Monday, August 20, 2012

If Anyone Can, The Kiwi Can

Remember that '70s advertising line "If anyone can, the Kiwi can"?
Following in the footsteps (er, tyretracks) of legendary NZer Burt Munro, a team of Kiwis has smashed a world speed record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats, confirming their car as the world's fastest Mini.
They were told they didn't have a hope of even passing the tech inspection (let alone breaking the record) but their do-it-yourself attitude saw their 1964 Mini Cooper S reach an average speed of 235.9km/h!
Project '64 spokesman Mike Wilson: "We had people telling us a short car at that sort of speed would spin, but it just went beautifully - tracked down the line and had a huge amount of power."
To confirm the world record, the Mini had to complete the feat twice. They recorded 229km/h on their first run a week ago, and 243km/h on their second on Saturday. The previous world land speed record for a production car under 1000cc was 205km/h and the fastest time (unofficially) recorded by a mini was 196km/h.
Wilson: "One of the famous things that Burt Munro said was that anyone can go out and buy a new bike and go fast, but it's much more interesting and much more of a challenge to take something old and go fast, so that's why we used a 48yr.old Mini."
In 1962, at 63, Burt Munro famously set off for Bonneville with an Indian Scout motorcycle he'd bought in 1920, immortalised in the film The World's Fastest Indian. His 1967 speed of 295km/h still stands today as the world speed record for under 1000cc motorbikes with a streamliner.
After they broke the record, the team had the opportunity to try to go even faster, and they did, reaching 252km/h. However, for the speed to officially register, the car had to repeat its performance and they had technical difficulties before their second run. The team's considering returning to Bonneville to push their Mini even further.
Just goes to show - Kiwis can fly! Nice one, you mad buggers!!

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