Thursday 14 April 2011

Hey Tru Blu

Daniel's love of all things Dick Johnson is on record. He makes regular trips down to the DJR workshop at Yatala to check out the memorabilia and cars. I find it hard to get too excited about the modern V8 supercar competition, but there is one thing I agree with Daniel on - old touring cars.

There's just something about an unrestored race car that stirs me - the buckshot-spray stonechips, the wonky panel gaps, the hasty fixes, the little mechanic jokes ("WATCH THIS!!!" in marker pen under the oil pressure light).

Running your eye over Tru-Blu, Johnson's 1981 Bathurst-winning Falcon in the DJR race workshop, you can feel the heat of the sun at Lakeside and the squally, cold rain of a bad day at Bathurst. You can hear Dick swearing as he bangs doors at the old Surfers Paradise raceway. Best of all, if you get really close, you can smell that beautiful fuel-and-hot-oil 351 V8 smell.



  1. Too true,

    While the new breed of V8 Super Car may be a technically better Race Car, they are way too far removed from where they came from. While Dicks XD may have "Only" made four hundred and something Horse Power from its Open Chambered, Cast Iron Headed and Intake Manifolded 351. It showed how you could develop your Road going XD without spending NASAs annual budget on machining every last Gram from the Engine Block.

    It was a Road going Falcon, developed into a Race Car.

    In the latest AMC Magazine, they had an article on Group C. When it came to an end, they had a few options. First was go back to a Pure Production Based Category (Group E), International Group A Rules or a Silhouette Race Car like NASCAR. By going to Group A, they avoided the Generic Race Car, but only for so long.......

    Dicks XD isn't an anonymous Silhouette Racer that could have any generic Race Car drive line, it has a Soul..........

  2. Great post.

    Even the ATCC up until about 1998 was an acceptable formula in that they were build from body shells plucked straight from the production line, with steel panels and an engine formula that was relevant (somewhat) to the road going cars.

    Now I have nothing against purpose built touring cars, because we all like going really fast, but with all the cut and shut shells and composite panels of the current crop of cars, it really makes you wonder if they are taking things way too far.

    Whilst I admire the engineering that goes into building a current day V8 Supercar, all this parity nonsense really makes a race day quite a boring affair, especially when deep down inside you know that each and every car out there is virtually the same....

    But hey, if Dick Johnson says it's okay, then that's fine by me!