Archive for ‘Barry Sheene’

March 13, 2021

Motorsport Commentator

Murray Walker OBE (1923-2021) RIP

– Grand Prix racing was an adventurous spectacle when I was younger, no small part due to the excitement imbued by the high pitched commentary of Murray Walker. His father was a noted TT motorcycle road racer, which Murray took up briefly, before going into TV work and advertising. His races that were a shared experience with the couth color of James Hunt are legendary.

October 18, 2020

Only 50p

‘78 Comic Ads

– I was spoaching through some boxes in our basement when I happened upon my collection of early 2000ad comic. In orbit every Monday. A couple of back to back advertising pages caught my eye. One for a kids sport comic called Tiger, mostly about football, but it had a snippet about Barry Sheene who was at the time at the top of his popularity. The other page was for the statistical card game Aces (like the other Top Trumps game) also promoting the prowess of the GP rider.

September 12, 2020


“Don’t wait for your ship to come in;

swim out and meet the bloody thing!” Barry Sheene (1950-2003) He would have been 70 yesterday.

March 3, 2020

Due Kinder

German modeling

Teutonic ad for the classic 70’s Matchbox model kits.

February 25, 2020


My Sweet Lord

George Harrison would have been 77 today. His music was more thoughtful especially his opus-like triple album All Things Must Pass. He also supported the arts as a movie producer and had an interest in racing, both Formula One and Motorcycle Grand Prix. Here he is with Barry Sheen #7 at some racetrack. Barry is wearing a non-flammable racing outfit rather than his usual leathers so must be getting in a four wheeled racer.

November 20, 2019

Take Flight

Percy Tait (1929-2019) – when it comes to the history of Triumph motorcycles one man is noted in the very foundation of that company. Beginning his career with Triumph as a 21-year-old factory worker he quickly rising in the ranks and started racing for the works team on the latest machines. It is reckoned he amassed over 1,000,000 miles test riding cutting edge motorcycles under the engineering eye of Doug Hele. As well as Grand Prix races he took part successfully in Isle of Man TT competitions. 750cc triple Slippery Sam is one bike that is forever connected with Percy. In his later career he went on to develop the 500cc Suzuki GP bikes for Barry sheen. In retirement he became a champion sheepsheet breeder. A giant of the history of British motorcycling, Percy Tait sadly passed away last weekend. at the age of 90.

February 10, 2018

Eranu or Uvavu

Shooting Stars – Funnyman Vic Reeves recently told the story of racing legend and hero Barry Sheene’s life of speed and triumph on a BBC documentary. As Jim Moir, his real name, he gets to ride the early mount, a 125cc Suzuki, which our Baz cut his teeth on around the GP circuits of the early seventies. The other machine on show is the world beating XR14 it’s red, yellow, black and white livery the very thing of boyhood dreams. The screaming demonic 500cc Suzuki was the ideal foil to Kenny Roberts Yamaha.

February 27, 2017

Cannon Ammo

Tee Shirt Fashion – wear what you believe! One thing about this ubiquitous short sleeved item of clothing is that they can promote ideas, express thoughts, present art, denote vision, advertise companies; the written word; or a graphic style. It’s like a walking billboard, moving, a breathing gallery. Here are some speed loving characters garbed appropriately in the t-shirt garment: Barry Sheene sporting a Gary Nixon top (Venezuelan rider Johnny Cecotto is seated next to him); Steve McQueen and his Triumph brand across his chest, coffee at the ready; Jackie Stewart and his F1 Elf; and Burt Munro – the worlds fastest Indian. 

June 3, 2015

Every cloud has a silver lining

Promotion shot for the new electric start T140…  

F1 seventies playboy racer James Hunt sits pillion to singer David Essex on a 1980 Triumph Bonneville 750. That year Essex starred in the motorcycle racing film Silver Dream Racer; and the soundtrack song “Silver Dream Machine” was a Top 3 hit in the UK Singles Chart. Being a keen motorcyclist, he waived his fee for the then-new 1980 electric start Triumph Bonneville he had contracted to advertise on behalf of the struggling Triumph motorcycle workers’ co-operative. He still owns that motorcycle. 

