It was announced this morning that veteran Baja Racer Jim Garner suffered a minor stroke overnight, was undergoing surgery and would be released in a couple days.
Garner is a member of the Off-Road Hall of Fame. " He acted in the movie “The Great Escape” in 1963 with fellow Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame inductees actor Steve McQueen and stuntman Bud Ekins. In 1966 he appeared in the automobile racing movie Grand Prix.Beyond the screen in “real life” Garner also actively participated in auto racing both on-road and off-road. He has driven the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 on three occasions in 1975, 1977 and 1985. He owned the American International Racing team from 1967 through 1969. The team members partook in Daytona and Sebring. Garner participated in many off-road races as a driver, his presence often brought a touch publicity to the sport while still being treated as an “everyman” by his fellow racers. He attended the first Stardust 7-11 in Las Vegas. He co-drove with Scooter Patrick in a Porsche powered Manx owned by John Crean. The men did not finish the race. His presence at the 1968 NORRA Mexican 1000 helped to generate publicity for the event and coverage on ABC’s show the Wide World of Sports. In 1972 Garner raced the Banshee a vehicle built for him by fellow Hall of Fame Inductee Vic Hickey. Garner won the Riverside Grand Prix in the vehicle despite the fact that he crashed the car towards the end of the event. He placed the car in the top five at a number of races. Hickey said of Garner “The thing about Garner was that, while he wasn’t the world’s most fearless driver, he had the best retention of any man who drove for me. On a pre-run, if he hit a bump, he come back five days later and tell you where it was with in ten feet.”
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