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James Garner's Motoring Life: Grand Prix the Movie, Baja, the Rockford Files, and More

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James Garner's Motoring Life: Grand Prix the Movie, Baja, the Rockford Files, and More


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Many know James Garner as Jim Rockford. That is understandable because The Rockford Files was one of the most popular private-eye series of all time. It ran for a good portion of the 1970s, and aged well in syndication through the 1980s. Rockford was quick with a quip, crafty with a fake business card, and could drive the wheels off his gold Firebird. What many don’t know is that James Garner was a “car guy” long before he played Jim Rockford, the patented J turn was a piece of cake for the lifelong racer and hobbyist.

Hollywood had had its share of car guys over the years, James Dean notoriously in the 1950s, followed by the likes of Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and James Garner in the 1960s. From starring in Grand Prix, tackling the rigors of Baja off-road racing, forming his own road racing team (called American International Racing), driving the Pace Car at the Indy 500, all the way to his stunt driving in The Rockford Files, James Garner was a true enthusiast.

James Garner actively escalated his participation as a racing driver after the making of Grand Prix, and somehow walked the line between acting, television production company boss, and motorsport. He appeared to be able to keep them all balanced with little interference among them. James Garner’s Motoring Life covers the cars he owned and drove, the cars he raced, his tour of duty as a racing team owner, his great racing film, the drivers on his team as well as the drivers against whom he competed. This book tells you the whole story of James Garner: racing actor, racing team owner, and automotive enthusiast.

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