  It didn’t fare too well at the theaters with a 5.3/10 on IMDB. But fun was had my all during filming.
  Here he is with Suzuki maestro Barry Sheene, also pal of James Hunt: I bet there was partying which included rock & roll back in those days!

November 19, 2014

Get the kettle on!


Baz is taking things easy in his caravan during some race event in the seventies. Flowery curtains. Smoking was cool then…


Even on his No. 7 Suzuki. He drags on his fag.

June 15, 2013

The Shunt

It’s twenty years today since the early death of James Hunt at the age of 45. He was the very definition of the playboy race car driver in the 70’s with plenty of action on, hence the nickname ‘The Shunt’, as well as off the track, just look at his race coveralls patch just below his embroidered blood type.


His model wife Suzy Miller is sporting the a T-shirt with the Hesketh Team logo: a teddy bear in full face helmet. The young Lord Hesketh being the teams backer. As an aside Suzy left Hunt for actor Richard Burton including a million pound settlement…


Not to worry though there was plenty more life to live on the edge of speed; here seen enjoying the harbor life of Monaco with friend Barry Sheene. The pair made their mark on the world Grand Prix stage in 1976, James in Formula One and Bazza on his motorcycle. The fans following their exploits on and off the circuits around the globe. A real pair of cheeky chappies!



However when the going got tough they were up there with the best of ’em! Each taking world champion titles that year. Here’s a great behind the scenes shot of the mechanics shed for Maclaren (who took him to his title) in flared jeans, sandals and a relaxed brotherly attitude.


His rival at the time was Nikki Lauder, a great of his day and worthy opponent. Mere weeks after a fiery crash at the Nürburgring where he suffered burns to his face and head he was back in the seat to maintain his points lead over Hunt. The season was down to the last race at Fuji Japan with Hunt winning by one point over Lauder after Niki withdrew over the wet course conditions.


This climactic season is the subject of an upcoming film from Ron Howard “Rush”. Should be good!
James went on to become a foil for world class motor racing commentator Murray Walker and their colorful banter for the Formula One racing made watching them exciting, with Murrays excited exuberance and James’ pithy remarks .


He’s legend in the high stakes world of speed and lived that life with gusto.

June 4, 2013

Paddock Ride

What better wee moto to have as your scooter in the paddock at a classic racing meet? A Triumph Tiger Cub that’s what! And who’s ride is it but none other than Bazza. Here he is, wide grinned aboard a finely restored T20 at a Goodwood Festival of Speed event in the early 2000’s.


His steed of speed at these race days was a ‘well sorted’ Norton Manx but when tootling about the crowds the small engined but big hearted ride was selected… A smashing photo!

March 11, 2013

A Matchless Sheene

Blazer, tie and a canny smile: that must be wor Baz, here seen aboard a stunning Matchless at the Goodwood classic meet; his last visit there. Now there is a Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy race held there every year where fast paced Matchlesses go head to head with Nortons, AJS’s, Triumph and Beezers. 


2002 was his last race, where, aboard a beautiful Manx Norton bedecked with his crossed seven he saw a victory amidst peers and fans alike: truly a great in the world of motorcycling.


Barry Sheene 11 September 1950 – 10 March 2003


August 7, 2012

A Face in the Crowd

Twin headlighted bikes have facial expression much like cars. After seeing the cycloptic models usually expected in older motos here are a few ogling examples…

Hondas mighty Fireblade, the CBR 900 which was a game changer in the early nineties has its freckled inlets either side of its glower.


A big bruiser stares meanly at oncoming traffic: The 2.4 liter monster-killer Triumph Rocket 3. Tarmac shredding power and a gaping basking shark cooling maw.



Everyone knows the bug-eyed Triumph Speed Triple, an alien from another galaxy… speed is measured in light-years (nearly)

And finally a friendly billed face, of course it’s Bazza’s Donald Duck face.



“Quack, quack”

September 27, 2011

Matchbox Sheene

Matchbox made a couple of models, one a scale die-cast another a kit. Anything for the 10 or 11 year old to display on his bedroom shelf. Go No. 7!

A nicely detailed kit.

Here’s the Superkings K-81 Sheene bike. No duck faced helmet on this one, just his cool mullet hairstyle flowin’ in the air.

Here’s a basic Sheene toy for the younger enthusiast.