TodayApril 15, 2022

The World’s Fastest Indian 50th Anniversary

Burt Munro Indian Motorcycle movie

I was talking to the producer, Roger Donaldson, about his upcoming film, McLaren. I mentioned that this was his second film about a Kiwi and speed and he said, “yes, in fact, I am on my way to Bonneville now to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Burt Munro’s iconic land speed record on an Indian Motorcycle by watching Burt’s great-nephew, Kiwi road racer Lee Munro, recreate the historic run on August 13th.”

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 50 years since Burt Munro took his Indian Scout Streamliner to the Bonneville Salt Flats and made history – a story immortalized by the feature film, The World’s Fastest Indian, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins.

“Motorcycling is about shedding boundaries and limitations to go beyond the norm, and there is no better example of that than Burt Munro,” said Reid Wilson, Indian Motorcycle Marketing Director. “Driven by unparalleled determination and a legendary passion for the pursuit, Burt Munro embodies the spirit of Indian Motorcycle, and we couldn’t be prouder to honor his legacy with an updated version of his historic record on the Bonneville Salt Flats in August.”

Lee Munro will pilot a modern Indian Scout with a powertrain modified by the Indian Motorcycle

Lee Munro will pilot a modern Indian Scout with a powertrain modified by the Indian Motorcycle

Maybe Donaldson is going up to Bonneville to honor Munro; maybe he’s going up to see if there could be a second edition of the World’s Fastest Indian by the young scout, Lee. It certainly is the story dreams, and movies, are made of; Lee Munro will pilot a modern Indian Scout with a powertrain modified by the Indian Motorcycle engineering team to become the world’s fastest modern Indian motorcycle. The attempt will not break Burt’s record but instead will honor his storied legacy in the world of motorcycling.

Indian Motorcycle Munro history

Born and raised in Invercargill, New Zealand, the same town as his great uncle Burt, Lee Munro first began his life on two wheels via the high-adrenaline sport of downhill mountain biking. After winning many local races, even finishing fifth in the 2002 New Zealand Championship, Lee entered into motorcycle road racing. He won his first race and captured numerous titles on every road and street race circuit in the South Island of New Zealand. With plans to race the Isle of Man, Lee attended the Manx GP in 2016 to gain knowledge of the track and better prepare himself. Most recently, Lee won the vintage class at the Methven Street Races earlier this year on a 1941 Indian motorcycle.

The Indian’s team of engineers worked to produce a motorcycle worthy of the event and volunteered to be a part of this historic attempt, working on the project “after hours.” The team will undergo several test runs in El Mirage, Calif. before Lee Munro takes to the Salt Flats of Bonneville.

“My uncle Burt was a significant inspiration for my own racing career, and his appetite for speed is clearly a part of my DNA,” said Lee Munro, the grandson of Burt’s first cousin. “What Indian Motorcycle is doing is fantastic, and I couldn’t be prouder to partner with them and pilot my own Scout at Bonneville in honor of my Uncle and the 50th anniversary of his historic record.”

If you can make it to Bonneville on August 13th, you’ll get to see history in the making. Me, I’m waiting for the movie by Roger Donaldson. And one of those t-shirts!

Lee Munro takes to the Salt Flats of Bonneville

Lee Munro takes to the Salt Flats of Bonneville

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.