GoDubai
  
  
  
  
Citylife > Press Release
  Home Contact us Add to Favourites
Most Recent Postings
More Press Releses
Featured Sections

Event Finder
A daily roundup of exhibitions, promotions and other events in Dubai and the rest of the Emirates.
Submit an Event
Latest Dubai Press Releases >> Automobile

 
  Share
• Legendary former Jaguar test driver and works racer, Norman Dewis OBE, has passed away aged 98
• Dewis was Britain's greatest ever test driver, having developed 25 of the most significant Jaguars ever over his 33-year career
• Jaguar's most famous models, including the Le Mans 24 Hours-winning D-type as well as the iconic E-type, were honed with Dewis' expertise
• Dewis also set a land speed record for Jaguar and competed with a D-type at Le Mans and Goodwood during the 1950s
• Even at 98, Dewis remained a global ambassador of Jaguar and an asset to the brand legacy he helped to establish
 
Dubai, United Arab Emirates - 12 June 2019:    The man responsible for developing some of the most iconic Jaguars ever, Norman Dewis OBE, has passed away aged 98. Over a 33-year career with Jaguar, Dewis' fearlessness, extraordinary talent and friendly, humble demeanor helped establish him not only as Britain's greatest ever test driver, but a veritable legend and a dedicated friend to the Jaguar brand.  
 
Dewis' history with Jaguar is remarkable: he developed the multiple Le Mans-winning C- and D-type racing cars, the classic XK 140 and 150 sports cars, the pioneering 2.4/3.4 and Mk 2 saloons, plus the Mk VII and Mk VIIM models, the legendary E-type (including the Lightweight E-type), the XJ13 mid-engined prototype, the world-class XJ saloons, the XJ-S and the ‘XJ40' models. Each and every model developed with Dewis' help remains an icon of the automotive world to this day for its impeccable blend of comfort and handling.
 
Unusually, Norman reported directly to Jaguar Chief Engineer, William Heynes; this arrangement was probably unique in the motor industry for a test engineer and it enabled the company's chief engineer (later engineering director) instant, first-hand feedback on the proving process. Norman also sent copies of his reports to company founder Sir William Lyons. Both placed considerable store by what Norman said.
 
Born in Coventry, Dewis began working on cars at age 14, fitting wings and bonnets at the Humber factory. At just 15 he moved to another car manufacturer, Armstrong Siddeley, where he spent time in the chassis department and first learned to drive while taking cars on their shakedown runs. During wartime, Dewis was drafted into the RAF, working the gun turret of a Blenheim bomber, and finally joined Jaguar after a post-war stint at Lea-Francis.
 
Besides the many cars Dewis helped develop in his career, one of his first automotive projects is without doubt the one with the greatest effect on the automotive industry; the disc brake. Dewis became involved with Jaguar and Dunlop's development of the revolutionary braking system, famously trialed in a C-type at the 1952 Mille Miglia with Sir Stirling Moss in the driving seat and Dewis navigating. 
 
Dewis also, in 1953, set a 172.412 mph production car speed record in a modified Jaguar XK120 on a closed section of the Jabbeke highway, Belgium. He also drove a 190mph works D-type in the dramatic 1955 Le Mans 24hr race with greats like Moss, Hawthorn and Fangio. 
 
Famed racing driver, Mike Hawthorn, had such faith in Dewis that when he was asked to attend a test session and saw that Dewis was already there, asked the team manager: “Why am I here? If Norman's satisfied with it, I'm satisfied.” And so it was, through a mutual respect and an instant likeability, that Dewis struck up life-long friendships with the likes of Hawthorn, Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart. 
 
Outside of racing car development, Dewis is also famous for his legendary night-time dash from Coventry to the Geneva Motor Show in 1961 for the launch of the Jaguar E-type. Covering roughly 700 miles in another E-type sourced from the factory for the for press demonstration runs, Dewis arrived roughly 15 hours later having not stopped once (aside from fuel) – hugely impressive at a time when there were no motorways.
 
In an era without seatbelts or crash safety, Dewis was fearless. In total, it's estimated he completed more than a million test miles at an average speed of 100mph-plus, with a number of heroic anecdotes as a result. Whether it was the D-type that flipped and landed on top of him while testing glass fibre panels or the XJ-13 that rolled end over end during a high-speed run, Dewis managed to walk away without a scratch, didn't tell his wife and then was back to work the next day. 
 
In the years before his retirement Norman built up a small but highly dedicated vehicle proving department which he headed until his retirement in 1985. He also oversaw the establishment of a dedicated Jaguar test facility at Nardo in Italy and, in 1984, a major base at Phoenix, Arizona for durability and environmental testing in the all-important United States market.
 
Even outside of retirement – and in more recent times –  Dewis spearheaded Jaguar's 60th anniversary celebrations for the race-winning D-type. Wherever Jaguar was during the year, Norman was present too, chatting with fans and friends, wearing his distinctive bootlace tie and cowboy boots.  At the 2014 Goodwood Revival, Dewis – aged 93 – demonstrated a D-type, his speed illustrating that he hadn't lost his touch behind the wheel. Dewis then consulted with the Jaguar Classic Works on the launch of the continuation Lightweight E-type, a car that he originally helped develop in the 1960s. To his 98th year, Dewis continued to be a global ambassador to Jaguar cars and a great friend to the brand.  
 
