Our guest and speaker at the November club evening was Norman Dewis OBE who gave us a wonderful talk made up of anecdotes from his most interesting life with a 51 year career in the British motor industry. He was with Jaguar for 33 years developing and testing new models, including XK140, XK150, 2.4, 3.4, Mark II, XJ saloons, and of course the iconic E-Type. Norman also raced alongside the likes of Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn, and Fangio in the works 190 mph D-Type. Some members were dubious before the meeting not expecting a 97-year-old to be so extremely lively and animated.
Norman's talk ended with a Q&A session, and we asked what he put his longevity down to, in a word he replied 'Moderation' but admitted this did not include speed! He also agreed that his lifelong and enduring passion for Jaguars is a major factor. He told us about the terrible crash at Le Mans in the '50s, and how all three French judges exonerated Mike Hawthorn from any blame for the accident. Norman was in the pits when it happened waiting to take over one of the Jaguars. Norman was also asked what he might have done if he had not gone into Jaguar engineering, and we discovered his love of horses and he would have been a jockey - more speed of course!
Our thanks also go to Carl Gannon for arranging for Norman to come to the Area evening. The Dog & Bear Hotel function room was full to bursting, and they provided tasty sandwiches to finish the evening.