The Driver Suit Blog-Replica Helmets and Why We Need Them In Racing Part Trois

DSCN1142 - CopyBy David G. Firestone

Last week, we discussed Tony Stewart replica helmets, this week we will discuss some other replica helmets I have come across. Again these would be great for fans and collectors. I’m amazed that they aren’t available more. This week, we are going to focus on replica helmets of the Labonte brothers.

Let’s start with Bobby Labonte. Bobby Labonte has raced since 1981, he won the 1991 Nationwide Series Championship, beating Jeff Gordon, and Dale Jarrett among others. He started racing in the Sprint Cup that same year, but didn’t have any real success until he took over the #18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix for Joe Gibbs Racing in 1995. In 1997, he had a 7th place finish, with a win in the final race of the season. This display helmet, probably made for a garage or mechanic desk was released.blabonte1-1

It’s not as elaborately designed as the Simpson models, but it is a nice looking piece. The visor is locked in the down position, and doesn’t seem to be the same design as his race helmet. The inside is hollowed out, and the inside is plain plastic. An inexpensive helmet like this would be great to get signed. It would also be a great promotional tool, that’s what is was used for. Seriously, what fan wouldn’t like an autograph from their favorite driver on one of these?blabonte1-2 blabonte1-3 blabonte1-4 blabonte1-5 blabonte1-6

Fast forward to 2011. Bobby is now driving for JTG Daugherty Racing, and he picks up a sponsorship from Lance Snacks. He has a replica helmet, based on his real helmet released by Simpson. blabonte2-1This is a full-sized helmet, and it is very detailed. It’s a very attractive helmet, and I love the large cracker sandwich picture on the back. Again, it mystifies me as to why there aren’t many more of these designed just like their driver’s on-track counterparts.blabonte2-2 blabonte2-3 blabonte2-4 blabonte2-5 blabonte2-6 blabonte2-7

There are also a number of 1/4 scale helmets available from the 1990’s, one example is below.18-labonte3 18-labonte2 18-labonte1 18-labonte4 18-labonte5 18-labonte6

Moving on to older brother Terry, I finally found a helmet that was in a size I had been wanting. This is a Terry Labonte 1/3 scale helmet from 1997. 5-labonte3-1To give you an idea the scale, let’s look at this chart…DSCN1142

Now that you have a good idea of its size, let’s look at the details. Obviously, it’s very detailed, though one thing that irks me about these 1990’s Simpson mini helmets is that they are solid inside, instead of having some interior details, but since they were sold for $14.99 each back in the day, there was no incentive to make it internally detailed.5-labonte3-2 5-labonte3-3 5-labonte3-4 5-labonte3-5 5-labonte3-6 5-labonte3-7

There was also 1/4 scale helmets of Terry’s that have been made over the years, some examples of which are below, including the same design as the 1/3 helmet.5-labonte1-3 5-labonte1-1 5-labonte1-2 5-labonte1-4 5-labonte1-5 5-labonte1-6 5-labonte2-3 5-labonte2-2 5-labonte2-1 5-labonte2-4 5-labonte2-5 5-labonte2-6

I’ve said this over and over, we need more of these! I like these, and I know fans like them too. I’m shocked that racing across the board doesn’t do more replica helmets for fans. I’ve got some more insight on these, but I think we’ll save that for next week.

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