MEN EHIND THE SCENES.
Mr. N. W. H. FREEMAN.
F the thousands of spectators who stand at the side of road or track, cheering the drivers of racing cars as they flash by, how many give a thought to the tyres, withstanding so marvellously the strains of modern high speed racing ? But ask the drivers, and they will tell you, and you can bet any money that in their conversation they will mention ” Freeman of Lunlops,” most decidedly a Man Behind the Scenes.
Norman William Howard Freeman, to give him his full name, was born on October 5th, 1892, at Birmingham, and was educated at the Sutton-Coldfield Grammar School. His first job was in the Distribution Engineer’s Office of the Birmingham Corporation Gas Department, where he passed final examinations in Gas Engineering, and afterwards became Junior Engineer at a branch works. In 1920 joined the Technical Staff of Dunlop Rubber Company, and after four years extensive experience in all departments confined his interests to racing side. In 1925 he carried out experimental work for the Company at Brooklands, and in 1926 accompanied the late Sir Henry Segrave to Daytona Beach, where the Sand Speed Record was raised to a speed in excess of 200 m.p.h. for the first time. Again in the following year he was sent over by the Company to Daytona with Sir Malcolm Campbell, and in the same
year was appointed Racing Manager of the Dunlop Rubber Co. Then, in 1930, he was put in charge of the Racing and Concessionaires Lepartment, moving from Birmingham to London.
Norman Freeman, besides knowing more about racing tyres than any man alive, owes not a little of his extraordinary popularity among racing drivers all over the world to a very charming personality. In the preparation of a racing car for a big event the supply of tyres is of paramount importance, and as a soothing influence on the jaded nerves of a team Freeman has many times proved invaluable.
No man knows intimately so many well known International drivers—nor has seen so many races all over the world. He is a difficult man to talk to, at Brooklands or at a Club, for so many other people want to talk to him at the same time.
Runs a Talbot 65 h.p. saloon for his private use. Hobbies—you wouldn’t guess—Music and Art. Particularly fond of singing. Ask Nuvolari, ask Divo—ask every racing motorist here, there and everywhere— they all say the same thing, only in more languages than you or I can speak. ” A great scout, Freeman of Dunlops ” 1