Dick Johnson Greens'-Tuf Falcon Rides Again!
Published 17 August 2015
Iconic Bathurst Ford recreated for ultimate Big Banger Hot Laps ride experience
DICK Johnson’s Greens’-Tuf Ford Falcon V8 is one of the most iconic cars from his decorated racing career – and now it’s been re-born for race fans across the country to enjoy.
The three-time Bathurst winner and five-time Australian Touring Car Champion has paired with V8RACE to create the ‘Big Banger Hot Laps’ experience, where racing fans will have the chance to ride with Johnson as well as long-time teammate John Bowe in an authentic recreation of the Greens’-Tuf Falcon XE.
While the original Greens’-Tuf car was written-off in a highly publicised crash into trees at Bathurst in 1983, Volkmann Motorsport in Melbourne - in conjunction with the racing legend - has constructed a replica car complete with 500-horsepower, 351-cubic inch Ford V8 engine.
Race fans will be able to ride alongside Johnson or Bowe in the Greens’-Tuf Falcon at special days at Sandown (December 2015) and Bathurst (February 2016), the two circuits that helped make the 1980s Group C period of Australian touring car racing one of the best on record.
The Big Banger Hot Laps experience will be based at Sandown and also visit Wakefield Park, Barbagallo and Mallala with experienced V8RACE clients able to purchase the opportunity to ride alongside Bowe or indeed drive the standout green Falcon themselves.
Bowe was Johnson’s teammate for 11 years during the 1980s and 1990s and the reigning Touring Car Masters Champion has been a driving force in the creation of the Big Banger Hot Laps experience.
“There’s a massive amount of interest in that era of racing when the cars closely reflected what was being driven on the road,” says Bowe.
“Couple that with the high levels of interest at the moment in historic racing and ‘retro’ racing and I think we’re onto a winner with the Big Banger experience.”
Johnson says he’s looking forward to carrying the famous green colours again on the side of a V8 Falcon.
“It’s a car that still evokes a lot of emotion from race fans of the 1980s and putting together this program will no doubt have plenty of people lining up for a ride,” says Johnson.
“But the first person that tries to crack a joke about keeping it away from the trees can get out and walk!”
Big Banger Hot Laps bookings are now being taken in the lead-up to Father’s Day and Christmas, with full details available at www.hotlaps.net.au