James Garner, like a several other notable actors, has a longstanding love of racing. After starring in Grand Prix in 1966, he started a long semi-career in racing, owning a racing team, preparing Ramblers for the Baja 500 race as part of a deal with AMC, and driving Indy 500 pace cars three times. The guy loved racing.

There's plenty of information on the web about James Garner and racing, but there's also one notable omission: the four-seat Indy car he had built. UPDATE!

I've only found one mention of it, in a book in Jalopnik's vast, underground automotive library (located under Los Angeles, in the tunnels of an aborted mag-lev subway project from the '70s) called Weird Cars.

The book suggests that the one-off car was built by Garner to "share his race-driving hobby with his friends." This just leads me to picture two slightly coked-out women in slinky dresses and a paunchy guy with an open shirt donning helmets as they climbed into the three open seats of James Garner's Indy Car, and then moments later shrieking, vomiting, and wetting themselves as Garner mercilessly whips his car around the track.


The car itself looks pretty fascinating; the book says it was restored by George Barber, of the Barber Motorsports Museum, and I'd wager the car is somewhere in their collection. Based on looking at the car, we can figure out a few things: It must have been built after 1974, as the two rectangular headlights on that very robot-face looking spoiler tower/engine cover would only have been available after Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108, which allowed rectangular headlights, was enacted. The overall styling is consistent with a mid-70s timeframe as well.

It's mid-engined, though aside from the fat dual exhausts, the engine is completely enclosed. I'd guess it's a fairly standard Indy car chassis for the period, with custom bodywork. The bodywork appears to be very well executed, with two side-by-side seats up front, and two 'sidecar'-type seats just ahead of each rear wheel. It's sort of a semi-open wheel design, as the wheels have partial fenders fore and aft, but open on top.


Mostly, I'm amazed I couldn't find anything on the web about this interesting car, and I'd love to know more about it. Anyone know anything?

UPDATE: Commenters to the rescue! A few of you correctly confirmed that the car resides in the basement of the Barber Motorsports Museum. More on this as we look into it. Thanks!