Johnston Formula Fords to celebrate 50 years at Skope Classic

The 2020 Skope Classic will see a 50 year celebration of Johnston Formula Fords with all remaining seven on display. The annual event takes place at the Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, Christchurch over the first weekend of February (31 Jan – 2 Feb).

The late Johnny Johnston and son Robert (Bob), are regarded as the most prolific Kiwi racing car builders in the 1970/80s which saw nine Formula Ford chassis built.

Having traveled to the UK, it was the sight of single seater racing at Goodwood in 1962 that spurred the Johnston’s on return to New Zealand. They found themselves as support crew for Les Jones’ Brabham BT21, which unfortunately got wrecked in an accident at Ruapuna (Christchurch).

Chassis #03

Having rebuilt the car for Les, they then used the jigs to produce their first Formula Ford chassis (001) in 1970. Bob Johnston competed in the South Island Formula Ford Championship for two years in this car.

In all, there were nine Formula Ford chassis built. Chassis 07 was used to replace the rotted out chassis 02 while Chassi 04 had a succession of four owners before being finished as a TULL by Bruce Turnbull from Feilding who designed the SAKER.

The SKOPE Classic gets underway Fri 31 Jan through to Sun 2 Feb 2020 featuring the OSCA 50th anniversary, F5000, Historic Touring Cars, muscle cars, classic and historic sports cars, classic saloons, vintage racing cars and single seaters.

Chassis #06

Johnston Formula Ford Chassis

Chassis, Year built, Current Owner, Location, Car #
01 1970 Keith Cowan Christchurch #31 (main picture)
02 1972 Snow Chisholm Queenstown #41
03 1974 Nigel Huston Christchurch #27
04 1974 Finished as a TULL
05 1974 Duncan Wright Queenstown #261
06 1975 Dave Harris Invercargill #75
07 1985 Replacement chassis for 02
08 1985 Clive Kirkland Wanaka #8
09 1988 Bob Johnston Christchurch #6

Benjamin Carrell

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!

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