While I was away on holiday Mike Hewland died at the age of 89. His passing should be noted as his influence on British motorsport was considerable.
After leaving school at 14, he learned the ropes in the engineering world and at 35 set up his own business in a shed in Maidenhead. The original business was cutting gears but he soon moved into the gearbox manufacturing business after being asked to modify gearboxes for Bob Gibson-Jarvie of the United Dominions Trust, who was the owner of the UDT-Laystall-sponsored British Racing Partnership team, which was running a pair of Formula 2 Coopers for Stuart Lewis-Evans and Tommy Bridger. This resulted in Hewland building his first run of gearboxes for the team in 1959, which in turn to led to interest from the Cooper factory team and then from Lola. In the early 1960s Hewland expanded into other other formulae, notably Formula 1, Formula Junior, and later Formula 3 and Formula 5000. The business grew rapidly and moved to new premises and by the 1970s was employing more than 100 people. In the era when British teams came to dominate F1 most of them used the same Cosworth-Hewland drivetrain, with the only real opposition coming from Ferrari, BRM and then Matra.
Hewland handed over the running of the business to his son William when he retired at the age of 69, back in 1991.