Add to your model collection with this new 1998 Shell Helix Johnson Falcon from Biante Model Cars …
STORY: DYLAN GULSON
BIANTE Model Cars have just taken wraps off their latest upcoming models including the #17 Shell Racing Ford Falcon EL, driven by Dick and Steven Johnson in the 1998 FAI 1000 Classic at Bathurst.
Celebrating the first time that father and son Johnson teamed up in the annual Mountain classic, the real car had an eventful weekend at Bathurst that ultimately proved unsuccessful for the iconic team.
For the 1998 enduros, and with Dick on the cusp of announcing his retirement season the following year, the decision was made to split the iconic combination of Johnson and John Bowe for the first time since the Tasmanian joined DJR in 1988 in order to allow Dick and Steven to pair up in the one car.
The Bathurst race proved to be a tough one for the DJR Falcons with both struggling for speed down Conrod Straight compared to their rivals, the Johnson/Johnson car to the tune of 20 to 25 km/h down on a competitive pace.
Evidence of the shortage of straight-line handling was that Bowe, paired with Cameron McConville in the No.18 Shell Helix Ford, only squeaked into the Top 10 Shootout by qualifying 10th.
Johnson wasn’t so lucky, falling six tenths of a second shy to be 12th on the grid to miss the shootout for the first time since its inaugural running as Hardie’s Heroes in 1978.
Race day then proved just as unkind to the Johnson and Johnson combo.
The fourth-fastest time in Saturday afternoon’s final practice session had flattered to deceive, and the No.17 wasn’t able to make significant headway by the time Dick handed over to Steven at the first pit stop.
Johnson Jnr was able to move up as high as fifth during his opening stint before their race came to a sudden end.
Steven was caught up in a multi-car crash on the run down to Forrest’s Elbow on Lap 60, a hard impact to the rear of the red and yellow Ford damaging the fuel cell and forcing the team to retire the car.
While their maiden Bathurst outing as father and son failed to produce a memorable result in 1998, the event stands as a significant moment in the Johnson family’s history at the Mountain.
The model Falcon is expected to ship early next year – visit Biante Model Cars here to pre-order the Falcon and view their entire range of model cars.