Face to Face with Gus Kuhn Motors
Motor Cycle News Extra December 1969

...by courtesy of the Greater London Council

It was thanks to the GLC that the highly successful Gus Kuhn racing team started operations in July 1968.

For the money paid out by the authority when they made a compulsory purchase order on a row of houses, which still stand in a derelict condition behind the Kuhn showrooms, provided Vincent Davey with the required extra money to make his thoughts of racing a reality.

"The property belonged to Gus Kuhn Motors Ltd. and the original plan was pull them down and extend the premises," said Vincent. "But this was rejected by the GLC."

The decision to "go racing" proved a good one, for as well as almost immediate success on the tracks the publicity and interest it provoked helped to boost sales.

Vincent had always toyed with the idea of racing and had been inspired by one of his many friends in the trade, Stan Shenton of Boyers of Bromley.

"I thought it would be fun to race against him and it was with this sort of challenge in mind that I decided to utilise the money for racing." said Vincent.

He started by concentrating solely on production racing with Commandos but quickly realised that it was impossible to command the best riders without extending his activities.

With 350 and 500 Seeleys, plus big class machines developed from Commandos, he entered last season with the impressive line-up of Dave Croxford and Mick Andrew.

Mick, one of the best young riders in the country, had impressed Vincent with his riding during the all-important Barcelona race when the future racing plans of Gus Kuhn Ltd. were decided.

The money and effort put into the project was well rewarded with Croxford winning the 500 British Championship and with the ever-improving Andrew highlighting his year with a fantastic win in the production race at the Hutchinson 100.

Mick also took third place in the 500 British Championship and but for a crash during the final round at Crystal Palace was a "cert" for second place in the 350 championship.

It was at this meeting that Vincent's true enthusiastic approach to racing really showed. Pat Mahoney, needing only a high place to win the 350 championship, found himself without a suitable machine for the race. So without more ado Vincent loaned Pat the injured Mick's Seeley.

Charlie Sanby is another rider grateful to Vincent's generosity for as a thank you to Charlie for all the help he gave Mick during his first race in the Isle of Man, he loaned him a Commando for an all-important Lydden meeting.

Charlie repaid the loan with a lap record at the Kent circuit and then again with the machine on loan took the lap record at Crystal Palace later in the year.

Another to ride on Kuhn machines was Tom Dickie who underlined his Isle of Man riding ability by taking third place in the Senior race on a Seeley. Tom was fourth in the production race on a Kuhn Commando and gained the Joe Craig trophy for the most successful English rider.

Gus Kuhn's with a total of four silver replicas received a cup for the most successful dealer entrant - during their first year in the Island .

Dickie features in next seasons racing plans and will definitely be riding Kuhn Seeleys in the TT.

With Andrew as the only regular team rider Gus Kuhn will contest the British championships and if possible two classics.

With six machines - two each of 350, 500 and 750 capacity - there is obviously enough for more than one rider.

"With these extra machines I look forward to giving experienced riders the opportunity to race them at selected meetings." says Vincent.

The production class, which opened the racing story, will be sidelined. Although dependent on Norton Villiers factory plans, Vincent hopes a Commando will be available for Mick at the TT, Barcelona and Hutchinson 100 events.