Flying Freddie Dixon & Cleveland Precision Motorcycles

Cleveland Precision Motorcycles were built in Middlesbrough by William Egerton Price, who later became the town’s mayor. The bikes were sold through Pallister, Yare and Cobb of Linthorpe Road. The company offered 3.5 hp and 4.25hp models fitted with Precision engines, Druid forks, belt drive and options of a Villiers free-engine clutch or a  Sturmey Archer three speed. Sadly the cost of shipping the various parts used to assemble the bikes proved uneconomic and only 14 bikes were ever built.

In 1912 one of the bikes was loaned to a young Stockton-born motorcycle racer called Freddie Dixon. Freddie took the bike to the Isle of Man to compete in the annual TT. Sadly, the bike performed poorly in the race but this just the start for young Freddie.

During the First World War Freddie served in the Motor Transport Department of the Army Service Corps rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant Major. On returning home Freddie opened his own garage in Ayresome Street, Middlesbrough, he later moved to larger premises at the Park Garage on Linthorpe Road.

Freddie continued to race motorcycles and won a number of Grand Prix & TT races both at home and abroad and broke many speed records (30 in total). Freddie’s success earned him the nicknames, Flying Freddie, Fearless Freddie, The Wild Indian and Win or Bust Dixon. Later in his racing career Freddie switched from two wheels to four and continued to win races, including the famous Brooklands 500 miles event.

In 1937 Freddie retired from racing and moved to Reigate in Surrey, leaving his brother in charge of the garage business. Freddie was regarded as a world expert in engines and worked on the development of new engines for the automotive industry. Freddie died 5th of November, 1956 aged 64.

Sources

British Motorcyles

Heritage Stockton – Flying Freddie Dixon

Teesside Sporting Greats. Eric Paylor & John Wilson 2000

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