Norman Dewis OBE 1920 – 2019

We are sad to report the death of a man who led a most remarkable motoring life. On one or two occasions Norman visited the LAC and gave fascinating talks on his motoring exploits as Jaguar’s chief development and test engineer.

Perhaps he was most noted for his development work with Dunlop on the disc brake for motor cars. Although first appearing on the Jaguar C type at Le Mans, it became available for road-going use on the XK150 with disc brakes all-round.

He set a record at Jabbeke in Belgium driving a modified XK120 down the measured mile both ways at a mean average speed of 172.412mph; apparently at the end of one of the runs the front wheels were observed to be 2 inches clear of the road. This record still stands to this day as that section of road is no longer in use. A memorial to this feat stands at the site, even now.

In one talk he mentioned having done in excess of 1 million miles testing at MIRA, all of which was at 100mph plus.

His favourite Jaguar was the fabulous XJ13 which was being developed for Le Mans, but never competed. When testing the car on the high speed bowl at MIRA, the offside back wheel collapsed both barrel rolling and over-ending him on the grass infield. Norman escaped with no more than a few bruises and reported for work the next day as if nothing had happened. Subsequently the car was totally rebuilt and his ambition was to drive the car once more on his 100th birthday at MIRA at more than 100mph. Sadly this now cannot happen, but Norman has had a remarkable life, is known as a great ambassador for the Jaguar marquee and was welcomed in the many countries he visited throughout the world.

Brian Ekin

56th Manchester to Blackpool Report

Setting off from Worsley Old Hall in Manchester and winding it’s way along a route of more than 100 miles through the beautiful North West countryside, passing through Wrea Green and Lytham along the Blackpool seafront finally finishing in the Italian Gardens , Stanley Park the 56th Manchester to Blackpool proved a most enjoyable event.

The entrants were welcomed by the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackpool Councillors Gary and Debbie Coleman and presented with a finishers award and a specially commissioned stick of traditional Blackpool Rock.
The oldest car that took part was a 1904 Renault which completed the Fulwood to Blackpool part of the route.

Clerk of the Course and Club President Martin Wylie said “ all the entrants had a fantastic day and for those who hadn’t taken part before they were wowed by the final approach along the tree lined route into Stanley Park and display parking area around the ornate fountain.”

“We had an excellent selection of cars in this year’s run which spanned over nine decades of motoring . We have seen an increase in interest in the more modern classics, probably spurred on by the broadcast of the many Classic Car restoration programmes being shown on television at the moment and the relative affordability of entry level classic cars enthusiasts can now restore, drive and enjoy.”

Entrants were treated to a traditional afternoon tea in the Park’s Art Deco cafe followed by the awards presentation during which the Mayor presented the prestigious Blackpool trophy to Brian and Matthew Holt from Manchester the proud owners of an immaculate bright yellow 1956 Chevrolet Belair.

The Manchester to Blackpool Car Run is organised by the Lancashire Automobile Club which was established in 1902 and is one of the oldest motoring clubs in the UK. The Club wishes to thank all those who made the event possible. including their sponsors Bowker BMW and Blue Butts, plus the support received from Visit Blackpool and Blackpool Council’s Parks Service .

Concours de Elegance Awards 2018

Group 1. (up to 1919) Car No. 1 – 1904 Renault T

Group 2 . (1919 to 31st December 1945) Car No.61 – Morris 8E

Group 3. (January 1947 to 31st December 1984) Car No 31 – 1971 Jaguar E Type

Group 4. (Post 1st January 1985) Car No. 42 – 1987 Mercedes 300SL

Overall Concours Award (Ken Hadley Trophy) Car No 12 – 1951 Daimler Special Sports

Judges Choice Car No 2 – 1924 AC Royal

Blackpool Corporation Trophy – 1956 Chevrolet Belair

LAC Member Brian Redman Inaugurated into Hall of Fame

Brian Redman started his motor racing career competing at Lancashire Automobile Club events at Woodvale near Southport. He progressed through the racing formula with great success all the way to Formula 5000 (competing in Chevrons) and Formula 1 before conentrating on Sports cars including the fantastic Porsche 917.

Brians greatest success was in the Can Am Series in the States and it is probaly this successwhich ultimatley saw him nominated to the Motor Sport Hall of Fame for the Sports Car Class.

Brian has now been inaugurated into the Motor Sport Hall of Fame (many thanks to all the LAC members who voted for him), please find in our pictures gallery a couple of pictures of the celebratory evening.

The group photograph shows Brian with other recipients including, amongst others, Dave Richards (a previous LAC Motor Sport Luncheon principle guest), Nigel Mansell (1992 F1 World Champion & 1993 Indy Car Champion), and the voice of Motor Sport, the legendary Murray Walker.

What a picture showing a proud moment in the history of the Lancashire Automobile Club.