I've been doing a bit of research recently in regards to cycling speed records and also motor-pacing, mostly inspired after seeing the Rapha video on framebuilder Donhou. There's some incredible achievements and stories on this going back as far as 1899 when a chap called Charles Minthorn Murphy covered a mile in one minute using a train as the pacer, by one record and story that really stands out for me is that of Jose Meiffret. For those that haven't come across this before have a read of the below;http://cycling.ahands.org/bicycling/datewithdeath.html
His own personal story is amazing, nevermind his actual record, which whilst others have now beaten, to me still stands head and shoulders above, Fred Rompelberg holds the current record, however his run was conducted on the salt flats, behind a dragster that was no doubt capable of another 100mph and on a specially designed bike, he was also attached to the dragster until he reached a certain speed.
To me this has none of the wonder of Meiffrets 127mph record, done on an Autobahn, on a bike which appears to be pretty regular, just with a huge chainwheel, reversed forks (!) and knackered tubulars on wooden rims!! And behind a Mercedes 300SL, which despite being a very fast car in its day, would have been absolutely flat out at 127mph with the tent like structure on the back, the sheer level of bravery and skill defies belief.
However I've now hit a dead end, the date with death article has given me most of the info I have, but other than this there's hardly any more records I can find.
I want to know how he became orphaned, what his role was during the war, who captured him, who built his bike or assisted him, what the full extent of his injuries were after the Montlhery crash, if there are any books on him other than the ones he wrote, accounts from those present on the day of the 127mph record (I've tried to track down any report or comment from the driver of the car, Adolf Zimber, but I've found nothing) And anything else that anyone else has!
It seems odd to me as in my view you could make a pretty good film out of this guys life and his records, yet very little is out there.