|In their first full season the team won the British 500cc Championship, Castrol Championship, Duckhams Trophy, Grovewood Award and the Redex Trophy as well as 23 first places and 28 seconds. Vincent Davey had the list of race wins printed on the Gus Kuhn notepaper .. "but I had to give that up. There wasn't room for a letter!"
On the strength of these achievements Gus Kuhn Motors marketed a range of sports and racing bikes and a host of 'bolt-on' goodies. By the end of the year the team had seven bikes; a 750 Commando Production racer, three Commando-based short circuit racers, one Commando in a Seeley frame and the Seeley 7R and the G50. [Classic Racer Spring 1990]
March 2nd Sun at Brands Hatch, National: “Enduring the bitter cold weather, a crowd of 6,000 ringed the 1.24 mile Kent short circuit when the meeting got under way.” Dave Croxford (Kuhn Seeley) won one 500 heat and Pickrell (Dunstall Domiracer) the other. “Shooting ahead from the start, Croxford made no mistake, although pressed hard by Pickrell every inch of the way. Third place was taken by Martyn Ashwood (Arter Matchless). He chased the leaders hard to finish comfortably ahead of Mick Andrew on the second Kuhn Seeley. The ever-increasing popularity of the big solo class was reflected in a tremendous entry for the 1,300cc event, including Croxford on a Gus Kuhn Commando. Although it was his first race on the Norton, he finished a close second in his heat behind Mahoney on a Joe Francis Commando. But in the final both were out of luck. Mahoney's bike was last to fire and Croxford retired with bent valves caused by over-revving. Pickrell took the lead from the first lap and held it to the flag.” [Mick Woollett, Motor Cycle 5/3/69]
March 8th Sat at Oulton Park. “The mystery of the two lost laps had fans and riders guessing when the British championships got away to a flying start. Both Dave Croxford (Kuhn Seeley) and Pat Mahoney (Aermacchi) claimed that they had been robbed of a chance of victory in the all important 500 and 35o finals, because the races were run over eight laps instead of 10 as shown in the programme. In the 500cc class Croxford had let all the way with Alan Barnett (Matchless Metisse) close behind. But as they swept into view to complete eight laps, Barnett was ahead and, to Croxford's surprise, the chequered flag was out. ‘I could kick myself' the cheerful Londoner said after the organisers had pointed out that the change in race-distance had been notified in the final instructions. Making a brilliant first appearance at Oulton, Mick Andrew hurled his Gus Kuhn Seeley into third place.” [Mick Woollett, Motor Cycle 12/3/69]
March 9th Sun at Snetterton: Croxford 3rd in 500 and Mick Andrew 4th. In the unlimited race Croxford is 2nd and Andrew 4th.
March 16th at Mallory Park: The 1,000cc 15 lap race was a cliff hanger. “Though Alan Barnett (496 Kirby Metisse) had made the running for much of the event, a pack consisting of Tony Smith (654 BSA), Percy Tait (490 Triumph) and Dave Croxford (496 Kuhn Seeley) were whittling down his advantage. Five laps to go and they had caught him. From then it was open warfare, with Smith and Croxford taking turns as pacemakers. As they came into the long, sweeping right-hander at Gerrard's Bend for the last time Croxford held the lead by the narrowest of margins. Then, as they straightened up for the Stebbe Straight, his engine cut out and he coasted sadly to a halt.” 1st Smith, 2nd Tait, 3rd Barnett, 4th Pickrell. [Bob Currie, Motor cycle 19/3/69] “The 350cc race was a humdinger between Pat Mahoney (Aermacchi), Barnet (Kirby Metisse) and Croxford (Kuhn Seeley), in the 15 lap scrap. Barnett got the verdict with Mahoney second and Croxford third, but all so close the timekeeper could not separate them.” [Colin Seeley Racer .. and the rest, ISBN 0954435710]
March 30th Lydden:
“Dave Croxford (349 Kuhn Seeley) just failed to gain his expected double when he crashed in his 1,00cc race heat on the rainswept Lydden circuit. Earlier, in the 350cc race he had led all the way, but in the 1,000cc heat he was headed from the start by Mick Andrew (745 Kuhn Commando). Andrew kept his line so well that Dave's Seeley could not break through. Then, on lap five, Croxford tried to get inside Andrew at the hairpin. They touched – and Dave was off. He remounted, but with only one lap to go he could not recover sufficiently to get a place. In the final Barry Ditchburn (649 Triton) got a flying start and led throughout, with Andrew second.” [Motor Cycle 2/4/69]
Mick Andrew leads Paul Smart through the
tunnel at Brands Hatch.
