A short Bio: Norman Dewis was Jaguar’s Chief Test driver for many years
after joining Jaguar from Lea Francis in 1952. He contributed greatly
to the success of the XK120 and its C and D-Type derivatives in the
'50s plus carrying out virtually all the testing with the E-Type
People like Stirling Moss and Duncan Hamilton are names everyone
recognizes, because they were well known drivers. The truth is Sir
William Lyons could always find a good driver and replace them but he
could not afford to lose Norman. Finding someone who can not only
drive, but develop is another story, more than that it is a very, very
This is why Sir William did not want Norman to race - he could not
replace him. It is ironic that the reason Norman is not more well known
is because of how important he really was to Jaguar. For instance, he
did the development work on the Disc brakes (which anyone who drives a
car today should appreciate).
Norman’s very copious and extensive notes of the time are a gold mine of
information for historians and he is still a spellbinding, master
speaker at Jaguar events worldwide. He was a driver at the recent
Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK behind the wheel of an original
Norman actually drove in the 1955 Le Mans and finished 5th in the
Goodwood 9 Hours race in 1955 driving OKV 2. He has recently been made
an honorary member of the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) - a
wonderful recognition of the man and something he had wanted to achieve
all his life.
His next excursion is at Monterey, California in August where he should
be at the wheel of OKV 2 once again, now aged a sprightly 80!
He devoted his life to Jaguar, worked very long hours, even having 5
apprentices for Jaguar live at his home. Norman is a wonderful promoter
for Jaguar and has often spoken about “carrying the flag for Jaguar”.
He has done this his whole life and the VERY LEAST we can do as
enthusiasts is show our appreciation for what he has done.
Charlie Lumps Admin. Matawan, New Jersey, USA 83 XJ6 350 Vette eng TH700R4*************************
“I’ll not listen to reason. Reason is always what someone
else has got to say.”