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Thread: sporting heroes

  1. #1
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    peterpan's Avatar
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    sporting heroes

    I have few "heroes" I mean people that you REALLY admire. Amongst the few would be Stirling Moss, I suppose because when I was a lad he was the epitome of a real racing driver. I once sat next to him on a flight from Singapore, and he turned out to be a real nice guy.

    Chay Blyth, What a sailor that man was, tough as fuck, the way real Brit sporting heroes used to be.

    Next would be Bert Munroe, this is the guy who the film "the worlds fastest indian" was based on. Bert was a New Zealander who didnít understand the meaning of the word impossible. From the age of 63 he made numerous trips to The Bonniville salt flats with his ancient and well modified Indian motorcyle in the quest for speed at a time of life when most people would be spending the rest of their life in a rocking chair.He virtually hand built this bike over the years chasing greater speeds.
    He manufactured his
    own barrels, flywheels, pistons, cams and followers and lubrication system. In their final form he in effect hand-carved his con-rods from a Caterpillar tractor axle, and hardened and tempered them to 143 tons tensile strength. He built a seventeen plate, thousand pound pressure clutch and used a triple chain drive. He experimented with streamlining and, in its final form, the bike was completely enclosed in a streamlined shell.
    The bike that started as a 1915 indian scout of 600cc with a top speed of about 55 MPH, Bert took to over 200 MPH. He held speed records in NZ, Australia and the USA.
    He made his own barrels, flywheels, pistons, cams and followers and lubrication system. In their final form he in effect hand-carved his con-rods from a Caterpillar tractor axle, and hardened and tempered them to 143 tons tensile strength. He built a seventeen plate, thousand pound pressure clutch and used a triple chain drive. He experimented with streamlining and, in its final form, the bike was completely enclosed in a streamlined shell.

    He had had a iron will and was never daunted by names or fame, when I heard that Mae West was in the same hotel as he he wandered up to her room and knocked on the door expecting a welcome in and a shag. Didnít get it thoí.
    He also went to Washington to see Pres Eisenhower and was rather pissed off that he wasnít allowed into the white house to see him. On his numerous trips to the USA he had a steady stream of offers from females ready and willing to jump his bones. It is believed he didnít turn many down.

    Bert was a true motorcyclist as evidenced by his reply when a freind admitted to him that he had never ridden a motorcycle.
    Berts reply wšs "Golly, you might as well be dead then"
    There canít be good living where there is not good drinking

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    PP,what about Britten....

    John Kenton Britten (August 1, 1950September 5, 1995) was a New Zealand mechanical engineer who designed a world-record-setting motorcycle with innovative features which were years ahead of contemporary design.

    John Britten was born to Bruce and Ruvae Britten at Christchurch at 10 minutes to midnight and his sister Marguerite just after midnight, so although they were twins they celebrated
    their birthdays on different dates. Even in birth he showed he was destined to be "different".

    A dyslexic, he needed to have exam questions read to him at school and during his tertiary education, and his answers recorded by a writer, but that didn't stop him from developing into a remarkable engineer and architectural designer.

    His childhood heroes were notable fellow New Zealanders, Richard PearseBill Hamilton (father of the jet boat), Bruce McLarenMcLaren Formula One Team), and Burt Munro (world record motorcycle speedster and subject of the film The World's Fastest Indian). In his own short lifetime, Britten was regularly and favourably compared with all of his heroes. (pioneer aviator), (champion driver and founder of the
    Britten completed a four-year mechanical engineering course at night school before joining ICI as a cadet draughtsman, giving him a wide range of work experience including mould design, pattern design, metal spinning and various mechanical engineering designs.
    John travelled to England where he worked for four months with Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners on a highway design linking the M1 to the M4.

    Back in New Zealand he was design engineer for Rowe Engineering, designing off-road equipment and heavy machinery. In 1976, he built glass kilns and went into business as a fine artist designing and making hand-made glass lighting, later joining the family property management and development business.

    John worked on motorcycle design for some years, developing innovative methods using composite materials and performance engine designs. He created the Britten Motorcycle Company in 1992 to produce revolutionary machines to his own design made of light materials and using engines he built himself, which became famous around the world.

    His Britten motorcycles won races and set numerous speed records on the international circuits, and astounded the motorcycle world in 1991 when they came a remarkable second and third against the factory machines in the Battle of the Twins at Daytona, USA.

    One of Britten's radical motorcycles is on permanent display at Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum of New Zealand in Wellington. However there has been some controversy over whether the machine on display is a genuine racer or just a "shadow bike", assembled from spare parts.

    New Zealand mourned in 1995 when John died aged 45 after a brief illness related to cancer.
    Last edited by Little Chuchok; 17-01-2007 at 01:46 PM.

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