26th Feb, 2013 14:20

The Pavilion Gardens

Lot 27

1979 Suzuki LJ80R ex-Barry Sheene

Sold for £14,625

(including buyers premium)

Lot details
Registration No: HGO747T
Chassis No: 500103
Mot Expiry: Feb 2014

A dream for advertising executives and tabloid journalists alike, Barry Sheene won more international 500cc and 750cc races between 1975 and 1982 than any rival. Although, Kreidler, Derbi and Yamaha also featured on his CV, it was whilst at Suzuki that he became a legend. Among the first LJ80Rs to arrive in the UK, `HGO 747T' was supplied by Suzuki GB to double world champion Barry Sheene for promotional duties and use as a pit vehicle. Dating from 1979 and originally painted Pastel Blue with Black signwriting (including Sheene's famous number `7' decals) and a Red stripe, the diminutive 800cc-engined 4x4 was later registered to the flamboyant rider's home address and remained with him until 1987 when he migrated to Australia.

The Jeep's next owner was Ian Catford - Suzuki GB's contemporary marketing director - who lost little time in reinstating its full `Barry Sheene' livery. Bought by a Mr Boyles thereafter, the LJ80R was pressed into everyday use before being sold to Suzuki main dealers, CMW Automobiles of Cuckfield, Sussex during the early 1990s. A showroom exhibit when not appearing at outside events or being loaned to Suzuki GB, `HGO 747T' was retained by CMW Automobiles' proprietor Richard Ferris upon his retirement in 2007. Kept garaged ever since, it remains in very good overall condition. Believed but not warranted to have covered just 26,000 miles from new, the Suzuki is not only a fantastic piece of motorsport memorabilia but also an interesting vehicle in its own right. A rare survivor, this unique LJ80R is offered for sale with soft-top hood, removable doors, old-style V5 Registration Document (listing Barry Sheene as the previous keeper) and period photographs taken at Effingham Park Hotel during one of Suzuki GB's annual conferences.

Auction: The Pavilion Gardens, 26th Feb, 2013

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