We've just lost a true and one-of-a-kind car guy.
He was a movie star and a hall-of-fame-racer, as well as a racing team owner. Add to James Garner's resume Korean War veteran, Purple Heart recipient, and an Oscar nomination, and you've got one hell of a life lived. But sadly James Garner, star of "The Great Escape" and the TV series "Maverick," has just passed away at the age of 86, likely due to natural causes. His love of fast cars moved into high gear when he starred in the 1969 film "Grand Prix."
Before long he was behind the wheel racing at events like the Baja 500; a particular passion of his was off-road racing where he drove a modified Oldsmobile 442. In 1978 Garner was inducted to the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, and drove the Indy Pace Car three times. His passion for cars also came through with the cars his characters drove on-screen, such as the gold Pontiac Firebird Esprit in "The Rockford Files." He was one-of-a-kind and will be greatly missed.