The men behind the marque
The talents that made Jaguar great
Jaguar’s reputation has been built on the skills of a remarkably talented series of entrepreneurs, engineers, drivers and designers.
SIR WILLIAM LYONS – THE FOUNDER AND VISIONARY
Bill Lyons was born in Blackpool in 1901 and showed an aptitude for engineering at a young age. When he was just 21, he went into partnership with a neighbour, William Walmsley, and set up Swallow Sidecars, the company that evolved into Jaguar. Although he wasn’t a trained draughtsman, Lyons designed some of the most celebrated Jaguars, including the XK120, the Mark II and the XJ6. Knighted in 1956, Sir William worked until 1972 and died 13 years later.
NORMAN DEWIS – THE CREATOR OF THE JAGUAR EXPERIENCE
As Jaguar’s chief development test engineer, Norman Dewis spent 36 years deciding how the company’s cars should feel to drive. He joined the company in 1952 to set up a testing department and went on to develop more than 600 testing procedures.
Although he set a speed record with the D-Type in 1953 and drove in both the Mille Miglia rally in Italy and at Le Mans, Norman says the achievement he is proudest of is developing the disc brake with Dunlop – an innovation that has saved countless lives over the years.
LOFTY ENGLAND – THE MASTERMIND BEHIND JAGUAR'S RACING SUCCESS
Trained as an engineer, Frank England joined Jaguar as a service manager and was the brains behind much of the company’s track success in the 1950s. England was quick to realise the potential of the XK engine and led the programme to create the C-Type.
Called “Lofty” because he was 6' 5" tall, England returned to his management role after Jaguar withdrew from motorsport and took over as chairman when Sir William Lyons retired in 1972.
MALCOLM SAYER – THE AERODYNAMICS SPECIALIST
After working for the Bristol Aeroplane Company, Malcolm Sayer was steeped in the principles of aerodynamics by the time he joined Jaguar in 1952. Sayer helped to shape Jaguar’s first Le Mans winner, the C-Type, and went on to design the iconic D-Type, XJ13 and E-Type, with their streamlined profiles.
Sayer’s working methods involved plotting the co-ordinates of complex curves with slide rules and logarithmic tables and he also pioneered the use of wind tunnels to test a car’s aerodynamic properties. Sayer’s last car was the XJ-S though, sadly, he died in 1970, before it went into production.
WILLIAM HEYNES – THE ENGINEER PAR EXCELLENCE
In Jaguar’s early days, it was Bill Heynes who realised that the company needed an engine of its own. He was instrumental in developing the XK straight-six during the World War 2 night-time firewatches at the Jaguar plant.
Heynes also played a key role in the engineering of Jaguar’s Le Mans winners, the C-Type and D-Type, as well as the E-Type. He was awarded the CBE in 1969, shortly before he retired from Jaguar.
IAN CALLUM – A DESIGNER FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
As a 14-year-old boy, Ian Callum, was inspired by the sight of an original XJ6 in a showroom and decided he wanted to design Jaguars when he was older. He submitted some of his drawings to Bill Heynes, who recommended that he should pursue his career by studying engineering draughtsmanship and industrial design.
In 2000 Callum achieved his ambition and was appointed Jaguar’s Design Director. In this role he has overseen the transformation of the Jaguar range, developing award-winning designs for the XK, XF and XJ models.