Northampton

Barry Sheene's Goodwood soapbox car sold for £8,000

Barry Sheene with Madeleine Stringer (left) and Cindy Miller (right) in 1977 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Barry Sheene was the 1976 and 1977 500cc world champion who survived two major crashes - one in 1975 and the other seven years later

A carbon fibre soapbox racing car, driven by motorcycling legend Barry Sheene, has sold at auction for £8,000.

Sheene swapped his usual two wheels for four to take part in the soapbox racing challenge at the 2000 Goodwood Festival of Speed, near Chichester.

Auto engineering company Cosworth built the car for Sheene and it was sold at its headquarters in Northampton

A spokesman for H&I Auctions said they were unable to reveal details about the buyer but there was worldwide interest.

He said: "We had bidding activity from UK, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Italy.

"There were over 400 bidders attending both online and in the room."

Image copyright H&I Auctions/Cosworth
Image caption The race rules stated participating vehicles could not weigh more than 165kg (26st), including the weight of the driver
Image copyright H&I Auctions/Cosworth
Image caption Sheene swapped his usual two wheels for four to take part in the soapbox racing challenge

It was Goodwood's first-ever soapbox race and the motorcyclist competed against 24 other drivers, although no-one at Cosworth has details of where Sheene finished.

Participating vehicles had to cost no more than £1,000.

Sheene won 19 races and two world championships during his 11-year 500cc Grand Prix career, which ended in 1984.

He defied death twice after two major crashes that could have ended his career.

After emigrating to Australia, he died of cancer aged 52 in 2003.

Image copyright H&I Auctions/Cosworth
Image caption The soapbox vehicles also had to be no bigger than 170cm long by 75cm wide (5ft 5in by 2ft 4in)

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