Jaguar Enthusiasts Club

Norman Dewis

One of the greatest of all test-drivers of Jaguar Cars

Norman Dewis

August 3, 1920 - June 8, 2019

Norman Dewis is a living legend of the British automobile industry. Jaguar Cars Ltd. Chief Development and Test Engineer Norman Dewis spent 36 years creating Jaguar's signature driving style, to which these fine British cars owe their unsurpassed combination of comfort and handling. He has a major role in the development and testing of all Jaguar models without exception from 1954 to 1986 (13 models). As a boy, at the age of 14, he became an apprentice at Humber Cars and worked as a bumper and fender builder. Norman Dewis had been with Humber Cars for almost a year when he had the opportunity to sign a contract with Armstrong-Siddeley, one of the UK's most famous engineering companies in the middle of the last century. A five year contract a young man with exceptional opportunities for professional growth and doing what he loves. In 1939, with the outbreak of World War II, he was drafted into the army. He served in the Aviation Regiment as a gunner on the Short Sanderland flying boat. In 1943, the Air Department transferred Norman Dewis to another job, and until 1951 he was engaged in aircraft inspection and flight readiness testing. Norman Dewes joined Jaguar in 1951. He set up a testing department and subsequently developed over 600 test procedures. In 1953, the Jaguar D-type appears, which soon won many races. Norman Dewis drove this car on the Mille Miglia in Italy and Le-man in France, he also owns the speed record for the Jaguar D-type, and on October 20, 1953 in Jabbeke, Belgium, reached a speed of 172.412 miles on the Jaguar XK120 / h, which became a speed record for production cars. However, Norman Dewis considers the creation, together with Dunlop, of disc brakes to be the main achievement of his life - an invention that saved countless lives: the legendary disc brakes first found their way on the Jaguar D-type. In 2015, Norman Dewis for services to the British automotive industry became an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) and was awarded the Order of the Knight (The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire).

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