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November 26, 2023 - Norman Dewis’ Mad Dash to Geneva in 1961

Who remembers Norman Dewis?  Norman was a test driver for Jaguar Cars from 1952-1985.  He had a very colourful career with the company, including a famous crash. On 21 January 1971 at the MIRA high-speed circuit Norman drove the only Jaguar XJ13 for a film promoting the new V12 Jaguar E-type. Despite a damaged tyre, and against the instructions of Jaguar Director, Lofty England, the car was driven at high speed. The tyre failed and the car crashed heavily, almost destroying it. Norman miraculously was unharmed.   Following his retirement from Jaguar, he spent his following years as a Jaguar Ambassador, supporting the company at numerous events all over the world and was a great supporter of Jaguar owners clubs.  In 2015 Norman was awarded the OBE.  Sadly, aged 99, Norman past away.

 

This video :

At the launch of the E-type at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1961, two cars served as press demonstrators.  One of them was this car, 77 RW, built in February 1961 as the first production open two-seater.

It was famously driven out to Geneva in a dramatic 17 hour overnight run by Norman Dewis, then Jaguar’s Test and Development Engineer.  77 RW was later used by The Motor for their road test, published 22 March 1961 and it is now the oldest surviving open E-type.