Few New Zealanders, let alone anyone in the rest of the world, knew about Burt Munro (1899–1978) until Roger Donaldson’s The World’s Fastest Indian hit movie screens in 2005. All of a sudden everyone had heard of this eccentric Invercargill mechanic who, in 1967, aged 68, set the under-1000cc speed record of 295kph (183mph) on a 1920 Indian Scout bike. He had spent years modifying the bike and testing it at Oreti Beach.

His stock has been rising around Invercargill ever since the movie’s release, with a display in the museum, a statue outside Queens Park, the original bike in E. Hayes and Sons Ltd shop, and the annual Burt Munro Challenge, four days of speedway and street racing, a hill climb and, of course, beach racing each November.

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