Book: One Good Run: The legend of Burt Munro - Tim Hanna

cider_and_toast

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The story if the "Worlds Fastest Indian" came to most peoples attention via the film of the same name staring Anthony Hopkins. Like all Hollywood movies however, there is some liberties taken with the truth and some bending on the facts to fit a time line required by the movie.

Burt Munro was born into farming on New Zealands southern isle. He lost his older brother at an early age and was raised to be the man of the house by his father. He took an interest in engineering from an early age, designing an aircraft that his father wouldn't let him fly because he thought it was too dangerous and a cannon from a tree trunk to defend his family farm during the first world war.

Burt developed a love for motorbikes and entered several GP races in the interwar years and took several speed and time trial records. The "Fastest Indian" in question was an Indian Scout Motorbike that Burt was constantly modifying way beyond it's original specification. He eventually managed to get enough funds together to take the bike over to the states and run it during speed week at the Bonneville salt flats. Much of what you see in the film did take place however it was over several years and many different runs. While in the film they claim that the bike is recorded at over 200mph this isn't strictly true. The bike did touch this speed on an uncompleted run however it didn't stand as a record because Burt crashed. Some of the records that Burt did set in the bikes capacity class do still stand to this day.

The story of Burt Monro is a fascinating one, in parts is extremely funny and not just for those of you who like motorsport on two wheels. Another C_A_T recommend for the Xmas list.

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