By Titus Bloom, February 4, 2015
In America we are continually impressed by the sheer numbers of racing enthusiasts in the little-populated large land of Australia. Dozens of Kaase Boss Nine hot rod engines have left our shores destined for the land Down-under.
But have you ever contemplated the engineering accomplishments from the even smaller population of New Zealand?
The World’s Fastest Indian
Bert Munro was a phenomenon from Invercargill, located at the very tip of the South Island. He developed a 1920’s Indian motorcycle that became so successful on the Bonneville Salt Flats a movie was made to celebrate his achievements, many of which were financed in later life by his weekly pension. Munro’s Bonneville record of 1967 remains unbroken today.
Then a generation later, John Britten emerged. Another Kiwi with a brilliant creative mind, Britten began his career as a sculptor and later as an outstanding architect. But in unaccountable contrast, for anyone who stood in the pits at Daytona in 1995 and witnessed his Britten 1000cc V-twin being started on the rollers, its irregular air-cracking staccato would remain indelibly in the memory. It competed against the best factory machines of the time and defeated them.