Jack Canfield

Inducted 2003

Known throughout the Maritimes as Atlantic Canada’s motorsports icon, Jack Canfield was a motorcycle and car racer, the driving force behind the construction and development of Atlantic Motorsport Park, an international ambassador for Canadian motorsport and a mentor to literally hundreds of competitors. He started racing motorcycles when he was only 14 years old and collected trophies for victories in scrambles, hill climbs, trials and dirt-track races. That was in the 1940s. In the 1950s, as well as continuing to pile up the wins in Nova Scotia, he was off to compete in road races in New Brunswick and Ontario. In the 1960s, he raced – and won – at Mosport Park, Daytona International Raceway and Briar Motorsport Park in New Hampshire. One victory of note, in the Canadian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Mosport, came on a home-modified Suzuki 250 over Suzuki’s own factory team. Suzuki was so impressed, they offered him a sponsorship. That same year, he was a founding member of the Atlantic Motorcycle Competition Riders’ Association. In 1973, Canfield spearheaded the building of Atlantic Motorsport Park at Shubenacadie, N.S., just up the road from Halifax. On Aug. 2, 1974, he rode the first lap of the new track and was in charge of continuing development and maintenance at the circuit until his untimely passing in 2003. The opening of AMP got his competitive juices flowing and he decided to try his hand at car racing. He destroyed his first car – a Formula Vee – as well as one of his legs in a practice crash. But his next car, a Datsun 510, saw him win the Maritime Road Racing Championship in that class. But his true love was motorcycles and, putting the cars aside, he raced through the 1990s and into the new millenium in vintage events. He was honoured for his contributions many steps along the way.

Comments

  1. Stephen Caissie says:

    I was a part of the Canfield clan from 1987-1991 as I as living with his oldest daughter Wanda. It was a great time of my life as they got me into motorcycle racing and jack offered me to saddle up the 74 S3 kawi and go vintags racing. After one year of that I got a CBR a d went production racing with a class victory in 1991. The Canfields were and always will be held in high regard in my thoughts. Thanks for the memories Jack. You were the best. I will always remember the drinks of rum and a smoke in the garage as we worked on next weekends lap times and getting in some bench racing.

    Stephen

  2. Being in the motorcycle repair and salvage parts retirement hobby, I received a normal telephone call this early this week. The caller stated they had 3 old motorcycles to dispose of… not knowing what they are… albeit admitting they do not run. The caller also asked if I had heard of Jack Canfield? Originally from Ontario, I had not. I arrived that afternoon with a pickup truck and trailer, to quickly learn this was not a case of a person wanting to simply dispose of only 3 old motorcycles for recycling. This place was clearly, a very busy motorcycle shop at some point long ago, in Oakfield, NS. It’s two, two storey shop buildings were found full of 70’s metric motorcycle parts (both new and used), many motorcycles in various states of incompletion/disassembly, every metric 70’s-looking motorcycle component one can imagine… cabinets filled with stock, full bolt bins, hoards of service manuals and hand-written build bike-build books, and a whopping pile of trophys. I was not equipped to move the contents of the buildings… also knowing not what this long-closed shop was all about, other than when I arrived there was a pile of used race tires outside, and the place stunk of old gasoline. I passed on the home owner’s offer on to a scrap dealer I know. He bought the complete building(s) contents yesterday. Then comes an unlikely call this morning; A fellow in Alberta looking for a carb-set-up for a 70’s Honda CB 750. I had these carbs in my hands two days ago.
    Knowing what I do now, I am contacting the scrap dealer in effort to recover Jack’s trophys, to responsibly donate to the correct “Hall of Fame”. That is itself. is a truck load.
    Rest In Peace Jack. You most certainly have my respects.

    • Gary McKinnon says:

      I can not believe that all of Jacks Bikes and projects would end up in a scrap yard
      I had first met Jack in 1971. I was a new racer then and have spent the last 45 seasons racing and 33 seasons were with jack
      we spent a lot of time together working and building projects at AMP and he is sadly missed.
      Every January on his birthday we have a get together to celebrate his life and the contributions he made to racing
      please help us find some of his trophy’s
      thank you
      Gary McKinnon

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