Norman Dewis. RIP 1920-2019

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lowdrag

Original Poster:

9,652 posts

155 months

Sunday 9th June
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It is with great sadness that I learn of the passing of dear Norman. His legacy will alway be enshrined in the history of Jaguar, He was responsible, as test driver, for developing all Jaguar models from the C-type through to the XJS, he raced the D-types for Jaguar at Le Mans, yet a more quiet unassuming gentleman it would be difficult to find. His stories are the stuff of legend, and I shall miss him so. In his later years he became an ambassador for Jaguar, touring the world and despite his age he was tireless. There are so many stories to tell, but just one was in 2016 at Prescott where on our Jaguar hill climb day he gave a talk as always. Later I sat talking to him and asked if he was staying over with us at the hotel. "No" was the reply. " I am taking my son to the hospital tomorrow, but I need to be careful these days. I only have two points left!" And this at 96! Sleep well dear friend, and enjoy your opposite-locking at that great race track in the sky. Here he is at the Festival of Speed with the prototype E2A



Edited by lowdrag on Sunday 9th June 05:23

Bebee

4,353 posts

167 months

Sunday 9th June
quotequote all
They were collecting on his behalf I read in Octane this month for a house keeper for him.

I met him at Gaydon 2017, had my pic with him, he was just wondering about on his own, I knew who he was straight away, he asked me where I was from and he said he was half hour up the road in Whitchurch, tiny fella, huge name, legend. RIP


mph

2,102 posts

224 months

Sunday 9th June
quotequote all
Lovely man and a great loss. RIP.

Great interview and period footage of the man himself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWZr2lCXp3c

CharlieAlphaMike

342 posts

47 months

Sunday 9th June
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Very sad news. I met and chatted with Norman some years ago. Thoughts are with his family and friends.

P5BNij

3,577 posts

48 months

Sunday 9th June
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Sad news indeed. Met him once at Gaydon while he was looking at the D-Type and XJ13, chatted for a few moments - a lovely fellow through and through.
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sideways man

629 posts

79 months

Sunday 9th June
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Always followed his exploits, even though he retired about the same time I started driving. Seemed a true gent and bona fide hero, thanks to his WW2 exploits. Did he ever have a book written about himself?
RIP Norman

4rephill

3,772 posts

120 months

Sunday 9th June
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RIP to a brave, and very charismatic man! frown

I'm sure he will be a bit pcensoredssed off dying at 98 years of age - One of the few times he failed to pass the ton! smile

a8hex

4,936 posts

165 months

Sunday 9th June
quotequote all
sideways man said:
Always followed his exploits, even though he retired about the same time I started driving. Seemed a true gent and bona fide hero, thanks to his WW2 exploits. Did he ever have a book written about himself?
RIP Norman
The book is called

Norman Dewis of Jaguar: Developing the Legend

It's a very interesting read, I only hope you can find a copy for less than the price I've just seen on Amazon.

It's a sad loss, Norman was fascinating to talk to, whether it was attending one of his many lectures or casually over cup of tea from the Nafi wagon at Goodwood.
It's hard to think of him even slowing down let alone coming to a stop.

sideways man

629 posts

79 months

Sunday 9th June
quotequote all
a8hex said:
The book is called

Norman Dewis of Jaguar: Developing the Legend
Thanks. I’ll try and find a copy.

Touring442

418 posts

151 months

Sunday 9th June
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I spoke to him in 2015 at the JEC anniversary do at Thorseby. I told him a tale about how I was 'exercising' a V12 XJ-S manual along the newly opened A34 dual carriageway around 1989/90 when I spotted a copper in a white Vauxhall Senator. I was going way too fast to slow down so had to keep the boot in and keep going.

'Did you get away'?

'Well, yes'

'Good Man'.

laugh

Bebee

4,353 posts

167 months

Sunday 9th June
quotequote all
sideways man said:
a8hex said:
The book is called

Norman Dewis of Jaguar: Developing the Legend
Thanks. I’ll try and find a copy.
Also this:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sir-William-Lyons-Officia...

Another great book! I read it last month while on hols, Norman gets mentioned (as you'd expect) quite a few times.

wag2

30 posts

173 months

Sunday 9th June
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What a delightful man. I met him at Goodwood and chatted about bikes he had owned. Wealthy Americans were hanging on his lightest word and he still had time for me.

mercedeslimos

109 posts

111 months

Sunday 9th June
quotequote all
mph said:
Lovely man and a great loss. RIP.

Great interview and period footage of the man himself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWZr2lCXp3c
What a fantastic watch. So humble and down to earth.

Simes205

3,215 posts

170 months

Sunday 9th June
quotequote all
wag2 said:
What a delightful man. I met him at Goodwood
Me too down in the old Cathedral paddock. Lovely humble man.
RIP.

CocoUK

674 posts

124 months

Monday 10th June
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Just read the news, what a boy, great innings.
The Carfection video share very much appreciated.

lowdrag

Original Poster:

9,652 posts

155 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
Bebee said:
They were collecting on his behalf I read in Octane this month for a house keeper for him.
Indeed we were. As his cancer became worse we subscribed to a fund which was set up to provide round the clock nursing for him. We were each asked to contribute £100 for his care and £30,000 was raised, a quite substantial sum but below what I would have expected given the love for him amongst the Jaguar fraternity. However, the trust was set up in a way that the residual money in the fund will now go to a children's' cancer hospice. And it is not too late to contribute should any of you feel inclined to do so.

aeropilot

18,104 posts

169 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
Oh bugger........ cry


Allan L

403 posts

47 months

Monday 10th June
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As I've written before, Norman Dewis was with Lea-Francis before he followed Soapy Sutton to the Jaguar and he was more than happy to talk to us (Lea-Francis Owners) about his time there.
We met him on a couple of occasions not too long ago, at the NEC show and at Kop Hill Climb and at the latter he worked out that he would have tested the post-war Lea-Francis Sports that was there, but my (pre-war) car would have been tested by Sutton. He told me he went to Jaguar "not because the cars were better (they weren't), but they paid a little more!" However he did agree when I pointed out that he wouldn't have had the record-breaking and racing if he'd stayed at Lea-Francis.
I too value the few short chats I was able to have with that friendly and interesting/interested man.

Bebee

4,353 posts

167 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
lowdrag said:
Bebee said:
They were collecting on his behalf I read in Octane this month for a house keeper for him.
Indeed we were. As his cancer became worse we subscribed to a fund which was set up to provide round the clock nursing for him. We were each asked to contribute £100 for his care and £30,000 was raised, a quite substantial sum but below what I would have expected given the love for him amongst the Jaguar fraternity. However, the trust was set up in a way that the residual money in the fund will now go to a children's' cancer hospice. And it is not too late to contribute should any of you feel inclined to do so.
clap

Bebee

4,353 posts

167 months

Wednesday 12th June
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Today, Wed 12th Jun 2019, in his local paper the Shropshire Star is a fitting tribute that I'm sure Norman would be proud of: