This Wednesday we are proud to be releasing a new Ford for Australian motorsport fans.
Limited Edition of 1008 pieces with COA signed by Dick Johnson
We are excited to present this long-awaited 1:18 Scale Ford EL Falcon as driven by Dick Johnson and Steven Johnson at the 1998 Bathurst 1000.
With Dick Johnson entering the twilight of his touring car racing career in the late 1990s, he had a ready-made heir apparent in the form of son Steven to take over his famous No.17 Ford Falcon.
In 1998 Dick and Steven were able to fulfill a long-held ambition and tackle Mount Panorama as a father and son driver pairing.
Johnson Junior made his first race starts aboard a Dick Johnson Racing Ford in 1994 and finished seventh in his Bathurst 1000 debut the same year, becoming a regular driver of the team’s second car at endurance races in the following years. For the 1998 enduros, and with Dick on the cusp of announcing his retirement season the following year, the decision was made to split the iconic combination of Johnson and John Bowe for the first time since the Tasmanian joined DJR in 1988 in order to allow Dick and Steven to pair up in the one car.
Their first race together came at Sandown’s Tickford 500, with Johnson the elder qualifying the car eighth in the Top 10 Shootout. The pair rose as high as fifth in the wet on race day (despite a broken windscreen wiper!) when contact with a spinning back marker pierced the radiator and put them out after 99 laps.
The 1998 Bathurst race would prove to be a tough one for the DJR Falcons with both struggling for speed down Conrod Straight compared to their rivals, the Johnson/Johnson car to the tune of 20 to 25 km/h down on a competitive pace. Evidence of the shortage of straight-line handling was that Bowe, paired with Cameron McConville in the No.18 Shell Helix Ford, only squeaked into the Top 10 Shootout by qualifying 10th. Johnson wasn’t so lucky, falling six tenths of a second shy to be 12th on the grid to miss the shootout for the first time since its inaugural running as Hardie’s Heroes in 1978.
Race day then proved just as unkind to the Johnson and Johnson combo. The fourth-fastest time in Saturday afternoon’s final practice session had flattered to deceive and No.17 wasn’t able to make significant headway by the time Dick handed over to Steven at the first pit stop. But Johnson the younger was able to move up as high as fifth during his opening stint before their race came to a sudden end.
Steven was caught up in a multi-car crash on the run down to Forrest’s Elbow on Lap 60, a hard impact to the rear of the Ford damaging the fuel cell and forcing the team to retire the car.
The Johnsons’ second and final Bathurst 1000 in 1999 proved to be a much happier affair, the pair fighting for a podium position before coming home fourth in the blue oval hero’s Mount Panorama swansong.
While their maiden Bathurst outing as father and son failed to produce a memorable result in 1998, the event stands as a significant moment in the Johnson family’s history at the Mountain.
Forming part of the Biante Dick Johnson Collection and coming with a signed Certificate of Authenticity by Dick, this is another model that is a must have for DJR and Ford fans alike.
Limited numbers of these three items will be available to purchase online at biante.com.au from 12:00 midday (WST) Wednesday, September 25th.