Burt Munro (Anthony Hopkins) is a funny older man living in a one room garage shack, who's idea of mowing the lawn is setting it on fire. When he turned 21, he bought the first love of his life, his 1920 Indian Motorcycle with a 600 cc engine. Burt was determined to have the fastest speed possible from the bike and altered many parts of the exterior to make it more streamline.
In 1967, at age 68, Burt had a mild heart attack and was put on nitre glycerin tablets and told he could no longer ride his bike. Instead, he sailed to the United States, along with his carefully wrapped Indian. His intentions were to get to Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats in order to break the world's land speed record .
Having never been to the U.S. before, Burt had no idea what to expect. Once in Los Angeles while waiting for his bike in customs, Burt finds shelter at a hotel primarily used by prostitutes. He's befriended by it's manager, a transvestite, and meets a group of colorful people along his journey including Fernando (Paul Rodriguez), a car dealer who helps teach him to drive on the opposite side of the road.
When he finally arrives at the salt flats, he's told his machine is not up to standards and unsafe to ride. He's also told he hadn't officially entered the race and sadly, he's also too old to ride. Luckily, Burt has met a new friend, an American driver Jim Moffett (Chris Lawford), who is able to pull some strings which allows Burt to have the ride of his life.
Director: Roger Donaldson
Writer: Roger Donaldson
Producers: Roger Donaldson, Gary Hannam