Burt Munro collectibles will be racing out the door
Burt Munro's legacy will be remembered in true Southland style with bike auctions and beach races already catching the interest of locals.
For the 50th anniversary of Burt Munro's world land speed record being set at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, a charity auction and Oreti Beach motorcycle races are set to take place in August.
At a charity auction organised by E Hayes & Sons, an Indian Scout motorcycle and other bikes and collectibles will be up for sale, with the money made going to Hospice Southland.
On August 26, 1967, Burt Munro took his Indian Scout Streamliner to the Bonneville Salt Flats and made history. He set an under-1000cc land speed record, which still stands.
Munro was 68 years old at the time and was riding a 47-year-old Indian machine.
E Hayes & Sons owner Neville Hayes said 20 items would be up for sale, with motorcycle enthusiasts already showing their interest.
Among the items to feature in the auction will be a 2017 Indian Scout 100hp, 1133cc, V-twin motorcycle with a customised anniversary tank, a customised commemorative anniversary helmet, and boxing gloves autographed by Joseph Parker and Kevin Barry Jr..
There had been a lot of interest on social media in the auction and there was still plenty of time for ticket sales, Hayes said.
"The whole thing is gathering a bit of spirit," he said.
Hayes hoped to raise about $70,000 for Hospice Southland.
"Hospice is a great organisation to support," he said. "We've [E Hayes & Sons] always been pro Hospice ... It's always been close to my heart."
The charity auction would be on August 26 at Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill.
The milestone was something that needed to be celebrated, Hayes said.
Southland Motorcycle Club vice-president Steve Winteringham said the club decided beach racing at Oreti Beach would be a fitting tribute to mark Munro's achievement.
"This is Southland's way of marking the occasion," he said.
The day would include a "have a go" component, for the public to ride their motorcycles on the beach, he said.
The club wanted to pay tribute to Munro on Oreti Beach, which was Munro's "old stomping ground", before the 2018 Burt Munro Challenge in February, Winteringham said.
"We thought we would do something special and obviously the beach is where he did all his training."
The event would double as the national beach racing championships, and the club was also looking into holding an electric motorcycle beach race, which was probably a first in New Zealand, Winteringham said.