It was two days of show and shine fun when Smokies Garage hosted a motorcycle show on Saturday, August 24, on the grounds at the Orangeville Agricultural Centre then followed up with a car show the following day on Sunday, August 25.
The sound of roaring pipes filled the grounds as around 500 motorcycle enthusiasts brought their bikes and lined them up along the grass on Saturday.
There was everything from vintage Harley’s to custom motorcycles and everything in between.
Smokies Garage had a display of their custom built motorcycles lined up for visitors.
The motorcycles produced at the shop are highly customized works of two-wheeled art that are designed and built at Smokies’ Mono garage.
Smokies Garage namesake and owner, Mike “Smokie” Clark said they did a two day event because ‘motorcycle guys and car enthusiasts are really two different cultures.’
This was the second show that Smokies has hosted this year and the response was overwhelming.
The Garage was able to raise $10,000 during the first show in support of KidSport – an organization that helps kids get involved in sports that would be otherwise unable to do so – then followed up with another $8,000 cheque after the second show.
“We did one show in June and it was kind of a test for us,” Mr. Clark explained. “This is a very good venue for us. It’s big and we work very well with the Agricultural Centre people, and it’s only going to get bigger. We pump a lot of money back into community. Our charity is KidSport – it supports local kids. We just want children to become good people. It’s not that we expect them to become world class athletes. We want to support the kids and the community.”
Mr. Clark described Smokies Garage as a ‘hobby,’ although judging by the work that comes out of the shop, ‘hobby’ might be a rather humble description of what they do there.
“I’ve always had a passion for customized motorcycles. But now we’re customized cars and trucks. It’s a private company. We’ve never had a store front and never will. We build high end motorcycles, cars, and trucks for clients that seek us out. We do a lot of work in the U.S. and we also have a race team.”
The motorcycles are built from the ground up. Mr. Clark comes up with the design with the approval of the client and presents the idea to fabricators who do the actual work on the motorcycles.
“I sit down with the painters and give them my theme and concept, then they’ll give me some test sketches and I’ll say, ‘yup, that’s exactly what I want.’”
Event organizer Kat Francis kept the event running as the vehicles entered the area for the shows.
“It’s a full Smokies weekend. We have the bike show on Saturday and the car show on Sunday,” she explained “This is an event where we like to get like-minded people together. You can come and show off your bikes and your cars. These are people’s passions.”
A constant stream of motorcycles entered the fairgrounds on Saturday as enthusiasts strolled along the lines of motorcycles and spoke to other riders about their love for recreational riding.
“We’ve had a pretty steady rotation for the show,” Kat said. “We have dedicated our show and shines to KidSport Orangeville and District. It’s something very close to Smokie’s heart. KidSport helps kids play various sports. The last donation went to help 18 kids go to different sports camps. Otherwise they would have no financial means to do so.“
On Sunday, the show and shine featured vintage, classic, and modified automobiles from around the region.
Two wheels were replaced by four wheels as car enthusiast lined up their rides and spent a few hours talking cars with other drives.
Many visitors arrived to walk around the grounds and admire the wide range of beautifully restored cars.
Both motorcycling and classic cars are a big pastime time in Orangeville and surrounding region.
The hills and winding roads in much of the area make for great riding on two wheels, and there are many vintage car owners who enjoy bringing their rides to different shows throughout the summer.
Written by Brian Lockhart