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Jag-lovers Norman Dewis' Birthday Greeting
Norman Dewis' 80th Birthday Greetings
 
!! Make sure you check out this fantastic book !!
The new Norman Dewis biography from Paul Skilleter
Published November 2006

 


See a 2 minute video of Norman driving the E-Type prototype (E1A) in 1957 (RealVideo G2 or later needed)


Photo courtesy JEC magazine

We received 496 greetings for Norman!

wellwishers have been here
Norman Dewis, Jaguar driver extraordinaire, celebrated his 80th birthday in August. Since Norman is a very good friend of mine, I wanted to do something very special for him. This was an opportunity for all of us to do something very special. I can't think of a better birthday present than Enthusiasts worldwide sending our best wishes to him.

I will personally present everything to him on August 10th. THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE WHO CONTRIBUTED!

Terry Larson
2929 N. 82ND ST.
MESA, AZ. 85207
U.S.A.


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 prototypes.

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 rare talent.

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 goldmine 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 D-Type (XKC401).

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 honourary 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 to me 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.


From a Jag-lovers lister:
At one of the XK50 dinners, Norman Dewis was one of the speakers and his main story was about the 172mph run. I just wish my camcorder had worked. It was like being there when it happened with him telling about the fitting of him into the car and the actual speed runs. It was bloody this and bloody that, and he meant real blood. The canopy was from a war plane and so low that he could barely see over the cowl. They had to remove the seat and he was just sitting on a cushion/pillow because his head would hit the canopy. The canopy was screwed on and had to be removed from the outside. He finally quit driving because he could barely breathe from the fumes and heat.

I talked to him afterward and found out the engine had the two carbs, special cooling, belly pans and a low ratio rear end to obtain the desired speed. He was told to keep the RPM at a certain point but went about 600 over and said the engine still had more, but he didn't.

I don't know how many people have ever had their tires spun balanced on the car with the old Bear equip, but I used to see the tire beading start to pull out from the rim when they did it at supposedly 100mph, which is a bit less than 172 mph. What a guy. I am glad he has lived thru all the testing.


Here are the most recent greetings we received (or you can View all Greetings):

Posted by Paul Patek in USA on Thursday, 10th August 2000 from 128.171.230.50
To one of the people that have made Jaguar the passion for so many. Happy 80th Birthday Norman!

Posted by Ronald Young in USA on Thursday, 10th August 2000 from 205.188.200.53
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! I just bought a jag (E-type) two months ago and I love it. I know why You have stayed with jags so long. I hope I can send you a birthday memo 20 years from now Happy Birthday Ron Young

Posted by stephen mitchell in uk on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 212.49.244.213
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! from one new jag nut to an older one. all the best

Posted by Paul Kluka in England on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 212.140.43.40
Congratulations on your 80th Birthday. Many happy returns!

Posted by ole oestergaard in Denmark on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 194.239.178.201
Happy 80th Birthday Norman!

Posted by DAVID PACE in MALTA on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 195.158.98.139
Happy 80th Birthday Norman!

Posted by Judi O\'Bryan in USA on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 207.50.161.103
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! And many, many more. Kinda like the life of a Jag!

Posted by Trevor Maycock in UK on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 195.92.198.79
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! Without your great dedication and vast experience, I am sure that Jaguar would not be what it is today. You made the marque then and continue to uphold all that is good with the marque today. Congratulations on your 80th. I hope that you have many more.

Posted by Franck Guilloteau in USA on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 208.249.47.93
Happy 80th Birthday Norman!

Posted by David Hodges in UK on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 62.252.0.5
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! Happy Birthday Norman I am new to Jaguars and until now I did not know you, all the same Happy Birthday mate and good luck to ya

Posted by Dennis Hanna in USA on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 64.63.6.85
Happy 80th Birthday Norman!

Posted by Doug Collins in United States on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 24.130.1.29
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! I caught the Jaguar fever in the early 60's with the E-type and have been driving them ever since. My daily driver is an '87 XJ6 and I am restoring my 73 e-type. Thanks for all of you help in making these automobiles so special. Doug Collins

Posted by george desantis in canada on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 24.141.17.171
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! keep shifting norm

Posted by Tex Terry, II in USA on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 206.101.123.215
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! First heard of you in '57 while living in Venezuela, So. Amer. Mother (from South Wales) made a point of getting me interested in Jaguar at that time of your running. Great things have come from your involement with Jaguar and certainly appreciated world over! I now own a 1986 XJS V12 as a result of this. Thanks!!! Tex.

Posted by Bill Smith Jr. in USA on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 216.128.140.171
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! With much admiration and envy, I wish I could have just a small fraction of your knowledge and experiences with Jaguar. Thanks for helping create some of the most beautiful cars on the planet. (They even look good on a trailer... or in pieces...)

Posted by Richard and Lyn Gress in USA on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 155.100.100.190
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! From all of us whom your life's work has touched in such positive ways, our best greetings. From now on every time I work on those disc brakes on the S Type I shall remember your contributions! Richard

Posted by Jeff Broughton in US on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 207.144.120.3
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! Thanks for all of your contributions to the Jaguar world over the year!

Posted by Gerald H. Roehner in Ohio, USA on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 152.163.206.201
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! From a long time (from my perspective) Jaguar lover. Thanks for all you have done. Best Wishes, Gerry Roehner 2259 Panhandle Road Delaware, Ohio 43015 (1957 XK140MC OTS #S812644) (1974 XJ12L)

Posted by Richard Fleming in New Zealand on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 210.55.227.8
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! My XJ Coupe is my pride and joy, thank you for your part in creating such wonderful cars.

Posted by O. H. Olsen in Norway on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 193.216.80.66
Thanks for your contribution to making excellent cars! Happy 80th Birthday Norman!

Posted by Ersoy Karabadjak in Australia on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 139.134.27.67
Happy 80th Birthday Norman!

Posted by Lew Haines in USA on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 152.163.207.76
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! Thanks for your work of love to get us these great cars!!!

Posted by Jari Rinne in Finland on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 194.197.68.45
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! Have a wonderful day, and thanks a lot of a beautiful cars.

Posted by Frank Gauer in USA on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 206.170.238.154
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! Thank you for the wonderful automobiles you've given us! Frank Gauer

Posted by Peter Murray in England on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 212.133.25.179
To a Great survivior of the Best. Happy 80th Birthday Norman, have a great day!

Posted by bob seconder in USA on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 209.240.200.42
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! happy birthday,god bless.

Posted by Bradley Mclean in NSW - Australia on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 203.63.252.251
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! May your 80th birthday bring you as much pleasure as the two vehicles I have bring me and always remember - Old Jagmen don't stop they just get restored!

Posted by Philip Baier in usa on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 64.77.131.119
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! Thanks for helping make Jaguar the Marque it is, and many more great years to you. I wish I could meet you and hear the stories of glory from one who lived them. Maybe you can come to the EAA next year and do that at the Jaguar Factory Display! HBTY , Phil

Posted by John Whitford in Texas on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 209.113.31.202
Happy 80th Birthday Norman! Thanks for all the wonderful cars! John Whitford

Posted by Gerry Peterson in USA on Wednesday, 9th August 2000 from 152.163.197.201
Norman- On the 80th celebration of your birth, let me be among the hundreds of Jaguar lovers worldwide to wish you "Congratulations!!". The development work your acomplished at Jaguar Cars was instrumental in that marques' success and forever changed the automotive world as we know it. I am the proud owner of 63 E-Type FHC s/n 888764 and believe it is even more lovely today than when it was manufactured 37 years ago!! Happy Birthday again! And may you have many more!! Gerry Peterson

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