With Allan Moffat defecting to Mazda and Johnson fast becoming an icon of the sport, the Queenslander became Ford’s number one son in its battle with Holden’s own golden-haired boy, Peter Brock.
While Johnson couldn’t repeat his Bathurst victory in 1982, he did go on to win his second ATCC title in the Tru Blu XD Falcon and in 1984 claimed his third national crown with an XE Falcon painted green in honour of Ross Palmer’s latest steel product, ‘Greens Tuf’.
With no local Ford product suitable following a change in regulations at the end of 1984, Johnson turned to the US and imported a Mustang for the 1985 and 1986 seasons.
While the Mustang years brought limited success, reliability enabled Johnson to claim runner-up in the 1985 ATCC and his one and only victory aboard the Mustang in the 1985 AGP support race.
But reliability problems let the team down considerably and only one win was recorded throughout the 1987 season. The end of the ATCC coincided with the arrival of Ford’s latest rocket ship, the RS500, and this proved its worth with a win in the AGP race at Adelaide in November.