Scene showing shelves in Burt Munro’s shed with failed engine parts. Reproduction courtesy of World's Fastest Indian Holdings

Offerings to the God of Speed 

Another Burt Munro motto was ‘fix it and try again’. In 50 years, he had some 250 motor blow-ups, usually because the con-rods or cylinder sleeves couldn’t take the pace.

With basic equipment and astonishing ingenuity, he’d rebuild the engine ready for the next try. He made cylinder linings out of cast-iron drain pipes and fabricated con-rods from steel Ford-motorcar axles. To make a flywheel he cut a coin-sized slice from a hydraulic ram, and used a steam-driven hammer to flatten it out to about 180mm diameter.

He cast motorbike pistons using melted-down car pistons plus his own additives, and made high-speed tyres by carving the treads off factory-made racing tyres.

His determination paid off. He won many speed trials and race events in New Zealand - then he took on the world.