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 >>

 
  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 14841 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
Look after your body & enjoy nourished skin from Local, Homegrown Company, The S...
China's Latest Moves in Ip Protection Leads to Unprecedented Legal Judgement for...
Time for tennis - Ugo Humbert joins Rado YoungStars
Karama gets crowned. Once more.
Stack It Up With Shack Stack Now in the UAE! Shake Shack is All About Upping the...
Steve Madden Celebrates Brand's 30th Anniversary In Dubai
Al Tayer Motors launches the new Maserati Quattroporte SQ4 Zegna PELLETESSUTA™ a...
American Eagle Launches It's Holiday'19 Collection
PCFC discusses wider horizons for trade and logistic services with Dubai busines...
The "Karl Legend" Collection
Monochromatic Denim
The perfect Watch from Beach to Tux
Al Tayer Motors Opens Magnificent New Maserati Showroom In Dubai
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Chronor Slate
Hamdan bin Mohammed leads first Dubai Run on Sheikh Zayed Road featuring 70,000 ...
Emirati Musicians, International Composers & the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in...
National Geographic Abu Dhabi Provides an Unprecedented Look into Makkah's Spraw...
Massive Diabetes Awareness and Management Drive in Ras Al Khaimah to screen thousands
Humans in Space Symposium discusses what it takes to be an astronaut
Accor's role as Makkah's leading pilgrim hospitality services provider showcased...
Redefine Your Winter Wardrobe with REDTAG!
P&O Marinas and Fabulous Yachts Announce the 3rd Edition of the International S...
Dubai Design Week and the first Rado Star Prize UAE
‘Carpet of Tolerance' created by Hands and Senses revealed at Downtown Design, Dubai
SmartCrowd, MENA's Only Regulated Real Estate Investments Platform Graduates fro...
Rivoli Group Announces Winners of the Third Qualifier Tournament for Omega Natio...
Medeor Hospital, Dubai gives new life to a 63-year-old patient in the UAE by rem...
Ahmad Bin Shafar welcomes President of ASHRAE
Lenovo's ‘Remove-IT Program' Aims to Reduce Electrical and Electronic Waste in t...
Astronaut Christina H. Koch Shares for the first-time photo of Hazzaa AlMansoori...
du completes world's highest peak 5G standalone throughput over a single 100MHz ...
Etihad Airways and Pia Relaunch Codeshare Partnership
Arabian Automobiles Nissan to light up Dubai International Motor Show with innov...
Discover GROHE's latest innovations and digitally enhanced products at Dubai Des...
JYSK Has You Covered For The Festive Season
Deerfields Mall is Back With Its Third Season of Farmers Market
Italy's Leading Energy Innovators Calls to Create Partnerships at ADIPEC 2019
Zayed Water spreads the message of kindness and compassion at University of Shar...
Union Coop Releases the instant Electronic Share Trading Update
Beyond Compare: Craft and Culture Combine in Luxurious New Pen Collection
Al Tayer Motors Launches All-New Lincoln Aviator in the UAE
GranTurismo Zéda projects Maserati towards the future: from the Modena plant th...
Metito's policy on water reuse identified as ‘progressive and disruptive' by gl...
Twenty Italian Luxury Artisanal Interior Brands Participate in Downtown Design
Etihad Airways Increases Frequency on Important Abu Dhabi to Riyadh Route
Pandora Holiday Collection
Maserati, the future is now
Hatton wins historic 2019 Turkish Airlines Open title.
Future of Transportation: Virgin Hyperloop One Confirms Passenger Pod at this Ye...
Lenovo Q2 Momentum Powered by 9th Consecutive Yoy Quarterly Revenue Growth, Stro...