FORTY years after it famously won the Great Race, Dick Johnson’s original ‘Tru-Blu’ Ford Falcon has come face-to-face with its modern recreation, driven by Dick’s son Steven in Touring Car Masters.
Johnson’s iconic 1981 ‘Tru-Blu’ Ford XD Falcon holds a special place in the history of Australian motorsport, delivering Johnson and co-driver John French a Bathurst win 12 months after the Queenslander struck a rock while leading the 1980 race.
The new car was built in time for the 1981 season, the resulting explosion of attention, donations and fan interest following ‘the rock’ incident helping forge the Johnson legacy as one of the sport’s most famous surnames.
The car also won the 1981 Australian Touring Championship and is currently on display in the National Motor Racing Museum, loaned to the extensive collection from the Bowden family in Queensland.
Steven Johnson’s Touring Car Masters XD Falcon has become one of the most popular cars in the category since being debuted by Team Johnson last year.
Johnson won in the car at Sydney Motorsport Park last time out and remains in contention for his fourth Touring Car Masters crown this weekend, as part of the massive six-day Bathurst 1000 event.
“Standing looking at these two cars, it’s pretty emotional actually,” Steven Johnson said.
“It’s the first time the cars have been together.
“It shows the history and to have two cars together that look so similar, even though they are two eras and two different sets of rules – and different sponsors – is incredible.
“Our sponsors have been fantastic in that for a lot of them, their logos are not their style – but they’ve allowed that to happen so it looks very similar to the 1980, 1981 car.
“To look at both of them together is just magnificent.”
“Tru Blu was such a significant car in the history of my family and I remember it being in our garage at Daisy Hill when I was a kid, with Dad working on it.
“It’s really special to get them together like this 40 years on from that Bathurst moment that was really significant to our family.”