Mat Oxley

‘Has there ever been a wealthier British motorcycle engineer?’

The 20th century produced several great generations, people who lived lives we can scarcely imagine today, and George Patchett was one.

Patchett was a dashing character who won motorcycle races at Brooklands, designed motorcycles in Britain and Europe, designed one of the most famous machine guns of the era and successfully sued the British government over his weapon. Like most top racers of the era, Patchett was as good an engineer as he was a rider. In 1925, he was working at Brough Superior when he rode an SS100 (the machine beloved of Lawrence of Arabia) to victory in the Welsh TT, a 100-mile beach race on Pendine Sands.

The following summer, the on-the-move Patchett went to Derby-based brand McEvoy, where he signalled the future by becoming the first man to win a motorcycle race at Brooklands using a supercharged engine.