Dewis leads homage to Jaguar disc brakes

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

For­mer Jaguar chief test driver, Nor­man Dewis OBE, led a cel­e­bra­tion for what he con­sid­ers to be one of the great­est ever mo­tor­ing in­no­va­tions – the disc brake.

Nor­man helped to de­velop the disc brake with Jaguar, Min­tex and Dun­lop. This form of brak­ing sys­tem, which is now stan­dard fit­ment on most mod­ern cars, was first de­buted at the 1952 Mille Miglia on a Jaguar C-type.

Nor­man says: ‘It’s def­i­nitely one of the big­gest break­throughs in mo­tor­ing in­no­va­tions. It’s al­lowed cars to both go quicker, and be safer. We de­cided to de­but it at the Mille Miglia as it’s such a tough race, es­pe­cially on the brakes. It’s fast, but very tight in the towns and moun­tains.

‘When Sir Stir­ling and I de­buted the sys­tem, peo­ple had never seen it on a car be­fore. Scru­ti­neers didn’t even know what it was. The all­round discs were such an im­prove­ment, it was night and day. We were able to pick through the pack not by the power or the han­dling of our C-type, but by sheer brak­ing. We could brake so much later than com­peti­tors, we could just keep ac­cel­er­at­ing while they were brak­ing.’ 65 years af­ter Jaguar de­buted disc brakes on its C-type racer, Min­tex, which worked with Jaguar to de­velop the disc brake, cel­e­brated by de­but­ing His­tory In The Brak­ing, a fea­ture-length doc­u­men­tary star­ring Nor­man, and Sir Stir­ling Moss, at the Re­vival. min­

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