Fastest Indian does a runner
By HUGH KEARNEY
IS Australia's fastest Indian residing in the Tweed?
The popularity of the movie The World's Fastest Indian has prompted lovers of the historic motorcycle brand to step up the search for Australia's own record-breaking Indian.
Tweed Heads motoring identity Peter Whitaker has been enlisted by his friend and colleague Jim Scaysbrook, editor of Old Bike Australia, to help track down the mystical bike which set speed records in the 1920s.
Mr Scaysbrook is certain the old bike is somewhere on the Tweed, brought here by the son of its previous owner Arthur Parker.
But despite all his efforts, Mr Scaysbrook has not been able to track down the elusive beast and is now appealing for local help.
What is known is that an Indian 1200cc V-twin, similar to the one raced into legend by New Zealander Bert Munro, was converted by Victorian Sid Gower to a sidecar and raced extensively at the Melbourne Motordrome in the 1920s. Its record lap speed of 144km/h (more than 90mph) was never bettered.
The bike became part of a collection owned by the Parker family from Colac in Victoria.
According to information Peter Whitaker has, the collection was later auctioned, but apparently Arthur Parker kept this one machine. It is thought he passed it on to his son who moved to the Tweed some years ago.
Despite some effort in researching the bike's movements, the search has reached a dead-end, with no-one seeming to know the name or whereabouts of the bike's current owner.
"It's a shame when the story of Bert Munro's Indian has been so well documented and was so popular at the movies, yet the fate of Australia's fastest Indian is unknown," Mr Whitaker said.
"They were fantastic bikes for their day and we would dearly love to track it down and accord it due honour."
Anyone who can help find the historic bike can call Mr Whitaker on 0755 995 763.