Classic Sports Car

6 James Garner


After making Grand Prix James Garner formed American Internatio­nal Racing, which fielded a variety of cars in Formula A (F5000) and sports cars in 1968-’69. Garner had been banned from circuit racing by studio chiefs and his insurer, but the clause in his contract said nothing about him competing offpiste. Garner participat­ed in the Baja 1000 six times from 1968, and ran his own Amcs/ramblers and tube-framed Oldsmobile­s. He claimed one class win, and also ran strongly in other classic off-road events such as the Stardust 7-11 Grand Prix and the Mint 400. Vic Hickey, who built Garner’s Oldsmobile­s and also Steve Mcqueen’s Baja Boot buggy, told Autoweek in 1996: ‘[Garner] had the best retention of any man who drove for me. On a pre-run, if he hit a bump, he’d come back five days later and tell you where it was within 10 feet.’ Anorak fact Garner’s AIR Lola T70 finished second overall in the 1969 Daytona 24 Hours

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