Jack Canfield

Inducted 2003 – Competitor – Motorcycle Racing – Road Racing

 

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.