Richard Cresswell, 1946-2017
Richard Cresswell, restorer, racing driver and Jaguar engineer, has died aged 70. Jaguars he developed included the XJ6 and XJ-S.
A Jaguar apprentice from 1966, Cresswell joined the Experimental Test department in 1968 and succeeded Norman Dewis as head of Vehicle Proving in 1985. Cresswell also set up Jaguar’s hot climate test facility at Phoenix, Arizona, ran high-speed durability programmes at Nardo in Italy, and oversaw cold-weather testing in Canada.
In the early Seventies he designed and constructed a Clubman’s racing car with his older brother Michael. This project became even more professional when a new car – the Phantom –was designed and built with Oliver Winterbottom. In 1974 Cresswell won the Shell Clubman’s Championship. Tom Walkinshaw tried to head-hunt him to run the Toleman F2 race team in 1978, but Cresswell elected to stay with Jaguar until 1991, when he took voluntary redundancy. This move allowed him to indulge what had previously been a hobby – restoring vintage Bentleys.