Club Commends JCB's Engineering Success and Zef Eisenberg's 'Spirit of Adventure' at 2019 Dewar and Simms Ceremony


To view images from the event click here.

At a lunch ceremony two of the Club’s most prestigious awards were presented in front of attending members, guests and previous winners. The Chairman of the Club, Ben Cussons, handed out both the Dewar Trophy and the Simms Medal to the winners on the day.

Dewar Trophy

During London Motor Week the Club awarded its the prestigious Dewar Trophy to JCB.

The Dewar Trophy is awarded for ‘Outstanding Technical Achievement in the British Automotive Industry’. Revered as one of the most prestigious awards in British engineering, the Club’s Dewar Trophy is presented only in years when the Club’s expert committee believes that there are contenders of sufficient merit. This is one such year.

The 2019 Dewar Trophy was awarded to JCB for the development and introduction into the market of the JCB 19C-1E electric mini excavator – the construction industry’s first fully electric mini excavator. As a result, JCB becomes one of the few companies, in the 113-year history of the Trophy, to have won it more than once.

John Wood MBE, Chairman of the Dewar Technical Committee, said: “Awarding the 2019 trophy to JCB was a unanimous decision by the Dewar Technical Committee. The JCB 19C-1E is unique in the application of electric powertrain technology in the mini excavator market.

As one would expect from a company like JCB, it has come about as a result of a thoroughly well thought out and properly executed development process based on a clear appreciation of the market needs, usage profiles and the particular advantages that the emerging technology can offer. It represents a bold commitment to the introduction of novel technology in the off-road sector”.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said: “I’m absolutely delighted that JCB has been presented with such a prestigious award. JCB is a company built on innovation and for our latest innovation, our electric mini excavator, to be recognised in this way is tremendous for the company and the team who have developed it. It’s also a great honour to join such an elite roll of past Dewar recipients including Mercedes-AMG, McLaren Automotive, Jaguar, Ford, Ricardo and GKN.”

The Dewar Trophy was presented to Bob Womersley, JCB’s Director of Advanced Engineering. He said: “The 19C-IE is the construction industry’s first fully electric mini excavator to go into production. It has been a huge success and has a very promising future ahead of it. To win this award in the first few weeks of production is absolutely tremendous.”

Wing Commander Andy Green OBE said, “I’m delighted for JCB. It’s a magnificent company at the forefront of innovation and technology flying the flag for British engineering. Having worked with them closely on the JCB DieselMax project, I saw first-hand their ‘can-do spirit’ which permeates throughout the business”.

The 19C-1E is a staggering five times quieter than its diesel counterpart and can be fully charged in under two hours. The model is expected to be a big hit with companies working inside buildings and in emissions and noise-sensitive inner-city areas. Fully charged, the 19C-1E can put in a typical full day’s shift for a mini excavator.

It is the second time that JCB has won the Dewar Trophy, having been presented with the award in 2007 for its outstanding achievement in breaking the world diesel landspeed record with the JCB Dieselmax car powered by two JCB engines. Driven by Wing Commander Andy Green, the car reached a speed of 350.092mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA. The record still stands today.

JCB joins a remarkable line-up of automotive greats which include Mercedes AMG High Performance Power Trains, McLaren Automotive and Integral Powertrain Limited.

Simms Medal

At the Dewar ceremony, the Club also awarded its prestigious Simms Medal to multiple speed record holder Zef Eisenberg.

The Simms Medal takes its name from one of the Club’s founding members, Frederick Simms and is among the most prestigious honours bestowed to individuals or a small company in recognition of an outstanding contribution to motoring innovation. The Simms Medal is only awarded in years when the Club’s Dewar and Simms Technical Committee believe that there are contenders of sufficient merit. This is one such year.

John Wood MBE, Chairman of the Simms Medal Committee, said “The Club has celebrated many Land Speed Record holders over the decades, from Segrave to Cobb; Campbell, Noble, Green, Drayson and now Eisenberg who joins this illustrious list, all of which have push the boundaries of technology whether it be petrol, diesel, steam, gas turbine to electric powered vehicles.

Zef’s multiple speed record exploits on two and four wheels exemplifies “the spirit of adventure” which is at the heart of the Simms Medal. Zef is a man driven by technology and daring and very successfully – demonstrating its potential in the most extreme manner”.

Upon receiving the Simms Medal, Zef Eisenberg said “I’m very proud to have been awarded the Simms Medal. I’ve worked for the last eight years pushing the boundaries of engineering to deliver the most extreme and powerful motorbikes and cars, not just for show, but real performance racing, whether it’s our 480hp EISENBERG V8 motorbike, 564hp Rolls Royce Turbine powered motorbike, 400hp sand and ice motorbike, world’s fastest electric motorbike or even our record setting 1500hp “Porsche Sand racer’… pushing engineering and performance to a superior level is our DNA.

To be recognised by the prestigious Royal Automobile Club for what we have achieved is the icing on the cake”.

Zef Eisenberg is a man who responds to a challenge and the more extreme the better. He holds more than 52 British, World, ACU, FIM and Guinness speed records. In September 2016, he survived ‘Britain’s fastest-ever motorcycle crash’ at 230mph, on a 564hp Rolls-Royce jet turbine-powered motorcycle.

He broke 11 bones, was hospitalised for three months, spent a further three months in a wheelchair and had to learn to walk again. He defied doctors by racing exactly one year after the accident on the anniversary of the crash.

In May 2018, he achieved the world’s fastest motorbike record on sand. He was then challenged to repeat this success on four wheels and, with the support of ITV, this became the essence of a television series entitled ‘Speed Freaks’. His no nonsense approach to explaining the technology involved has been part of the success of this series and has also helped to inspire a coming generation of engineers.

In May this year, in a highly modified Porsche, he became the world’s only person to exceed 200mph on sand with a bike and car, as well as hold the flying mile record for both.

Then in September 2019, at the Straightliners ACU/FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) World Speed Records event held at Elvington, North Yorkshire, Eisenberg set four new FIM World Speed Records* for electric motorbikes (unfaired) and 1 ACU speed record* on board the Nottingham University Isle of Man TT zero (electric) bike.

The records included: the FIM Flying Kilometre speed of 185.103mph, with best one-way speed of 194.086mph, with GPS peak speeds of 197mph, the FIM Flying Quarter Mile, the FIM Standing Quarter, the FIM Standing Mile and ACU Flying Quarter Mile. *subject to final FIM/ACU ratification.

These speed records were particularly poignant to Eisenberg, as it was the bike that his MADMAX Team rider, Daley Mathison rode to his last three podium wins at the Isle of Man TT before being tragically killed in the Superbike TT race. Eisenberg undertook the records to honour the racer.

Eisenberg races under the ‘MADMAX Race Team’, which is renowned for developing and racing the world’s most extreme machines using the best engineers in the industry.

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