Invercargill is pretty much at the south end of the South Island, and also the home of Burt Munro, who the movie “World’s Fastest Indian” is based on.
The museum in town has an exhibit about him, but his actual Indian motorcycle is on display at the E Hayes hardware store in town.
I was expecting the hardware store to just have his bike sitting in the corner somewhere, but was surprised to find a fairly large display of bikes, cars, and a few odds and ends throughout the store, amongst all the merchandise.
Munro’s 1920 Indian Scout.
It started as a 600cc, but was modified to 1000cc, weighed 93kg/204lbs, ran on methanol, and was officially timed at 308kph/191.34mph (and is said to have unofficially went over 200mph)
And here are some more of the various things found throughout the store
1955 Ariel 1000cc square four (two parallel twins, side by side)
1978 Yamaha 750 (two stroke) with a wacky looking exhaust
1922 Indian Scout, the same bike that Munro started with (along side a tiny Yamaha, which might have to be my niece’s 2nd birthday present)
1935 MSS 500cc Velocette, which also belonged to Munro, and is probably the World’s Fastest Velocette
1951 Vincent in original condition…absolutely beautiful
1965 LVVTA Corvair. Built around a 6 cylinder Corvair motor and a two speed automatic transmission
1954 Matchless G45 500
Munro’s trailer…flooded with sponsorship stickers
125cc that Norman Hayes (owner of the hardware store) built for his daughter in 1948
1918 Indian, in need of some new tires
1954 Victoria Bergmeister 350, the transmission had four sets of chains rather than gears…not really sure of the reasoning behind that, but either way, it’s a great looking bike
1967 BMW R60, which would look far better without that awful fairing
The Crouch Special, built in 1979 by Dave Crouch, in Christchurch. It had a custom frame, Austin Seven car engine, Triumph gearbox, and Suzuki front end, and loads of various handmade parts
This sign says “wooden patterns used for casting of primary cases, home made by Dave Couch” for those of you with old eyes. It’s pretty cool how far he went to make a custom bike.
1964 Velocette Thruxton 500
1929 Indian Sport Scout 750
Various race bikes
1910 Buick, in the Hayes family since 1916
Pedal powered lathes
The Motor Wheel, invented in 1910 for lazy bicyclists
This tiny chain saw, with the description: “Ohlsson & Rice chugger saw – not the greatest chainsaw ever made”
1911 New Hudson 500cc. The same comedian who made the sign for the chain saw must’ve done this one…”This thing is high geared, once in top ear, it fires about once every second day”
This beast of an engine was built buy Norman Hayes in 1980. The fuel tank is a pressure cooker, the float bowl is a jam jar, the muffler is a bedpan, and the water tank is off a toilet. I have no clue what this thing was meant to power, if anything.
So there you have it…quit a bit more in that hardware store than I was expecting.
Also, while I was in Invercargill, I had to head just a bit further south to Bluff, which really is the south end of the South Island. From the viewpoint in town, you can see out to Stewart Island
Cool stop at a little hardware store, wow, love it. I’ve never seen that bmw fairing on the R60, it must be very rare prototype for the cafe racers.