Champion Touring Car Driver
Highly regarded for his exploits on the track and his laconic humour off it, Dick Johnson is a major national sporting personality and one of the most successful touring car drivers in Australian History.
In a career that has spanned over 35 years, Dick Johnson’s achievements include - five-time Australian Touring Car Champion, three-time Bathurst 1000 winner, twice a Sandown 500 winner and the 1995 Eastern Creek 12 hour Production Car race winner.
Dick Johnson began racing a Holden FJ in 1964, winning his second ever start, and first came to public notice in 1970 with a sixth place in the Australian Touring Championship race aboard a Holden Torana GTR.
In 1977 Dick Johnson switched to the Ford camp and with a new Falcon V8 the Queenslander began a series of attacks on major ‘southern’ events, including the Bathurst classic.
The laconic Queenslander then became a national celebrity in 1980 when, while leading the Bathurst classic, he hit a rock rolled onto the Mt Panorama track by a spectator and crashed out of the race. A flood of sympathy and donations from the Australian public had Dick back at Bathurst in 1981 as a winner. The same year, Dick Johnson also won the Australian Touring Car Championship for the first time and followed up with more titles in '82 and '84. In 1988 the Queenslander swept all before him to claim the Shell Australian Touring Car Championship, winning eight of the nine races.
More wins followed, along with tougher seasons, however in 1994, Dick Johnson claimed motor racing’s grand prize, the Tooheys 1000 at Bathurst. Dick and long-time partner, John Bowe, won the closest and most exciting Bathurst classic in history topping off a magnificent victory four weeks earlier in the Sandown 500 endurance event.
After their brilliant victory in the 1995 Eastern Creek 12-Hour Production Car race, the pair won the Sandown 500 for the second straight year.
In 1997 Dick Johnson created history at the Primus 1000 Classic, contesting the Top 10 Shootout for the 20th time. The same year, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), for his services to motorsport and charitable organisations.
In 1999, Dick Johnson retired from driving at the end of the season. He finished 10th in the 1999 Australian Touring Car Championship - which saw him finish in the top ten every year since 1981.
Since then, Dick Johnson has taken a hands-on-role with the team that bears his name, both at the track and in the workshop, offering insight and advice that only decades in the sport can provide. Off the track, Dick is well known to even non-sports fans by his popular Shell Helix television commercials, an association which has continued unbroken since 1969.
A colourful character and a humorous speaker, Dick’s ‘behind the scenes’ stories and anecdotes of his extraordinary career and achievements are sure to delight audiences.
Our audience absolutely loved having such a legend attend our event. As all participants are Aussie muscle car owners/aficionados they engaged with Dick's stories and felt that he was a great way to end our 8 day adventure.