With millions of views on social media and four Guinness World Records under his belt, Grantsville’s Jim York is Tooele County’s famous automobile stuntman and thrill seeker.
York travels around the country and state doing extreme stunts with vehicles for brands and companies looking for exposure and new campaign ideas. He also does stunts at various events for audience entertainment purposes.
York has been hired by various race tracks across the country — at Sema, a Las Vegas concert and automotive display event, for the Nitro World Games and Nitro Cross, and by Maverik, Dixxon Flannel Company, Gel Blaster, and Twisted Tea.
Many of his stunts are posed online, which helps both the company he is working for and his own brand gain exposure.
His main trick is vehicle jumping, which includes traveling at a certain amount of speed to gain enough air to clear an obstacle or gap.
“There’s a specific angle for each jump and a specific speed for that particular angle,” York explained. “When you put those two things together, everything jumps about the same. Every variable changes something. I know just enough to be dangerous.”
York has several world records under his belt including the longest limo jump at 100 feet and 2 inches set in October 2020. The jump garnished over 60 million views online.
“It was a convertible, and I had my thumb out the window giving a thumbs up,” York said. “It was my first stunt that really got a lot of attention.”
York holds the world record for the longest hearse jump at 75 feet set in September 2020 at the Utah State Fair, and world’s longest station wagon jump at 165 feet set recently on Sept. 9, 2023.
“I had to beat Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Vacation,” York said. “In that movie, they jumped the family Truckster 50 yards. We strapped a bunch of luggage to the top of the car making it relatable to both automotive people and those who have seen the movie.”
He also holds the world record for the longest hot tub limo jump.
York worked with Twisted Tea on the stunt. The jump was set on July 5, 2021. During the jump York’s limo traveled 100 feet.
“We took a limo, took the top off of it, and built a hot tub in the back of the car,” York explained. “We jumped that further than anybody ever has. That was really cool.”
York was the first person to ever finish the Mint 400, North America’s hardest off-road race in a limo.
Besides his world records, York recently jumped a limo through an RV.
“That seemed to garnish the attention of the entire internet,” he said. “It has lapsed over 100 million views.”
York posts videos on a Youtube channel with his world-famous friend, Travis Pastrana, entitled “Channel 199.” So far the channel has over two million views and 40,000 subscribers.
York and Pastrana recently completed an advertisement for NordicTrack, a treadmill company.
“We bolted a treadmill to the top of a four-seater Can-Am and strapped a generator to the back so that the treadmill was working, and I was running on top of the treadmill while the Can-Am was driving,” York explained. “We jumped it about 70 feet.”
Besides cars, York has done stunts with scooters, motorcycles, three-wheelers and boats.
Often after a stunt, vehicles are destroyed, but sometimes York and his crew are able to get two or three uses out of them before they have to haul them off to a junkyard.
“We will use the car until it doesn’t work anymore,” York said.
York’s favorite vehicle to stunt with is a limo.
“I wanted to break out of the norm, and no one had really jumped a limo before,” York said.
York enjoys his job because each new day holds something different.
“I struggle with a routine,” he said. “If I were sitting in front of a desk every single day, I would go nuts. I love the change of pace and doing something different. It comes with a large amount of stress and risk, but I’d rather take that on than what I would consider the monotony of sitting behind a desk.”
During his career, York has sustained several injuries doing stunts including separating his shoulder, numerous concussions, and a fracture of his skull.
“Where one person would say that’s not safe, we would agree,” York said. “There’s a likelihood that you’re going to break your legs or separate your shoulder … When you take on the risk and you think everything is good, one miniscule mistake is where you get hurt. Things are going to break, or bend, or twist, but that’s acceptable for our level of safety. Although, if we are going to die, then we need to fix it.”
At just 37 years old, but feeling like a 75-year-old, York said he is slower to recover from accidents now than when he was younger.
Despite the risk of his occupation, York loves stunting and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“I jump cars further than anybody in their right minds would ever think to do or want to do,” York said. “I have a higher acceptable risk of danger than most people would accept, but the acceptable risk is negated by the fact that I’ve done it so many times. If I go, at least I’ll have a hell of a ride getting there. If a car craps out on a jump, there’s my sign that I wasn’t supposed to live today; but that could happen while you’re driving down the freeway.”
Those who have a dream should work hard to accomplish that dream, York said.
“Everyone will tell you no and there’s probably a good reason for that,” York said. “You should just do what you want to do. As long as you can be one of the top people doing what you’re doing, it’s going to work… There’s always a risk, but go live. Don’t just do your day to day. If you have a passion for something, go do it. If it doesn’t work out, try again and again.”
York grew up in Centerville, Utah. During his childhood, his family collected Cadillacs.
“By the time I was in high school between my brothers, myself, and my dad, we had collected probably a dozen and a half Cadillacs,” York said. “That continued to grow … Back then you could pick up a car for 50 bucks or even free. I went driving around with my brothers a lot. I would see a dirt mount and say, ‘Hey, let’s see how far this car can go.’ I started jumping cars at a young age. We called it mountain carring. That was always so much fun for me. I’ve always loved it. There wasn’t a better feeling than the laughter and small amount of adrenaline that would come from that.”
As a young teen, York told his parents he wanted to be a stuntman, but his parents encouraged college, so he obtained a degree in Marketing from the University of Utah, which aids him in promoting his brand and tricks.
“My parents were college graduates, so they told me to go to college,” York explained. “I thought I would check that box. I loved college and it was a good time, but when I got out of college, I started doing a handful of stunt jobs.”
The creation of Youtube and social media has given York the platform he needed to put his name out there and set his career in stone.
In his free time, York enjoys spending time outside, especially in the Utah mountains with his girlfriend and dog. He enjoys camping, mountain biking, and hiking.
“I’ve tried to move away from Utah a few times and it’s always terrible,” York said. “There are no mountains. They are too far away.”
York’s future plans include driving until his wheels fall off.