In recognition of his services to Jaguar and the British motor industry, in 2014 Norman received the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
 
Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer said: “Today is an enormously sad day for the Jaguar brand, Jaguar fans worldwide, and for me personally. Putting Norman's hugely decorated career aside, his friendly nature, captivating storytelling and unbridled enthusiasm made him exactly the kind of man you couldn't help but want to spend time with – he will be sorely missed.
 
“The Jaguar brand is synonymous with a number of big personalities; the founder, Sir William Lyons, the great designer, Malcolm Sayer, innovative engineer, Bill Heynes, and – of course – the great test driver, Norman Dewis. Norman's name will quite rightly go down in Jaguar history; without his contribution to the brand during his 33-year career, or as a global ambassador in his later years, Jaguar just wouldn't be the same. So, I hope the world will join me and everyone associated with Jaguar Land Rover in saying: thank you, Norman.”
It is a shame that we will no longer witness Norman's 100th birthday wish – he promised his many Jaguar fans and friends from around the world that he would drive the C-type to 100 mph to celebrate his 100 years and love of the brand. Norman with his trustee Jaguar ‘leaper' walking stick would have done it in style, with a cheeky smile.  



Posted by : GoDubai Editorial Team
Viewed 13298 times
Posted on : Wednesday, June 12, 2019  
Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of GoDubai.com.
Previous Story : BMW Group and Jaguar Land Rover announce collaboration for next-generation electrification technolog...
Next Story : Arabian Automobiles INFINITI team sweeps regional aftersales skills contest with three honours
Email this article Print this article

Share this article with your friends and followers
NewsVine

Comments

Back to Top  
Most Viewed Press Release posted in the last 7 days
Show your Nanny some love and treat them to a Complimentary Haircut throughout A...
A Guide to Making Yourself Happier and Healthier
Inventive, Futuristic and Daring Translucent is a Distinguished Milestone for Police.
Introducing Lunette: A Tool to Empower Women
Corum Golden Bridge Titane DLC - black beauty for the man of style
Robinsons Showcases Malone Souliers' Stunning New Collection for Pre-Fall 19
Marks & Spencer Unveils Its Autumn 2019 Kidswear Collection
Ferragamo Urban - 2019 Fall/Winter Collection
GUESS - The Perfect Tote
The future of photography and videography is in Canon's hands, with five 2019 EI...
Aesop's Parsley Seed Skin Priming Regimen
Corum Admiral Legend 42-Icon ahead
Ralph Lauren Debuts “Wear Your Story” Denim Campaign
Sandro: The Power Suit
Forecasting Mesmerising Sea Views and Exotic Seafood at Gonu
Al Ain Hospital doctors save young girl from 2.5 cm pin in her lungs
Hormann announces speed rolling shutter DD S6
Modular Sofa's by Boconcept
Jaguar I-pace: Redefining What It Means to Be a ‘CAR'
Rock Chic Edit with GUESS
GEMS Education students shine with excellent A-Level examination results
Spare a thought for abandoned cats today – International Cat Day!
Tazio Nuvolari Vanderbilt Cup
Acclaimed Coin Collector to Pay Homage to UAE with Rare Coin Collection at ‘Year...
Marks & Spencer Celebrates the Success of its First Ever Vegan-Friendly Line – P...
Abu Dhabi Airports completes preparations for the return of Hajj pilgrims
Get 50 per cent off back-to-school essentials at Dragon Mart
Exceptional Playtime with Soundcore Vortex
Etisalat C&WS and Sparkle pioneer in enabling 5G Roaming Globally
British Orchard Nursery collaborates with Department of Finance to open its 22nd...
SriLankan Airlines welcomes free visa on arrival facility to 48 countries
Saxo Bank completes acquisition of BinckBank
Bentley Motors Celebrates Centenary at Monterey Car Week
Dubai Delivers on Tourist Volumes Again, With a Strong 8.36 Million Overnight Vi...
UK: The power of credit impulse at work
Ajman Free Zone signs MoU with Dubai Insurance Company
Making History: the Aston Martin Db4 Gt Zagato Continuation Programme is Handcra...
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Islamic Culture launches a comprehensive e...
Same Favourite Fragrance, New Innovative Products From the Ritual of Karma
Second Week of “Health & Tourism 2019” Campaign Witnesses Remarkable Participati...
Autumn / Winter 2019-20 Men's and Women's Sneakers Collection
Desigual's Fall/ Winter 2019 Collection
The Nordic Hall of the Heros is Open for Business - Aston Martin Valkyrie and Va...
Dubai Tourism Partners With Ary to Invite Audiences to Discover the Emirate With...
Ras Al Khaimah International Airport Announces New Foreign Exchange Partnership ...
Indian Film Actress Tamannaah Bhatia inaugurated 26th showroom of Malabar Gold &...
Marks & Spencer Reveals Its Autumn 2019 Womenswear Collection
Business Lunch With an African Twist
Harris Pye UAE strengthens its footprint in Egypt
Airbus and STC Specialized provide reliable secure communications for the Hajj i...