Photo from the Gus Kuhn archive
April 4th Good Friday at Brands Hatch: King of Brands, Croxford, Andrew & Graham Bailey entered. In the 350 final Dave Croxford's chances of retaining the 1968 King of Brands crown were dashed when his GK Seeley slowed with brake and gearbox trouble and finally he ran out of petrol. Williams streaked ahead from the start of the 500cc race but Barnett and Croxford (Kuhn Seeley) were always with him. Barnett eventually got ahead on the last lap to win by yards. Croxford finished 3rd with Mick Andrew 4th. In the 1,300cc invitation race Croxford (496 Kuhn Seeley) was 3rd and Mick Andrew (745 Kuhn Commando) was 6th. [Motor Cycle 9/4/1968]
April 6th Sunday at Mallory Park: Master of Mallory, won by Rod Gould. Last year's Master, Croxford, is 3rd in the 350 final. Andrew also entered on GK Commando, though doesn't get through to final.
April 7th Monday at Crystal Palace: National, “Mick Andrew (Kuhn Seeley), Ray Pickrell (Aermacchi) and Paul Smart (Ducati) had a titanic scrap in the 350cc event. Andrew started the last lap in third place but stormed through to win, setting a new lap time.” Pickrell was 2nd and Smart 3rd. [Motor Cycle 9/4/69] Andrew's 745 Kuhn Commando DNF in the 1,000cc race.
April 13th Sunday at Thruxton: Croxford (Kuhn Seeley) is second to Pat Mahoney in the 350 race. The 500 is won by Percy Tait (Triumph) with Croxford (Kuhn Seeley) 2nd and Mick Andrew (Kuhn Seeley) 4th. In the 1,000cc race Croxford (745 Kuhn Norton) is 3rd behind winner Ray Pickrell (Dunstall) and Tait (490 Triumph).
April 26th Saturday at Castle Coombe: “The Gus Kuhn Team took a step nearer their target of winning the big solo classes of the British Championships when Dave Croxford (Seeley) and Mick Andrew (Seeley) notched the 500 and 350cc finals. Fans who braved the rain and missed the Cup Final were rewarded with one of the hardest fought 500cc finals ever seen at the 1.84 mile Wiltshire circuit. Alan Barnet got ahead on the first lap. But in his slipstream were Croxford, Tait (Triumph), Andrew and Robin Duffty. The lead changed on virtually every corner and after seven laps Andrew, whose right foot had been injured when another competitor collided with him at the start, lost touch. But Croxford had the edge. With a finely judged challenge, he swept ahead to win the race. The 350cc final, run on a damp but drying circuit, was full of incident. It was won by Mick Andrew, with Pat Mahoney (Aermacchi) 2nd, Alan Barnett (Kirby Metisse) 3rd and Croxford (Kuhn Seeley) 4th.” [Mick Woollett, Motor Cycle 30/4/69]
April 27th Sunday at Lydden: Mick Andrew won the 350 race with Croxford 2nd. Mick Andrew (745 Kuhn Commando) is 2nd in the 1,000cc race, won by Martyn Ashwood (500 Matchless).
Mick Andrew on the Gus Kuhn Norton
Photo from the Gus Kuhn archive
May 4th Sunday at Cadwell Park: In the 350 race Dan Shorey (Aermacchi) led from start to finish. Behind him John Cooper (Seeley) and Peter Williams (Arter AJS) diced it out for second spot until they were split by Mick Andrew (Kuhn Seeley) in the sprint for the flag. In the 1,00cc race Mick Andrew (500 Kuhn Seeley) was 4th. [Motor Cycle 7/5/1968]
May 11th Sunday at Thruxton: 500 Mile, International, Dave Croxford & Mick Andrew entered by Gus Kuhn Motors on a 745cc Commando. "With less than two hours gone the Norton factory's hopes were dealt their first blow when Dave Croxford coasted in with a dead engine 'It stopped dead.' he said, and the trouble was later found to be a broken con-rod." [Motor Cycle News 14/5/69] The race is won by Percy Tait & Malcolm Uphill (650 Triumph).
May 25th Sunday at Mallory: In the 350 race “Rex Butcher (Oakley Quaife), Dave Croxford (Kuhn Seeley) and Pat Mahoney (Aermacchi) each took a turn as pacemaker until Cliff Carr (Yamaha) came through to lay claim to the lead. That left Croxford and Mahoney to scrap out second place for themselves. Then Croxford came down from Devil's Elbow frantically playing tunes on the gear pedal – all to no avail, for the trouble was an unshipped rear chain. Croxford stopped, re-threaded the chain, and went on, but by now Carr and Mahoney were secure in the first two places.” [Motor Cycle 28/5/69] Croxford won the 1,000cc race on a 500 Kuhn Seeley and the production race (750 Kuhn Norton).
