A little more than a decade ago, a certain Olds 442 was spotted for sale in Hemmings Motor News. Turns out, it was the long-lost ’70 442 “Goodyear Grabber” that none other than James Garner campaigned in his off-road racing career. Rumor has it that Garner, a real-deal-holyfield race car driver, couldn’t fulfill his racing passions and be an actor at the same time. The movie studios’ insurance companies wouldn’t allow it: No need to lose their asset to some needless and horrifyingly dangerous racing nonsense when there were movies to be made, right? So, as the story goes, he found a sort of loophole in off-road racing: Apparently, the policy assigned to him was drafted by actuaries who just weren’t aware of the existence of such a style of racing.
That is how Garner’s long-lost ’70 442 ended up for sale in the pages of our magazine, bless its rowdy, dusty heart. There’s no shortage of great Rockford stories to be found across the interwebs, but while you’re planning your next vintage muscle Baja 1000 race car build, enjoy this video of Garner’s Olds running around Catavina, Baja Norte, Mexico, set to some kick-butt music. You’re welcome.