I can't find any mention of this so here goes:'Norman Dewis of Jaguar - Developing the Legend' By Paul Skilleter
I'm sure many of you have heard of, read about or even met Norman Dewis, Jaguar's ex test development engineer and works team driver. I've known Norman for some time and he's a fabulous guy, always happy to chat about his past work and nearly always comes up with yet another tale no one knew about from his 33 years at Jaguar! And he's still very active at historic events to this day, aged 86.
As an example, at breakfast with him last year, and talking about XJ13 that he famously crashed, he spotted in a magazine he was reading that its max speed was given as 178mph. Norman grumbled, then recounted how he had been at Bruntingthorpe, the old RAF (and very long) runway near Leicester. 'We got over 200mph there (206mph I believe) and the car felt superb. I didn't even have to grip the wheel ... the car could have achieved 215-220mph on the Mulsanne straight." That little fact was, we believe, until then unknown.
This and much, much more about Norman's entire life to date, is now available in book form told by author Paul Skilleter. The large format (225 x 297mm) book has 576pp with approaching 1000 illustrations. It's a fantastic read - Paul told me he estimates it took him two whole years of 9 - 5 work to complete - but spread over FIVE years. It isn't cheap but when you look at the work that went into it, you'll see why - there are 20 pages devoted to the XJ13 for instance with much info that's not been seen or told before (pic below from 1965/66).
In six weeks, over half the entire First Edition has already been sold since published on 1st December 2006. It comes in both normal binding (1000 copies printed) plus a Leather LE in slipcase of just 150 copies. EVERY book of both editions is individually signed in ink by both Norman and Paul. I just spotted one LE on eBay (very sad reason for sale) if anyone is looking for a possible bargain (190070840317).
I need to say that although involved with the book myself, indexing and providing some photos, I have no personal financial interest in it whatsoever. I just hope Paul's effort, a really long labour of love on behalf of a fantastic guy, one who has given so much pleasure and contributed to so many legendary cars, is justly rewarded by people buying and reading the book.
Paul has talked of a second edition as so much had to be left out to keep the book size manageable. For those that know 'Mon Ami Mate', this book is a bit larger from the cover view and about half as thick again!
More about it here:http://www.paulskill....com/norman.php
Here are some photos from the book, courtesy and Copyright Paul Skilleter:
Norman in D-type No 8 reaches the end of the pit straight at Le Mans in 1955 where he was part of
the Jaguar team with Mike Hawthorn. Unfortunately, his co-driver Don Beauman put the car into the
sand at Arnage. If it hadn't been for this, Norman thinks they could have finished fourth:
The one-and-only XJ13 being assembled at Jaguar's Browns Lane development facility sometime in
1965/66. The large sills contain the fuel tanks, minimising the large front/rear weight distribution
change experienced with the D-type as the fuel was used:
XJ13 at rest during 1971 at M.I.R.A with Norman alongside:
And here are a few of my own more recent pics of Norman, starting at Goodwood a couple of
years back and including several of well-known Forum member Doug Nye interviewing him:
Norman still has an eye for the girls ...
although, he looks a bit apprehensive here (they are sucking red lollipops!)....
Long term Norman-fan Ginger Corda travelled over specifically from Florida to meet and get a drive
with Norman at Goodwood in Nov 2004....
Norman and a mascot from the marque he is most associated with:
and with an example of the Jaguar Mk 1 that he helped develop:
And here he is in one cat with another taking an interest (XJ13 is a replica)
Norman engaged in a very familiar task to him - signing things!
And with his great chum Win Percy at Donington in 2002 prior to Win's accident at home:
And finally he's off on yet another world trip:
There's also an extract here from the book where Norman discusses and compares the drivers he worked with in the '50s:http://www.mike-hawt...ndewis-mike.php
Thanks for looking.
Mike Hawthorn Tribute Site http://www.mike-hawthorn.org.uk/