Gallery: the long road to the Jaguar F-Type
Ian Callum, director of design, talks exclusively on the cars that led Jaguar to today’s all-conquering roadster
Posted: 02 May 2013
Ian Callum on… the 1982 XJ-41 (convertible) and 1982 XJ-42 (coupe)
“The XJ41 project was meant to be the 1986 replacement for the XJS, and closer in spirit to the E-Type. It was a big car for its time, and could have been hugely significant for Jaguar, but it was canned when Ford bought the company. If it happened more spontaneously, hadn’t spent so long in development, and hadn’t gathered so much weight, I am sure it would have survived. However, Bill Haydon of Ford walked in and canned it almost immediately.
“My late predecessor Geoff Lawson showed it to me during the early ’90s and I was impressed. It was clearly more than a little inspired by a Jaguar concept Pininfarina had shown in 1978. It was elegant and very pure. The back was a little GM-looking for my taste, but tasteful, and the interior was definitely GT rather than sports car. Those ‘finger nail’ retractable headlamps would eventually find their way onto the XJ220. Anyhow, this is where I come in to the story when my boss at the time, Tom Walkinshaw asked me to take its design and put it onto the XJS platform with a view to giving it another chance at making it into production.”