10.03pm, Sunday 9th August, Ascot Park Hotel, Invercargill, South Island, New Zealand
**weather check – occasional sleet, drizzle, 3 degrees C
Evening folks – a quick one before lights out for the motorbike fans, the film buffs, and people who like to see the underdog get up. Enter Burt Munro, one of Invercargill’s favourite sons…..immortalised on film not so long ago by Anthony Hopkins in ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’. Here’s a fabulous story about an ordinary bloke with an extraordinary passion for mechanical stuff, motorbikes, and going really rally fast. He takes a seriously self modified 1920 Indian Scout from his Invercargill home garage to the Bonneville salt flats in Utah in 1967….and sets a world speed records for motorcycles under 1000cc that still stands today! And guess what? You can see the real thing, that exact same motorcycle…..on display with a stack of the bits and pieces that Burt modified over the years…..in the middle of the E. Hayes & Son Hardware Store, 168 Dee Street, Invercargill.
Now what’s the World’s Fastest Indian doing in a hardware store? Turns out that Norman Hayes of the hardware store owning family was a friend of Burts, and raced and mucked about with modifying motorbikes in the same small town at the same time. So…..when Burt gave it away…..the Hayes family bought the bike so that it wouldn’t leave the town. There’s a huge number of motorcycles and cars on display through the store, not forgetting the old tool showcases, or the old scientific approach to horse shoeing! There’s also one of the 1920 Indian Scout replicas made for the movie, and for a donation to the local hospice, you can get your photo taken in (it’s a pretty tight space!) or with “The World’s Fastest Indian”! Has to go close to the best souveneir you can take home from Invercargill! I chose the T shirt!
So thanks a huge amount to E Hayes & Son Hardware……it’s there on display every day, no entry fee…..in Dee Street, Invercargill.Thats a really magic thing, and a top reminder that actually………great things come in parcels of all shapes and sizes from very interesting corners of the globe! Don’t miss this if you’re ever in the area….and its got to be the best hardware store I’ve seen as well!
See you when it’s Monday, and we’re talking wine in Invercargill.