Crawford began his racing career as a mechanic who proved to be quicker in the car than his young charge, and this led to an offer from Derek Bennett to drive a works Chevron late in 1973.
Jim built up his own car for 1974, just losing the Formula Atlantic title to John Nicholson. His performances earned him a testing contract with Lotus and a couple of Grand Prix outings in 1975, when he was again runner-up in the Atlantic series.
An expected Formula 2 drive in 1976 did not materialise and Crawford's career stalled. He spent 1978 in F3 and '79 back in Atlantic, before finding a ride in the Aurora AFX F1/F2 series in 1980, winning the F2 class in a Chevron.
After putting together a full season in F2 in 1981 without much success, Jim decided to try his luck in the USA. It was a wise move, which was to revive and extend his career firstly into Can-Am in 1983 and '84 and then into Indy Car racing.
He finished sixth at Indianapolis in 1988 and, but for an accident in which he sustained serious leg and foot injuries, he may have found a full-time ride, rather than employment just in the month of May. His final appearance at the Brickyard was in 1992 and thereafter he retired from racing to concentrate on fishing.
Crawford died after a short illness in August 1992.