BARRY Sheene may be best known for his heroics on two-wheels, but he enjoyed a brief flirtation with touring cars after his bike racing career ended.
The 1976 and 1977 500cc Motorcycle World Champion tackled the British Saloon Car Championship (later renamed the British Touring Car Championship) in 1985, driving a factory-backed Toyota Supra prepared by Hughes of Beaconsfield.
Sheene impressed in his first proper tilt at four-wheel competition, taking pole position for the second round at Oulton Park and a podium finish in the following round at Thruxton.
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However, his original Supra – a car developed and raced by Win Percy the previous year – was badly damaged in a six-car crash at the fifth round at Thruxton.
The car that is currently for sale is its replacement, built up from a new bodyshell carrying the #00056255, which Sheene raced for the remainder of the season.
The 1985 season saw the emergence of turbocharged cars in the BSCC with the Ford Sierra XR4Ti of Andy Rouse, Mitsubishi Starion of Dave Brodie and Nissan Bluebird of Graham Goode leaving the 2.8-litre normally aspirated Supra in their wake.
Sheene reached the podium just once more amid a host of top-six finishes across the rest of the campaign.
Sheene also competed in that year’s Spa 24 Hours, joined by regular Bathurst 1000 competitor Michel Delcourt and fellow Belgian Pascal Witmeur, with backing from pop star Jermaine Jackson (yes, Michael’s older brother) who was performing a concert trackside during the race!
Britain’s works Toyota touring car program was wound down at the end of the 1985 season, while Sheene subsequently moved to Australia and established himself as a beloved commentator and media personality.
The car was sold by Toyota in 1987 and used for rallying, before being restored to its 1985 Group A touring car trim a decade ago.
According to the listing on racecarsdirect.com, the Supra has been validated by Hughes of Beaconsfield’s then-team manager Gordon Mayers as the car that Sheene raced.
Click HERE for the full listing on racecarsdirect.com.