Suzuki GB has bought back the LJ80 supplied to motorcycle legend and double 500cc Champion Barry Sheene in 1979. Owned by Barry and his race team in recognition of his time as a Works rider, the LJ was used as a circuit pit vehicle and for promotional work during this period before being privately owned by the family and used at their farm in Surrey until 1987.
The pastel blue and red striped car with its famous number 7 decals (which was Sheene’s race number) was in a state of disrepair after being found stored in a barn covered in hay bales, but was extensively and well restored by the next owner, an ex-Suzuki Marketing Director who returned the LJ to its original specification. It was later sold privately, and then purchased by Suzuki dealer
CMW in Sussex, who used it for showroom display with some occasional road use. In 2013 it was sold at auction into a private collection of road and race cars, and recently came up again in the Silverstone Auctions catalogue for the sale being held at the NEC Classic Car Show.
As a very important part of its company history and to accompany the collection of Sheene’s race motorcycles, Suzuki wasted no time in heading to the NEC. The famous LJ80 attracted a high level of interest at the show, and after a brief but busy auction, Suzuki made the winning bid to secure the car. With 1979 being Suzuki's first year of car sales in the UK, this one will now be used at cross divisional events in the future along with the collection of race motorcycles.