The friendship between Barry Sheene and Gary Nixon is of itself legend. Of course everyone remembers that Sheene liked to race while wearing a Nixon t-shirt under his leathers. On his side Nixon, liked and respected Sheene, which was interesting given that Barry Sheene was basically ten years his younger and of the generation of riders that helped broom guys like Nixon out of racing, which is the way it always works, eventually.
Nixon was a complete racing legend though and Sheene, until he died, loved Nixon as one of his family. Their exploits are complete legend, and at this point will remain confidential if not un-tellable. The tales of the Rolls and the girls and the rock and roll can be summed up by just stating “Nixon and Sheene”. Together they gorged on life.
When Nixon passed away in 2011, his family gave longtime family friend Mike Sponseller (a racer himself) what may well be the best piece of Gary Nixon/Barry Sheene memorabilia in existence.
It’s a signed poster from an ad campaign that Barry Sheene participated in for a French garment company. It was the 1970s so the jeans worn in the poster are impossibly skin tight.
In the dedication, written by Sheene, he addresses Gary as his nickname for Nixon, “Niccers” and says the obvious, that Gary Nixon was a one and only.
The humorous postscript, also by Sheene, tells Nixon that the model beneath him in the poster, is checking out his “inside leg”.
Nixon and Sheene.