The Driver Suit Blog-To Answer a Valid Question

By David G. Firestone

Yesterday, I received a comment from “Eric” on my personal blog. Eric stated that “Since when is this a—–e the authority on paint schemes and uniform design? What’s his marketing experience or is this just his subjective opinion and who the hell asked for it?” Well Eric, I am a collector of driver suits and helmets. In February, I wrote a column for Uni-Watch, a sports uniform website, entitled “Gentlemen Start Your Engines.” The article was an introduction to the basics of driver suit design, using items from my personal collection.

The Driver Suit Blog was started as a direct result of that column. As I was working on the column, I was stunned to discover the lack of information on collecting driver suits available to the collector. Much of the information I included in that column was not readily available to collectors, and it made my research that much harder. I started The Driver Suit Blog in order to solve this problem. I want other collectors to have a place where they can get information on driver suits without as much difficulty as I had.

I started collecting driver suits in 2010. Prior to that, I was and still is very active in the game-used sports memorabilia hobby. I make videos of my collection under the title “Introduction to Sports Memorabilia” to help new collectors understand some of the aspects of collecting these items. Football, baseball, basketball and hockey uniforms and game-used memorabilia is a lot easier to research because there are many websites devoted to game-used items, and the game-wear patterns, terminology, and uniform designs are explained very clearly with visible examples. That makes research a lot easier. In addition to that, many auction houses are good for research as well.

Driver suits, and racing memorabilia in general are not as widely represented on websites, auction houses, and collector websites as NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA memorabilia. Granted the racing market is not as big as those, but there are still collectors out there, and they want and need to do research on their items. I have found more information on McDonald’s collectibles and Presidential bill signer pens than I have on collecting driver suits.

When it comes to paint schemes, I decided that I am focusing this blog on racing aesthetics and collectibles. Paint schemes are an intricate part of driver suit design. As paint schemes change, driver suit design changes with them. As a collector, I have to take these subtle changes into consideration. That said, when it comes to paint schemes, there are some good schemes and some awful schemes. I just take a public stance on what I think are good, and what I think are awful. I also collect a lot of race-used sheet metal, so the chances are good that pieces of these cars can and do end up in my collection, so I do have some interest in these schemes.

When it comes to “marketing” I’ve said that I’m a collector. I have no marketing experience, I don’t work on Madison Ave, I collect and analyze driver suits. In analyzing the various items in my collection I’ve noticed that the safety and marketing design requirements fuse into the driver suit. Even as I look at the items in my own collection, I see the marketing aspects, but not the safety aspects. So many of the aspects of the suit that people notice most are the marketing aspect not the safety aspect of it.

So “Eric” I hope that gives you some answers to your questions. Next time you feel like commenting, please don’t be so profane.

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