the oiled finish to the wood dashboard. I also like the engineering updates.

    I am a purist at heart but I will be the first to admit that this is one of the best contemporary updates to a well loved classic, and by someone who clearly understands and respects the design ethos of Jaguar. However, even if I had the money, I don’t think I would have the personal stamina to do this to something as equally beautiful, in my eyes – the Rover P5B Coupe. Best leave it to those who are not afraid to take the plunge, and do it with real conviction, such as Ian Callum.

  4. I like chrome bumpers so I think a split front bumper would be better.
    A thin ‘blade’ one- not the heavy looking OEM ones.

    And louvers in the ‘guards that followed the curve of the wheel arch would suit too.

    And I’d change the colour. BRG or burgundy for me. I’m over the sludgy greyish greens that are all too popular these days.

    I’m not hating on the car, don’t get me wrong, just the things I’d change if
    I could afford to build it.

  5. Photographic location appears to be Clee Hill, above Tenbury Wells, looking towards the Black Mountains. But the car looks superimposed.
    The radiussed back arches are an interesting touch, and a far cry from the spats on Mark 1’s!

  6. Stunning, this man has the midas touch with Jaguars, it will be a very sad day when he retires and Jaguar will have lost one the best designers in the world.

  7. Sorry to be negative. The bumpers, vents, vented petrol flap and elements of the interior are very poor. Over worked with change for change sake. Mechanical mods fine but Mr Callum you are no Keith Helfet or Sir William Lyons.

  8. To me visually it looks like a bit of a weird hybrid of classic and modern, I don’t like the lack of bumpers and lower suspension, and the colour is very dull as well!

  9. Nah don’t like it, I prefer the Jensen Interceptor R style of redesign, just subtly enhance what already works.

  10. Nice. Nicer than a recent S-Type and Reagan and Carter would definitely struggle to keep up with this particular MkII.

  11. Sixties cars just aren’t built for modern roads and an unmodified sixties Jag would be hard work in heavy traffic, especially as they had a reputation for overheating, and also would be very heavy to drive without PAS. To use a classic like this in the modern world, a five speed gearbox or modern automatic, improved cooling, PAS, improvements to crash protection, are essential. Purists might moan, but in 1964 would you really have wanted a 1914 car for daily use with all the limitations that would have?

  12. A bit of a ‘curate’s egg’. I love the stance, the wheels, the wings, and the ‘cab backwards’ look. But the front end really doesn’t work at all- the lack of a conventional bumper, the lower air dam, and those vents only serve to render the whole front end rather fussy and ‘spotty’. Whilst the original grille is rather small, could he not have dipped it further and used a split chromed bumper for greater airflow- with a racy ‘Alfaesque’ offset plate- or would that have been too derivative for Mr Callum?

    It’s a ‘no’ from me…

  13. There would have been an outcry on these pages if Callum had banger-raced his Mk 2, but the end result would have been the same. One less standard MK2 in the world.

  14. If you want to use a Mark 2 Jag as a daily driver, modernising it is essential. These weren’t particularly reliable cars when new, overheating could occur in heavy traffic and some had heavy oil consumption, so modifications are essential. However, one Jag that will never need modifying is the excellent XJ12, 150 mph is still more than respectable for a luxury car today, and the fuel injected models after 1981 mean better fuel consumption and reliability.

    • Not really a correct summary I’m afraid. The mark 2s, whether 2.4 , 3.4 , 3.8 or indeed Daimler version never had any history of overheating in European use ( I cannot speak for N.America ) and nor were there any oil consumption problems that I know of , other than the fact that the XK engine was designed to use oil, anywhere being 150 and 300 miles to the pint being typical. This applied not only to the mark 2 but also to the Xk120 to 150, Marks VII , VIII , IX and X , and all 4.2 variants including all the XJ6 models

  15. I kind of like it, of course its the owners personal taste and it does not look garish. To be honest, I think the car has lost its grace with the additions but that is no way a criticism.

    I could grow to love it. I prefer under the skin modifications.

  16. I should have said : Utterly hideous and tasteless to boot. Now why does that not surprise me ?

  17. Almost one for submission to Presumably this was a barn find to start with though so at least it is one more car on the road.

    The only crime here is that John Surtees isn’t Sir John Surtees – something the Queen needs to put right in the next honours list…

  18. An interesting and impressive re-configuration of the car… must have cost a tremendous amount of money. That interior looks awesome too! Overall – I like it. I agree it would look good in BRG or maroon but the grey is certainly acceptable aswell. A credit to CMC & Ian Callum.

    Also agree with David 3500 – the Rover P5B Coupe was a great looker too.

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