Norman Dewis, Jaguar's chief test and development engineer between 1952 and 1985, has been honoured for services to the motor industry
Matt Burt
31 December 2014

Renowned Jaguar test and development engineer Norman Dewis has received an OBE in the New Year Honours list for 2015.

Dewis has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for "services to the motor industry".

Now 94, Dewis has played a pivotal role in the development of many of Jaguar's most important cars, including the E-type, D-type and XK models. He was the company's chief test and development engineer between 1952 and 1985.

In Jabbeke, Belgium on 21 October 1953, Dewis set a new production car speed record on the public road in an XK120, averaging 172.4mph over two flying-mile runs.

Based in Shropshire, Dewis continues to work in an ambassadorial role for Jaguar today, and drove the F-type for an Autocar feature during the sports car's development in 2013.

However, his storied career in the motor industry stretches back to the 1930s and helped to develop early disc brakes on cars. He served with the Royal Air Force as a rear gunner during World War Two.

It is reckoned that he completed a million miles at an average speed of more than 100mph during his career as a test engineer.

Dewis is currently working with Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations’ newly established Jaguar Heritage Business organisation and supporting the opening of the new Heritage workshop at Browns Lane.

John Edwards, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations, and Chairman of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, said: “Jaguar owes a huge debt to Norman Dewis. His incredible skills have resulted in some of the finest cars this company has ever made – whether they were designed for the road or the racing circuit.

"The Norman Dewis of today is the same quietly confident and modest man of the 1950s – he remains a world-class Jaguar ambassador. It is fantastic to see his contribution to Jaguar, and to British engineering, recognised in Her Majesty’s New Year Honours List, with the award of an OBE.”

Other automotive industry figures to be recognised in the honours list include George Gillespie, chief executive of the MIRA test and research facility, who has received an OBE for services to international trade.

Miguel Fragoso, formerly managing director of the Millbrook proving ground, has received an MBE for services to the automotive industry. Ashton West, chief executive of the Motor Insurers' Bureau, has been awarded an OBE for services to road safety.

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31 December 2014
Well deserved and long overdue. Many congratulations!

31 December 2014
Well said Alpina 500. A real good news story!

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