The Latter Years
Page updated 08-Jan-2011

Gus never showed any inclination to retire from motorcycle sport, but by 1939 he is 40. He rode for the Southampton Saints a few times before the outbreak of WWII, but by then retirement must have seemed inevitable. In any case, his business was growing and needing more of his time.

Gus Kuhn drawn by Sallon of the Daily Mirror in 1957

During the war Gus served as a Fire Watcher in Clapham, and serviced despatch motorcycles for organisations like SOE (based in Baker Street). He was lucky to escape injury when the pub opposite his shop in the Clapham Road was hit by a bomb. The glass was blown out of the showroom windows and after the motorcycles had been removed to safety, the empty space was used to lay out the bodies for identification

After the war there were plenty of ex-service motorcycles available and the business thrived, but Gus's wife's health deteriorated and he wanted to spend more time looking after her, so he looked around for someone to help run the business. A couple of recently de-mobbed paras looked promising, so he took them on. One of them, Vincent Davey, turned out OK, and eventually took over running the business.

Gus was involved with the Veteran Dirt Track Riders Association (being President in 1964) and the TTRA. He still rode in Trials and loved to watch any motorcycle racing, going to the Isle of Man every June.

Gus always drove too fast. He had a soft-top Riley and on the way to his house on the south coast there was a hump back bridge. Neither he nor the grandchildren would be happy unless he took the bridge so fast that their heads hit the canvas roof. (The children's parents may have had a different point of view!)

After Gus's beloved wife died in 1960, his own health deteriorated and a car accident made matters worse. He died at the end of September 1966 at his home in Pagham.