"The World's Fastest Indian"

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bjphoenix

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We were watching this movie tonight. If anybody doesn't know it is about a man who modified an old motorcycle to break a land speed record, the motorcycle had a full fairing to make it a "streamliner". At one point in the movie he is going at high speed and the bike starts wobbling. Later he is explaining to a group that he needs to have the center of pressure behind the center of gravity. Of course we all understand that at high speed a wheeled vehicle needs aerodynamic stability just like a rocket does. I thought it was a very unusual detail to include in a movie. I remember reading in a car magazine many years ago where the writers were modifying a firebird for a speed record attempt. They wanted to be sure to have plenty of traction at high speed on the salt flats so they put a lot of weight in the trunk. Is everybody thinking ahead here... it did just what you would expect and ended up at high speed not going nose first down the track. When I read that I was thinking "well duh, I know better than that".
 
I remember reading about Bert Monroe when I was a kid, talking about how his motorcycle had been so modified that even the frame was no longer what you could call stock. When the movie came out I dragged some friends to an arthouse theater in downtown NYC, and we all had a good time. I believe Bert's record still stands. The movie is a condensed and highly innaccurate re-telling of events that happened over several Land Speed record attempts, that said, the script and director had their hearts in the right place and they did a very good job making the film. Its a favorite I own on DVD, and I don't own many movies.

Bert and Art Arfons are personal heroes of mine, because they did; with very little money, what others with sponsors and big bucks couldn't, because they thought out-of-the-box and were very creative coming up with solutions. Neither had any kind of engineering background, yet with enough tinkering and just thinking the problem through, came up with some spectacular stuff.
 
Art Arfons are personal heroes of mine, because they did; with very little money, what others with sponsors and big bucks couldn't, because they thought out-of-the-box and were very creative coming up with solutions.

Art Arfons. Now there’s a character. Tractor mechanic turned LSR holder. Art needs a movie as well.
 
The movie is a condensed and highly inaccurate re-telling of events that happened over several Land Speed record attempts
I could spot lots of inaccuracies WRT what was happening at Bonneville. I had to look up various details about Bert while watching the movie. He went to Bonneville many times, some visits more successful than others. He does have some records that still stand.
 
The sad thing is many "biographical" movies veer so far from the truth that they are fiction. I understand the need to condense time frames and combine several real-world people into one character, but wholesale fiction is not forgivable.

Years ago, I went to the theater and watched the movie about Harriet Tubman. When I got home, it took me about 15 minutes to find out much of it was fiction. And I am not referring to details, but major plot points were total fabrications. Her real story was amazing, it didn't need made up stuff to "enhance" the story
 
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