May 26th Mon at Brands Hatch (Short circuit): International Evening News, Ray Pickrell (750 Dunstall) was pushed every inch of both heats by Dave Croxford on his 500cc Kuhn Seeley. The 20-lap 500cc Redex Trophy event was a thriller from start to finish. Croxford (Kuhn Seeley) took the lead from the drop of the flag. Croxford won the closest decision of the day in the 500cc race when he beat Alan Barnett (Kirby Metisse) by half a wheel after a great battle.
|Mick Andrew & Graham Bailey make a good getaway at the start of the Production TT
Photo by Mick Woollett
from the Gus Kuhn archive
June 11th, Weds in the Production TT: Mick Andrew 4th, Graham Bailey and Tom Dickie (Kuhn Commandos) DNF. As machines lined up beneath the Glencrutchery Road scoreboard for the Le Mans-type start, the Duke of Edinburgh was moving along the line of riders and stopping for a word here and there. And it was Prince Philip who dropped the flag to start the 750cc field on their way. Came a patter of boots on tarmac, a frantic kicking of starter pedals - then a howling getaway by a trio of Norton Commandos, ridden by Mick Andrew, Graham Bailey and Ron Wittich. [Motor Cycle 18/6/69]
Great film of the 1969 Production TT on YouTube in four parts:
| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Look out for the Gus Kuhn team, numbers 1, 2 & 3. First in line to talk to Prince Philip.
June 11th, Junior TT: Tom Dickie (Kuhn Seeley) 4th and Mick Andrew (Kuhn Seeley) 19th.
June 13th Friday, Senior TT: Tom Dickie (Kuhn Seeley) 3rd. "Fantastic" was how third finisher Tom Dickie described the Seeley he had ridden for Gus Kuhn Motors - the bike which Dave Croxford races in short-circuit events. His big worry had been its brand-new experimental Seeley streamlining. "The wind was very gusty on the Verandah towards the end of the race and the bike was being blown right across the road. I think the fairings a bit too slab-sided," said Tom. [Motor Cycle, 15/6/69]
Special TT awards: Joe Craig Trophy (best aggregate performance on a British machine): T. Dickie for fourth place in the Junior and third in the Senior on Kuhn Seeleys. 'Motor Cycle' Challenge Cups (best Dealer entrant): 350cc class: Gus Kuhn (rider T. Dickie, fourth).
June 15th Sunday at Mallory Park: Post TT International: in the 350 race Derek Chatterton (Yamaha), Dave Croxford (Kuhn Seeley) and Kel Carruthers (Aermacchi) got to grips in a second place barney behind the quick starting Gould. That little scrap ended in Chatterton's favour when Croxford slammed into the ditch at the Esses. [Motorcycle 18/6/69] In the 1000cc race Gould and Ago were first and second with Croxford (500 Kuhn Seeley) third. Mick Andrew (745 Kuhn Commando) was fourth and the only other man not lapped by the two leaders. [Motor Cycle News 18/6/69]
June 22nd Sunday at Lydden: Martyn Ashwood is the fourth Lord of Lydden. He snatched his new title on the last lap of Sunday's thriller after a palpitating duel with the first lord Charlie Sanby. [Motor Cycle News 25/6/69]
June 22nd Sunday at Thruxton: Brian Kemp clinched his first big class national victory in a cut and thrust 1000cc final at sunny Thruxton. After a wheel to wheel battle with Paul Smart on the Joe Francis 750 Norton, Mick Andrew on the fully production race kitted Gus Kuhn Commando which finished fourth in the production TT and Dave Croxford astride a 500cc Gus Kuhn Seeley, for half of the 15 lap race, Kemp broke away and took victory by five seconds from Croxford.[Motor Cycle News 25/6/69] The 500cc race was one of the best ever seen at Thruxton. Mick Andrew (GK Seeley) led from the start, then Dave Croxford (GK Seeley) took his turn with Percy Tait (Triumph) having his first ride since breaking his collar-bone in the TT. ... Barnett got to the head of the queue as Andrew went grasstracking at Club Corner. Andrew stayed aboard only to have the crankpin break on the last-but-one lap and Barnett went on to win by 3.6s with Croxford just holding off a pain-racked Tait for second place. [report by David Dixon]
Mick Marries: Mick Andrew had good reason to be pleased with himself at Croft on Saturday - and not just because of his brilliant win in the 500cc event. He had with him his bride of one day, June Hewston, a lass from Ware, Herts, where Mick also lives.
