Ford Australia did not want to race its new XD Falcon in 1980. It wouldn’t even homologate it for privateers to race. So how on earth did the XD even make it onto the track let alone become a hugely successful race car revered as one of the greats of the Group C touring car era?
You could say it happened by accident. Well, two accidents really. One was a critical oversight by the sport’s governing body CAMS in relation to the car’s minimum weight during the XD’s approval process in 1979.
The other occurred at Mount Panorama in 1980, when a Queensland battler by the name of Dick Johnson collided with a large rock that tumbled onto the track and destroyed his home-built XD Falcon while leading the Bathurst 1000.
The immediate outpouring of support from the public and Ford Australia, to get the shattered Queenslander back on track with a new XD the following year, is arguably Bathurst’s most treasured zero-to-hero tale.