CC Day Trip: A Hundred Thousand, Harewood, and Another Corvair

I woke up extra early last Saturday, to sneak in a motorcycle ride before anyone else got up.

I hadn’t planned on a long ride, but pulling away from the house I realized that my odometer was at 99,960 kilometers, so I could roll it over a hundred thousand that morning. I formulated my plan to visit the site of Harewood Acres.

But before I got there I pulled over to record the event.  When was the last time you rolled an analog odometer?  Somehow the digital rollover isn’t as significant, it’s just LCD numbers changing, and cars can easily get to three or four hundred thousand.

Remember this?  The long line of nines and they all lock in together to roll, then the all the zeros come up unevenly.  I had to waddle along on the gravel shoulder to do this, not too dignified but at least I didn’t slip and dump the bike 🙂


I mentioned Harewood in my recent post on vintage racing, but it’s a forgotten racetrack. I myself shouldn’t even remember it, Harewood closed when I was three years old but between 1956 and 1970 it was home to some of the earliest serious racing in Canada.

I didn’t have a map, but the site was easy to find. I just needed to follow the stacks south of Jarvis Ontario. The site is now home to the Esso Nanticoke refinery.  Virtually nothing remains of the old racing surface.

One thing that can still be seen is this old gunnery structure (which my phone did not take a good photo of) from a firing range.


Map and Sat view. Gunnery structure circled.

One of the turns at Harewood Acre was named Gunnery turn, and the structure appears in period photos.


As you might have guessed by now, Harewood was built on a WW2 era airfield.


This historical plaque is near the refinery gates.


While I lingered I considered the fate of my 1993 Kawasaki Concours.  I have mixed feelings about this motorcycle and have been thinking about replacing it with something like a VerSys 650.  When sitting in my garage it is big, heavy, old, and clunky.  But once underway a lot of the weight disappears and I realized again that I still enjoy riding it.  For a twenty five year old machine it has been extremely reliable.  In the ten years I’ve had it only brakes, tires, batteries and steering head bearings were replaced.


On the way home I stopped at a car lot in Jarvis, to check out this 1965 Corvair.  Since the CC gang went to the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum last year there seem to be more Corvairs around, or I’m noticing them more.


Just look at that big glass and slim roof pillars.  This is a fairly nice example, with good chrome, shiny paint and a clean interior.


Speaking of interior, unfortunately it’s an automatic which would be a deal killer for me if I was looking for a Corvair.


Not to mention the wheel covers, but that’s an easy fix.  No takers so far at $7,000 CDN, but who is shopping for a Corvair in 2018?  I hope it finds a good home but it probably won’t be in my garage.


Walking back to the motorcycle I quickly snapped this shot of a 1966 Acadian at the light.  It’s fitting that this car was being driven and enjoyed while the Corvair languished on the lot, the conventionally built and styled Chevy II was a lot more popular than the Corvair when new.  Always in the shade, even after fifty years.

I finally returned home at 9am, about three hours after leaving the house.  Coffee was on and Mrs Dougd said “What took you so long, where did you go?” and I said “It’s hard to explain, you’ll have to wait for the CC article.

Further Reading:

RCAF Station Jarvis

History of Harewood Acres

RCAF Newsreel from Jarvis