Richard Cress­well, 1946-2017

Classic Cars (UK) - - Month In Cars -

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.

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