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Classic Motorcycle Mecca now home to Burt Munro tribute

  • 21 August 2019

Invercargill has a thing with wheels – and a lot of that has to do with one man.

Burt Munro is a legend here in Southland, and at Classic Motorcycle Mecca we are proud to be able to share his story with visitors from around the world.

For Burt’s son, John Munro, it was his father’s ability to make his mark on the world stage that has made him nothing short of a hometown hero.

"It was, as someone said to me once, 'Burt Munro put Invercargill on the map again'. I think that national and international recognition, that is what locals do appreciate. To see one of their own was able to do those things, people feel quite proud of that," he says.

That pride in a local legend played a key role in the decision to incorporate a tribute area to Burt Munro when Classic Motorcycle Mecca underwent an expansion, completed in early 2019.

Classic Motorcycle Mecca is now home to a tribute to Burt Munro, and includes the Roger Donaldson documentary 'Offerings to the God of Speed', a replica of Burt’s workshop, various trophies and even a photo opportunity for fans.

The area is a hit with visitors from around the world.

Long after Burt Munro set his first New Zealand speed record in 1938, and decades after he set more records still at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, his legacy lives on.

John regularly hears from people who say the Burt Munro story has encouraged them to pursue their own goals.

"He’s had that impression on an awful lot of people around the world … it’s that single-mindedness about a goal or a target."

John doesn’t recall many specific Father’s Day spent with his Dad – "but if it was a day off, I was probably out working with Dad in the garage in Tramway Road".

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