Back in the day the AMA honored its riders who moved on to world championship competition during the association’s annual awards banquet. Here’s a photo from the 1984 AMA Racing Awards Banquet with Eddie Lawson showing off his first 500cc Grand Prix World Championship plate. That’s Dave Despain with the mic serving as emcee and the late great Bill Boyce, former AMA competition director also on the stage.
If you saw “The World’s Fastest Indian” starring Anthony Hopkins, you already know what a great movie it was. The inspiring story of New Zealander Burt Munro, who fulfilled a lifelong wish of coming to America to run his beloved Indian on the Bonneville Salt Flats, is one of the best motorcycle movies ever made. If you haven’t seen the movie buy the DVD.
Marty Dickerson, the American speed ace famous for setting speed records aboard Vincents during the 1950s, helped Munro when the Kiwi came to the U.S. Four decades later he played an integral part in helping with the movie by supplying Anthony Hopkins with audio taped interviews of Munro that Dickerson recorded in the 1960s.
“I saw Anthony Hopkins during the filming at Bonneville and asked him if he’d listened to the tapes,” Dickerson said. “He said he had and thanked me, telling me it helped him learn a lot about Burt. I think he really captured Burt’s essence in the movie, so I was happy that I contributed in some way.”Dickerson said that he was originally supposed to have a small walk-on part in the movie, but a windstorm destroyed the set on the day he was to be filmed and he didn’t want to wait around three days while it was rebuilt.
When asked what Dickerson thought about actor Walton Goggins’ portrayal of him, Dickerson laughed and said, “He did a really good job and they even made him look like me. The only thing was he was a lot taller and skinner than I am and the actor who played Rollie Free was about a foot taller than Rollie and had hair, but other than that I thought they did a great job.”
In 1996, when Dickerson was 70-years-old, he brought out the trusty old Vincent for one final encore and set a vintage land speed mark.