Back to the crime scene

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THE 50-year pilgrimage has been completed.

Holding a traffic offence notice dated 1968 in one hand, Ian Rennie, from Australia, had a confession.

He hadn’t paid the fine.

It was December 30, almost 50 years ago when he made the fateful decision to try out Oreti Beach, just as his idol Burt Munro had.

“It was New Year’s Eve… and I was a young lad.”

However, his vehicle of choice had double the wheels – a Vauxhall Victor PXG.

Aged 19 at the time, it seemed like a good idea, until the Invercargill City Council traffic officer pulled him over and issued him the notice – “exceeding 20mph beach limit”.

His “estimated” speed was recorded at 40mph, much less than Munro probably ever did.

“Of course, it’s the history… we all knew Burt Munro and wanted to go fast,” he said.

Five decades on, Mr Rennie decided this was the year to check out the Burt Munro Challenge as Munro’s epic Bonneville world land-speed record 50th anniversary was last year and his traffic notice was almost 50 years old.

“I am an admirer of what he did… he did it all himself… no one sponsored him.”

A member of the Historic Motor Cycle Club of Queensland in Brisbane, Mr Rennie has “a shed full of Indians”, aged from 1915 to a 2015, signed by Burt’s son, John Munro.

Mr Rennie said he was organising the 2018 Veterans Centenary Rally at Peaks Crossing, Brisbane, June 15-21, and was expecting at least 60 motorcycles.

Mr Rennie said he would have liked to have met the traffic officer who had issued the ticket, and had made inquiries, without success.

His vehicle of choice at Oreti Beach this year was a 1969 Yamaha RD6 250cc.

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