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Johnny Johnson

Johnny Johnson

Johnny Johnson was one of the early champions in our sports, yet his innovations and his spirits are still part of the legacy of off-road racing today. With 112 first place wins in his career, including a remarkable 15 Baja 1000s, Johnny proved himself to be a fierce competitor. But it is more than his ability to win races that have endeared him to the hundreds of other competitors and fabricators that have worked and raced with him over the years. His willingness to help anyone, anytime is one of the most common comments that is repeated whenever his name is mentioned.

Ivan Stewart said Johnny Johnson was, "one of the very best in the business."

"No one was smoother than John Johnson," Ivan Stewart said. "He could take a lousy handling car and make it feel like a Lexus. And win!!!!"

Johnny retired to the seaside town of Percebu south of San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez in Baja, California, where he was a fixture at fellow Hall of Fame inductee Lynn Chenowth's Legacy Lodge.  

Johnny continued to help anyone and everyone, whether it was pulling stuck cars out of the sand or half-sunk boats out of the water, Johnny was there to help.  He passed away in June of 2023.

Johnny is one of the true legends of the sport of off-road.

Johnny Johnson, center, at his induction into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2010. Pictured L-R: Rick Pewe, Peter Brown, Johnny Johnson, Chris Haines, Bob Ham.  ORMHOF file photo.

L-R: ORMHOF inductees Johnny Johnson, Lynn Chenowth, and Mark McMillin, with SCORE International's Roger Norman at the unveiling of the Off-Road Walk of Fame in Ensenada in 2017.   Barbara Rainey photo.

Johnny Johnson, center, with fellow Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame inductees Ivan Stewart and Bobby Ferro, at the 2017 Baja 1000.   Barbara Rainey photo.

Johnny Johnson, left, with Bobby Ferro at the 2017 Baja 1000 unveiling of the Off-Road Walk of Fame in Ensenada. Johnny won the Baja 1000 a remarkable 15 times.  Photo credit unknown.

Johnny Johnson, right, with fellow ORMHOF inductee Malcolm Smith at the 2017 ORMHOF Induction & Awards Gala.   ORMHOF photo.

Johnny Johnson, right, at the 2019 ORMHOF Induction & Awards Gala with friend and incoming inductee Bobby Ferro. Tracy Valenta photo.

Johnny Johnson, right, with fellow ORMHOF inductee Sal Fish at the 2022 ORMHOF Induction & Awards Gala.   ORMHOF photo.

Johnny Johnson being interviewed by Tiffany Stone at the 2022 ORMHOF Gala.  ORMHOF YouTube Channel video.

ORMHOF's Mark McMillin and Barbara Rainey stopped by Johnny Johnson's seaside home in Percebu, Baja California before the 2019 Baja 1000 and recorded this impromptu video tour of Johnny's garage.  Barbara Rainey/ORMHOF YouTube channel video.

Hall of Famer Johnny Johnson 1943 - 2023.   ORMHOF photo.

Vaya Con Dios, Johnny Johnson. Slow Baja photo. Used with permission.