George Brown

Peter Wonnacott

George Brown ran a successful motorcycle shop in the Old Town for many years. Along with his brother Cliff, who worked as his right-hand man and bike mechanic, he helped to put the Vincent H.R.D. Motorcycle (also made in Stevenage), firmly on the map. Cliff played a large part in many of George’s successes in the sport of motorcycle sprint racing.

Both brothers initially worked at the Vincent Factory before George left to start up his own shop in Stevenage High Street. Cliff joined him a short while later, and worked with him throughout his lifetime.

George broke many world records on the Vincent Works bike ‘Gunga Din’ and later on other bikes such as ‘Nero’ and a supercharged version, aptly named ‘Super Nero’, which the brothers modified mostly using Vincent engines as the powerhouse.

George is seen in the photograph outside his shop with one of his record-breaking sprint bikes along with his two sons Tony and Graham (c. 1972).

[More information about George Brown at his Wikipedia page and on Great North Road and an extract from brother Cliff’s 1981 book, George Brown: Sprint Superstar, fromĀ  Vincent HRD Owners’ Club here (pdf). Ed.]

This page was added on 11/05/2019.

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  • I took my James Comet 99cc M/C to George after the tank had sprung a leak. I’d put the pacer washer in in the wrong order when refitting the tank.

    George said he could fix it tomorrow. I pointed out I needed to travel to Southport, Lancs that night. So George started the job at 5pm. His brother said “You’re not welding the tank here?”. “Yes I’ve rinsed it out with bicarb.” With that his brother called the staff to stand outside on the footpath. I wanted to join them but George was doing it for me, so I prayed we’d be safe… and we were! Thanks to George I got to Southport at 2am.

    In 1963 I emigrated to NZ.

    By John BINNS (05/01/2023)
  • Back in 1965 to 1969, I lived in just round the corner at 27 Julians Road and my Mum and Dad knew George and his wife.. Lovely people, I was very young at the time, but I knew Graham, their son. In fact, I saw Graham racing at Brands Hatch once, sometime in the 1980’s.
    I never realized how much of a legend George was, he was just a friend of the family… Great times back then..

    By Colin Albright (24/03/2022)
  • As a young boy living in the old town I used to look through George Brown’s window in awe at the wonderful machines. In 1975ish I bought a brand new Yamaha RD 200 from him and thought it so special to have bought it from A world Record Holder and it being serviced by such a notable mechanic.

    By Tony Sell (07/01/2022)
  • i bought a new motorbike from George Brown but before that i used to get spares for my tatty old Ariel sports arrow and he had a wooden box of old bits and pieces which he would look through for the bit you needed if a new part was not available and that was free. Good memories

    By Bill Hughes (07/05/2020)