V8 HALL of famer Dick Johnson was on side with NSW Police officers on Thursday to check out his latest baby – a highway patrol car with more grunt than many cars on the track.
In a straight line, up against the fastest V8 Supercar, this NSW Police highway patrol car would leave the others in its dust.
It can reach speeds of up to 300km/h and, with a heart-thumping 800 horsepower, the car made an impressive debut at the Bathurst 1000 yesterday.
“It’s everything we thought it would be and more,” Mr Johnson said.
He was among the crews to work on the one-off supercharged V8 engine which was funded by the NSW Centre for Road Safety.
“We did all the engine work in our workshop in Queensland,” he said.
The $200,000 car features all the latest highway patrol technology, including an on-board tablet, front and rear cameras, automatic numberplate recognition, drug testing equipment, digital encrypted radio, long-range radar, handheld laser and the latest LED emergency lighting.
Mr Johnson talked speed on and off the track with NSW Police Assistant Commissioner and commander of traffic and highway patrol John Hartley yesterday.
“It’s a showstopper,” assistant commissioner Hartley said of the crowd’s reaction to the vehicle that was set up behind Pit Lane.
While the car’s statistics might get race fans hot under the colour, he said there is a serious message behind the car.
“It’s about road safety and the community and double demerit points,” he said.
“It’s about talking to car enthusiasts on their level and having them understand the technology we have available.”
The car is also a piece of history, with Ford to stop manufacturing in Australia in October 2016, this GTF is among the last 500 to roll off the production line.
“It’s one of 500 GTF Falcons, it’s number 88 ... the car itself is a collector’s piece,” Mr Johnson said.
This is the first time Mr Johnson has been involved in a partnership of designing a car with NSW Police, and he said he’s hooked.
“It’s the first time and hopefully it won’t be the last,” he said.