Garfield Smith PDF Print E-mail
Written by BMWVMCA NEWS   
Saturday, 14 January 2012


by Richard Sheckler

March 23, 2011,  Petrolia, Ontario  Canada; Garfield John Smith  - Aged 61 passed away suddenly, in San Antonio, Texas. Beloved husband of Kathryn. Loving step- father of David and his wife Jillian and Chris and his wife Ashlyn. Affectionate grandfather of Laine and Cade. Survived by his brother Stewart and his wife Elisabeth, sister Frances and her husband Ed Browne and brother Ross and his wife Jannie, five nieces and two nephews. Predeceased by his father Morris Smith, mother Deborah Pearce and nephew Aaron Browne. Gar graduated from the University of Waterloo in 1973 with a B.Sc. in Chemistry and worked in the Water Treatment industry for most of his career. He retired from G.E.-Betz in 2006. Gar was a member and past president of the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group and a member of the BMW Motorcycle Owners Association. The greatest joy in Gar's life was when he and Kathryn retired early and started working on their bucket list. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service to celebrate Garfield's life was held on Saturday, May 7, 2011, at 3:00 p.m. at SMITH FUNERAL HOME, 1576 London Line, Sarnia. In lieu of flowers, sympathy may be expressed through donations to the Sarnia & District Humane Society, the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Museum, or the Arthritis Society (cheques only at the funeral home please). Memories and condolences may be sent online at     

I first had the pleasure of meeting Gar Smith at Bonnie and Bruce Williams’ annual Allegheny Meet near Evans City, PA in August 1992.    

Gar impressed me as a fine and friendly man.     

He mentioned that he had a 1949 R24 project bike. He said he always wanted a bike made in the year of his birth. I expressed an interest in it when he said he thought it was beyond restoration. He said because of the year made, he preferred not to sell it.    

In 2002, Gar had acquired another 1949 R24 in excellent condition and was curious about whether I might still have an interest in the first one.    

I did.  I arrived at Gar’s place close to lunch time, and he treated me to the kind of lunch enjoyed as a kid: Campbell’s Cream of Tomato Soup with Gorganzola cheese on toast. What a fine memory of a fellow rider and collector. 

Richard Sheckler 


The R24 had been altered to take a lawnmower engine strapped to the top of the crankcase. This included swaging a pulley onto the nose of the crankshaft and removing part of the crankcase casting to make room for the belt. With the connecting rod torched off, this set up must have worked for a while, at least until the main bearings tied up.




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