THE UNTOLD STORY OF JOHNSON’S TANGLE WITH THE ‘ROCK’

How TV viewers around Australia witnessed Dick Johnson's heartbreaking exit from the 1980 Bathurst 1000. Pic: Supplied / Channel 7

THE story of Dick Johnson hitting the infamous ‘rock’ during the 1980 Bathurst 1000 has been told from many different perspectives, but the latest issue of Australian Muscle Car Magazine has unearthed a fresh one.

AMC Issue 118 contains an interview with a person who had one of the closest views of the unfolding saga – the driver of the tow truck that was to the left of the rock just as the Tru-Blu XD Falcon came upon the scene.

John Dwyer, who helped recover crashed and broken down cars off the Mountain for over four decades, vividly recalled the incident from his unique position in the cab of the truck as part of a feature story on the moment that rocketed Johnson into ‘Great Race’ folklore and set him on a new path towards a Hall of Fame touring car career.

Fresh perspectives are also given from people on the inner sanctums of both Johnson’s tight-knit team as well staffers from the Holden Dealer Team – Peter Brock had just been lapped and was right behind the #17 Falcon when it had its moment of misfortune, the incident helping Brock fight back from a tangle with a slower car and secure his fifth Bathurst triumph.

AMC Issue 118 is headlined by a feature celebrating the 50th anniversary of the near-forgotten VG model Valiant Pacer, a car that landed somewhere in between its primary race track rivals the Ford Falcon GT-HO Phase II and Holden Torana XU-1: a large car like the Falcon but without the grunt of a V8, and a six-cylinder like the XU-1 but hamstrung by a three-speed gearbox.

The Muscle Man profile focuses on Formula 5000 hero Warwick Brown, while Gerard McLeod takes you inside the build of his Touring Car Masters-spec Holden Commodore VB.

Click HERE to buy Australian Muscle Car Magazine issue #118.