After their Friday-night honeymoon at Croft, Mick left for the 24-hour race in Spain - minus June! [Motor Cycle]
June 28th Saturday at Croft: Riding the race of his life, Ken Redfern (Norton) managed to split winner Mick Andrew and Dave Croxford (GK Seeleys) in the 500cc round of the British Road Race Championship. But Croxford's fourth place was still enough to hoist him into a four-point lead in the table. From the drop of the flag Croxford had steamed in front, with Robin Duffty (Petty Norton) on his tail and being pressed hard by Andrew. At this stage Redfern was tenth. Next time round Andrew was second and a lap later he passed Croxford. Meanwhile Redfern was searing through the field and by lap eight he was third, and the battle was on. As the flag went out, Redfern tried to pass between Andrew and Croxford at the chicane, but Andrew just stayed in front. [Motor Cycle, 2/7/69]
June 28th Saturday at Brands Hatch: In a terrific four-bike duel for the lead for the first five laps of the first 1,000cc event, Jack Pinkney (650 Triumph), Graham Bailey (750 Kuhn Commando), Peter Butler (750 Boyer Triumph) and Bill Dey (650 BMF Metisse) had swopped order a couple of times before Bailey took over from Pinkney on lap five. He rode the same machine to walk away with the production machine race later. [Motor Cycle 2/7/69]
July 4th & 5th at Barcelona 24 Hour Race: The Gus Kuhn Norton Commando shared by Dave Croxford and Mick Andrew took the lead from the Le Mans-style getaway, chased by the Wittich/Melody Commando, the Uphill/Jolly Triumph and the winning Bultacos. ....... Just before the six hour mark the Gus Kuhn Commando was in trouble. It clanked to a standstill half a mile beyond the pits; and Mick Andrew had to push it a mile and a half, the last part uphill, to get back to the pits. He arrived completely exhausted and had to have first aid. Unfortunately his efforts were unavailing, for the gearbox mainshaft had broken. [Motor Cycle News] Race won by Canellas & Rocamora (360 Bultaco).
July 19th Saturday at Castle Combe: British Championship round. Dave Croxford (Kuhn Seeley) won the 500 race and Mick Andrew is 4th in the 350 race on a Kuhn Seeley.
Dave Croxford giving it all he's got, in his usual style, on the 350 Gus Kuhn Seeley.
Photo from the Gus Kuhn archive
August 3rd Sunday at Lydden: "Lydden's first Lord, Charlie Sanby now in semi-retirement, took a 750cc Gus Kuhn Commando to the Kent circuit and smashed the 70 mph race average barrier during a gripping unlimited race tussle with Dave Croxford on a 500 Seeley from the same stable. Sanby on his own AJS, again got the better of Croxford on his smaller Seeley in the 350 final but he failed by the narrowest of margins to prevent Croxford's team-mate Mick Andrew from taking the Victor's laurels." [Motor cycle News, 6/8/69] Mick could not take part in the big race due to a dud spark plug.
August 10th Sunday at Brands Hatch: Hutchinson 100 International run on the short circuit in reverse. Although Rod Gould scooped the lion's share of the spoils and Mick Andrew notched two brilliant wins, it was Santiago Herrero who stole the show. Though Andrew led all the way in the production race, Tony Smith (650 BSA Spitfire) rode superbly to make a record lap and harry Andrew on every corner. [Motor Cycle 13/8/69] Andrew, in most impressive style, took his Kuhn Commando to an inches victory from Tony Smith's works BSA in the production machine race and hung on to an equally slender lead to chalk up victory number two in the 350 event. In the Senior championship events he rode to a pair of second places. [Motor cycle News, 13/8/69]
August 18th Monday at Andover: Giacomo Agostini opened an 'air of mystery' with a flying visit to the Norton Villiers factory at Andover. He flew to Thruxton by private plane from London and was entertained by NV officials. It is understood that Ago has shown an interest in production machine racing and is keen to learn more details of the 750 Norton Commando. Waiting at Thruxton were Vincent Davey of Gus Kuhn Motors and the Gus Kuhn Commando rider, Mick Andrew. They had brought their Kuhn Commando machines with them in anticipation of Ago testing them. But the World Champion declined the opportunity of a ride and limited his interest to talks at this stage. [Motor Cycle]