29 November 2021 | General

New ‘Tru-Blu’ meets old at Mount Panorama

ONE of the most famous cars in Mount Panorama history has come face-to-face with its modern recreation at Bathurst’s National Motor Racing Museum.

40 years after it famously won the Great Race, the original ‘Tru-Blu’ Ford Falcon made famous by Touring Car legend Dick Johnson has come face-to-face with its modern recreation driven by Dick’s son Steven in the Gulf Western Oils Touring Car Masters Series.

Johnson’s iconic 1981 ‘Tru-Blu’ Ford XD Falcon Touring Car holds a special place in the history of Australian Motorsport, delivering Johnson and co-driver John French a Bathurst win in 1981, twelve months after the famous ‘rock’ incident.

The 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 has since become one of the most iconic in Australian Touring Car racing history.

The original Falcon is currently on display in the National Motor Racing Museum, on loan to the extensive collection from the Bowden family in Queensland.

40 years later, Steven Johnson’s Touring Car Masters XD Falcon has rapidly become one of the most popular cars in the category.

As well as scoring its first race win earlier this year, ‘Tru-Blu Mk. III’ also won a poll of TCM fans voting for their favorite car, amassing more than 4,000 votes along the way.

Johnson won in the car at Sydney Motorsport Park last time out and remains in contention for his fourth Gulf Western Oils Touring Car Masters crown this weekend.

STEVEN JOHNSON – Full Throttle Custom Garage Ford Falcon XD

“Standing looking at these two cars, it’s pretty emotional actually,” 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.”