Six of the best:
Where are they now?
up, Dick Johnson Racing built six Ford Sierras, two of which started off as RS Cosworths but were converted to RS500 specification mid-way through 1987.
“We didn’t have any trouble selling the cars,” recalls Johnson.
“[Aussie privateer] Ray Lintott bought one; we sold a couple over to England, one to New Zealand too. It was just every time we built a new car we never had any problem selling one of the others.
“They used to get a little bit tired because of the way we had to build them, owing to the rules. After a season or so and having a budget where we could build new cars, we had a market for cars when we finished with them. So it made a lot of sense to build a new car every year,” he explains.
So which was which, and what happened to each of them?
We’re thrilled to report that all six still exist, with four in Australia and two in England. The
first DJR Sierra was right-hand drive and was used by Dick Johnson in 1987 as #17, first as an RS Cosworth and later in the endurance races as a RS500.
It won the Adelaide International Raceway ATCC round in 1987, but failed to finish at Bathurst that year, covering just three laps. It did, however, win the end-of-season Adelaide Grand Prix support race.
New signing, John Bowe, took over the car in 1988 and it claimed victory at Winton and Amaroo. It also ran as #18 at Bathurst, finishing second in the hands of John Smith and the cross-entered Johnson and Bowe.
It was then sold to England (see separate story) and used in the British Touring Car Championship by Trakstar Racing and Robb Gravett in 1989, and Graham Hathaway in 1990, before competing in events in Malaysia and returning to England. Current owner, Andy Lloyd, bought ‘DJR1’ in 1996 and won the 1997 Ford Saloon Car Championship in it. He’s also run it at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on multiple occasions. This
was the left-hand drive #18 car used by Gregg Hansford in 1987 and converted from RS Cosworth to RS500 spec in time for the endurance races. It remained #18 for the endurance races (and was actually taken over by Johnson at Sandown when his pole-setting #17 car failed pre-race), and was crashed out in the opening laps at Bathurst that year with Neville Crichton driving.
It acted as a spare and show car in 1988 before being sold to England and Trakstar Racing for the 1989 British Touring Car Championship.
Converted to right-hand drive, it was later turned into a rally car in England and its original history and heritage was only discovered a few years ago with a restoration project under way. This
car was Dick Johnson’s 1988 Australian Touring Car Championship-winning RS500 with six round victories that season.
It was later airfreighted to England and raced at the Silverstone Tourist Trophy by Johnson and Bowe as the #41 Redkote entry.
It was the #28 car driven by Bowe and Robb Gravett at Bathurst and became Bowe’s #18 chassis for the 1989 ATCC, winning two rounds and finishing runner-up.
It remained as #18 for both the Sandown and Bathurst endurance races, before being sold.
It then became the Valvoline privateer car driven by Ray Lintott in 1990, and later came into the ownership of the Holmes family, where it remains in Queensland.