Saturday 25th March 1899
Born on this day, Herbert (Burt) James Munro, a New Zealand motorcycle racer. He is famous for setting an under-1000cc world record, 183.586 mph (295.453 km/h), at Bonneville in 26 August 1967. This record still stands today. Burt Munro was 68 and was riding a 47-year old machine when he set his last record. Working from his home in Invercargill, he worked for 20 years to highly modify the 1920 Indian motorcycle which he had bought in 1920. Munro set his first New Zealand speed record in 1938 and later set seven more. He traveled to compete at the Bonneville Salt Flats, attempting to set world speed records. During his ten visits to the salt flats, he set three speed records, one of which still stands today. His efforts, and success, are the basis of the motion picture The World’s Fastest Indian (2005), starring Anthony Hopkins, and an earlier 1971 short documentary film Burt Munro: Offerings to the God of Speed– both directed by Roger Donaldson.