My life in cars



Ford RS 200
Ford Ghia Via Concept
Ford Ghia
Ford Cosworth Escort
Ford Puma
Volvo C70
Aston Martin DB7 & DB9 and Vanquish
Jaguar XK, XF, XJ, RD6, R Coupe, C-XF, ALC, Concept 8, C-X75, C-X16, Sportbrake and Next Cars for 2020

See portfolio for images and more info on the above cars.


From 1979 to 1990 Ian worked at Ford working between Dunton, Japan, Italy and Australia, mainly working on ‘bits of cars, mostly steering wheels’. As well as working on bread-and-butter Fiestas and Mondeos, he contributed to image builders such as the RS200 and Escort RS Cosworth, the last of which he is especially proud of and with which he collaborated with fellow RCA graduate Peter Horbury. He was then appointed Design Manager responsible for the Ghia Design Studio in Turin and worked on the Via, Zig and Zag show car concepts.



After eleven years in a corporate environment, Ian left Ford in 1990 to join Peter Stevens and Tom Walkinshaw to form TWR Design. He said,

Some of my colleagues came to see me from Ford, and I’d walked away from this giant studio at Dunton, the corporation, all that stuff, into this little tin shed in Kidlington. They thought I was utterly mad. But I was as happy as could be, I was doing something I wanted to do.
In 1991, he was appointed Chief Designer and General Manager of TWR Design. During this period he was partially responsible for designing the Aston Martin DB7, which is probably the design he is currently most famous for. He also designed the Aston Martin Vanquish, the V12-powered DB7 Vantage and Aston Martin’s Project Vantage concept car as well as taking responsibility for a wide range of design programs for other TWR clients, including Volvo, Mazda and HSV. He was awarded the Jim Clark Memorial Award in 1995 in recognition of his styling work on the DB7. In 1998, he designed the Nissan R390.



In 1999, Ian was appointed to succeed the late Geoff Lawson as Design Director at Jaguar, which had become a Ford Motor Company subsidiary in 1990. For a short stint, Ian directed design at both Jaguar and Aston Martin and it is claimed that he laid the foundations for the DB9 which was later finished by Henrik Fisker, though the extent of his contribution remains unclear. At Jaguar, since the Lawson designed 2001 X-Type and 2002 XJ were well advanced his influence was initially felt through a series of concepts, the 2001 R-Coupe and 2003 R-D6. The first production Jaguar to bear his influence was the 2004 facelift of the S-Type followed by the 2004 X-Type Estate, of which he was responsible for the tailgate design.

With the next generation of Jaguar models Ian succeeded in taking Jaguar away from the Lawson-era retroism, which produced the slow-selling X-Type, S-Type, and XJ towards a language that was more dynamic and modern. The first next-generation model which reflects this ethos was his first complete production Jaguar, the 2006 XK, which bears striking similarity to the Aston Martin DB9, which Ian describes as being a result of modern safety legislation. This new direction is continued with the 2008 XF as previewed by the concept C-XF, which he describes as the ‘next significant step forward’ in Jaguar’s design direction, and the 2010 XJ. He was also responsible for the 2010 C-X75 concept car.

According to Ian,

Jaguars should be perceived as cool cars and cool cars attract interesting, edgy people.

Education & awards
Ian on design