Dick Johnson's second Tru-Blu XD Falcon holds a special place in Australian motor racing history.

While it's one of only a small handful of chassis to win both the Bathurst 1000 (1981) and the Australian Touring Car Championship (1981 and '82), its significance goes way beyond a stellar list of racetrack successes. For this was the car which breathed new life into local touring car racing in the early eighties. The boom in interest was in stark contrast to the period 1978 to mid-1980, when competition to Holden was almost non-existent.

 

It was the vehicle, quite literally, through which new Ford hero Johnson rose to racing superstardom as he made good on the promise he showed at Bathurst in 1980 – before disaster struck the short-lived Tru-Blu MkI. In short, the '81 Tru-Blu Falcon was the feel-good machine at the centre of Aussie tin-top racing's greatest story. A big statement, we know.

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This article appeared in Australia MUSCLE CAR Magazine Issue 74