Cruisin’ With Cal­lum


Automobile - - Contents - By Todd Lassa

At Detroit’s Wood­ward Dream Cruise, any men­tion of Jaguar cars would be tan­gen­tial at best. But for Jaguar de­sign chief Ian Cal­lum, the acres of Mo­tor City mus­cle and Amer­i­can sheet­metal are among his great­est in­spi­ra­tions. We head to Wood­ward in a ’32 Ford with Cal­lum, where he mar­vels at the ma­chines and min­gles with the masses.

IF ANY­ONE ELSE wore a grin any­where near the size of the one on the face of Jaguar de­sign chief Ian Cal­lum at this year’s Wood­ward Av­enue Dream Cruise, we didn’t see them.

“Fun!” he ex­claims. “It’s fan­tas­tic to drive a ’32 Ford, which is a car af­ter my own heart,” he says of the 1932 High­boy bor­rowed from Carl and Jeanne Booth. Cal­lum has pulled off of Wood­ward Av­enue to wait for his younger brother, Mo­ray, Ford’s de­sign vice pres­i­dent, to meet up with Ian’s makeshift en­tourage.

“First thing he did was try to catch up to the Jaguar I-Pace by lay­ing down a good patch of rub­ber,” Carl Booth says of Cal­lum and his Ford’s V-8 en­gine and its sen­si­tive throt­tle. “He said, ‘Wow! That pedal is quick to re­spond.’”

Cal­lum has at­tended the Peb­ble Beach Con­cours d’El­e­gance, an event usu­ally held the same week­end as the Dream Cruise, for decades. But Peb­ble moved back a week for 2018 to ac­com­mo­date a golf tour­na­ment, so we con­jured up this fish-out-of-wa­ter meet­ing by ar­rang­ing Booth’s hot rod for Cal­lum, who has a 351 Wind­sor­pow­ered ’32 Ford coupe of his own back home in Eng­land. Wood­ward, how­ever, turns out to be Cal­lum’s nat­u­ral habi­tat.

The makeshift en­tourage in­cludes Bill Jagenow, driv­ing his Flat­head Ford Model T road­ster; Au­tumn Rig­gle, driv­ing Jeanne Booth in a low­ered, cus­tom 1956 Lin­coln Premier—Jagenow and Rig­gle are part­ners in Broth­ers Cus­tom Au­to­mo­tive, which built the Booths’ and Mo­ray’s hot rods—and Bill’s 12-year-old son, Louis “Liam” Jagenow VII, rid­ing shot­gun in our Jaguar I-Pace photo car. I briefly imag­ine Liam par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Dream Cruise silently in such an EV in a quar­ter cen­tury or so.

Mo­ray Cal­lum ar­rives in a Lin­coln Nav­i­ga­tor, and we take a cou­ple more laps of Wood­ward be­fore gath­er­ing in front of Pasteiner’s Auto Zone Hob­bies (car mod­els and books).

“He’s got a goa­tee beard,” Ian says of Mo­ray. “It’s most pe­cu­liar.”

The two broth­ers don’t see each other often enough. That may change.

“I’ve re­tired from be­ing a judge at Peb­ble Beach,” Ian says. “I’ve done it for 18 years. So I’ll prob­a­bly be here next year,” when the events are again on the same week­end. “I’ll prob­a­bly go to Peb­ble on Thurs­day and come back here Fri­day and Satur­day.”

As Ian and I go to leave Pasteiner’s clas­sics-jammed park­ing lot, a woman steps for­ward.

“Ex­cuse me? Hi, my name is Catherine John­ston. I was told that you de­signed my car, the Jag F-Type.”

“Yeah, I did!” Ian al­lows, adding that he did it with a team. “I have it here.”

“And you’re in tears!”

“I love that car. It is my most fa­vorite car in the world, and I wanted to thank you.”

So far, the Dream Cruise isn’t that dif­fer­ent for Cal­lum than meet­ing prom­i­nent Jaguar own­ers at Peb­ble. And there are other de­sign­ers to catch up with: Peter Davis, who worked for Fiat in Italy in the ’90s when Ian Cal­lum was there for Ford; Wayne Cherry, Gen­eral Mo­tors’ sixth de­sign chief; and Howard “Buck” Mook, a col­league dur­ing Ian’s 12 years at Ford. When the de­sign­ers split up, Ian finds a 1941 Willys Gasser a block away.

