Dick Johnson’s iconic ‘Tru-Blu’ Ford Falcon has come bumper-to-bumper with Steven Johnson’s Touring Car Masters tribute.
As any Ford fan will tell you, Dick’s 1981 XD Falcon played a major role in defining his career. For those unfamiliar, it was built following Johnson’s infamous crash out of the 1980 Bathurst 1000 when he collided with a rock.
An out-pouring of support from the public allowed Johnson to build this Tru-Blu-backed example which he went on to win the 1981 Bathurst 1000, co-driving with John French.
When the junior Johnson was looking for a new car to campaign in Touring Car Masters, naturally an XD Falcon was an obvious choice. While the cars don’t share the same sponsors, Steven Johnson has finished his in the car in a matching blue colour to connect the pair.
This week the two came together for the first time, with Dick’s ‘81 version currently on display at the National Motor Racing Museum in Bathurst, where it is on loan from the current owners, the Bowden family.
With Steven in town to race this weekend, bringing the pair together for this photo was an opportunity too good to miss.
“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.”
While the sponsors may be different, Steven actually arranged for many of the logos and fonts to more closely match the original. The attention-to-detail worked because ‘Tru-Blu II’ was voted the most popular car in the TCM category by fans.
“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."