1979 Suzuki LJ80R Ex-Barry Sheene

Lot Number: 614

1979 Suzuki LJ80R Ex-Barry Sheene

Given to double 500cc World Champion Barry Sheene MBE by Suzuki GB in recognition of his time as a Works rider and used by him for five years.

  • Sold for: £24,750

LIVE AUCTION: This lot was auctioned on Saturday 12th November, 2022 at 10.00am GMT at NEC, Birmingham, B40 1NT

  • Body Colour

    Pastel Blue

  • Drive


  • Registration Number

    HGO 747T

  • Odometer Reading

    26170 Miles


Given to double 500cc World Champion Barry Sheene MBE by Suzuki GB in recognition of his time as a Works rider and used by him for five years.


Ask any group of non-motor sport enthusiasts to name a famous motor cycle racer and there will be a few Valentino Rossis, a Mike Hailwood or two and undoubtedly the name Barry Sheene would be mentioned, despite the fact that his last motorcycle race was in 1984. His larger-than-life character, spectacular crashes and regular TV appearances for Brut aftershave alongside 'Splash it all over' Henry Cooper made him a household name.

A dream for advertising executives and tabloid journalists alike, Barry Sheene (1950-2003) 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 four-wheel drive 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 Royle 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 and only used occasionally. In 2013, HGO was offered at auction and purchased by our vendor to join his impressive collection of road and race cars where it has remained ever since. The indicated mileage is 26,170, supported by old MOTs and invoices, and the car appears in very good overall condition and certainly starts and drives like a low-mileage Japanese car. The Suzuki is not only a fantastic piece of motorsport memorabilia but also an interesting vehicle in its own right as a rare survivor of the LJ80 range of lightweights 'Jeeps' which caused quite a stir when they arrived in the UK in the late 70s. It features a soft top hood and removable doors and, although only 800cc, this little four-wheel drive LJ has a real 'go anywhere' look.

It's supplied with an owners manual, service manual, a number of older MOTs and maintenance invoices, a couple of older V5s and DVLA Licence Applications in Barry Sheene's name and address in Horley, a Suzuki GB Bulletin, the auction catalogue from 2013 and period photographs taken at Effingham Park Hotel during one of Suzuki GB's annual conferences.

This is a lovely little thing and a true connection with one of motorcycle racing's truly great characters. Sensibly guided at a tiny percentage of the values achieved by Barry's race bikes, the LJ would be at home in a corner of any motor sport enthusiast's collection.


Lot Number
Registration Number
HGO 747T
Chassis Number
Engine Number
Body Colour
Pastel Blue







Vehicles can be collected from The NEC on Monday 14th November between 9am and 2pm.

Motor vehicles

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