“A friend of mine in Eng­land has got a Willys like that,” he says. “He ac­tu­ally drives it on the road. He’s got a cage in it; it’s a com­plete drag racer. It’s quite in­ter­est­ing be­cause it makes a lot of noise. … Wow. Look at that! That’s a blower and a half.”

“I used to work on Corvettes,” says Bob Kinzer, owner of the Willys. “That’s an ‘out­law’ fiber­glass body.”

“The en­gine’s re­mark­able,” Cal­lum tells Kinzer. “Do you know how much horse­power?”

“At least 750,” Kinzer replies. Like the cars on the Peb­ble grass, Kinzer trail­ered his car from Utica, Michi­gan, to 14 Mile Road, a cou­ple of blocks away, then drove it the rest of the dis­tance to his park­ing slot just off the curb.

Next, Cal­lum stud­ies a dark green ’65 Ford Mus­tang 2+2 fast­back with a 289 V-8 and “Spe­cial Edi­tion” painted on the rear quar­ter-pan­els. It’s not the sort of paint job that would earn it a space on the 18th fair­way, but it’s the kind of home­spun work that speaks to the spirit of the Dream Cruise.

“When it came out, I was struck by this very strong, pow­er­ful face,” Cal­lum says. “That lovely shaped grille. It was very pur­pose­ful. And I re­ally fell for that, it is re­ally in some sort of way a kind of Euro­pean car, which is a nice bal­ance.”

Owner Keith Collins re­veals it was white with blue stripes—the clas­sic “A Man and a Woman” paint combo— when he bought it in Florida. “I’m still work­ing on it,” Collins says. “Ac­tu­ally, it took a year to do all the ma­jor stuff on it.”

Cal­lum is im­pressed with all th­ese do-it-your­selfers and shade-tree me­chan­ics on Wood­ward.

“I do ap­pre­ci­ate a lot of the own­ers of the cars at Peb­ble Beach who do it be­cause they love the cars, but it’s as much about the in­vest­ment as it is about build­ing them, which is fine,” he says. “I’ve got a few such in­vest­ments my­self. But ev­ery­body here is here be­cause they love the car. They’re not in­ter­ested in what it costs, what it’s worth. It’s worth more to the soul than to the wal­let.”

Cal­lum spots a ’56 Chevy with a crate mo­tor, not un­like a car he sold re­cently. He did much of the work on his ’56 Chevy, in­clud­ing mod­ern me­chan­i­cal up­grades. Aes­thet­i­cally, he’s fine with retro rods, not so much rat rods.

“I like hon­est cars,” he says. “But cars that have been pati­naed and scratched in­ten­tion­ally, I don’t have a lot of time for that.”

As we con­tinue walk­ing, Cal­lum says he’d like to have a 1963-65 Buick Riviera and con­sid­ers the Bill Mitchell de­sign era, at least up to the early ’70s, the pin­na­cle of Amer­i­can de­sign. He likes post-Vir­gil Exner Mopars as well, point­ing to a ’69 Dodge Dart GT con­vert­ible.

“See, I like that. The sim­plic­ity of them. Af­ter the fail­ings of the ’50s, they dis­cov­ered this thing called ‘el­e­gance.’”

Cal­lum also points out a pass­ing Mey­ers Manx and a 1969 Pon­tiac Fire­bird.

“The ’68, ’69 Fire­bird is one of Mr. Tata’s fa­vorite cars,” he says, re­fer­ring to Ratan Tata, who as then-chair­man of Tata Group bought Jaguar Land Rover for Tata Mo­tors from Ford in 2010.

Speak­ing of Ford, we en­counter Mook again, who leads us to a wild yel­low Mus­tang II, a V-8 with chrome SVT valve cov­ers un­der the hood, owned by Greg Sauve. Mook

Ian Cal­lum drives his per­fect Dream Cruise car: Carl and Jeanne Booth’s LS3-pow­ered ’32 Ford, built by Broth­ers Cus­tom Au­to­mo­tive. Be­low: Ian catches up with his brother,Mo­ray.

At Pasteiner’s with Buck Mook (above), Steve Pasteiner Jr. (above right), and Steve Jr., Steve Sr., and Wayne Cherry (left).

Al­though he’s not one for green cars, Ian Cal­lum is drawn to Keith Collins’ per­son­ally re­stored ’65 Ford Mus­tang 2+2.

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