Across the whole of sports, the helmet has experienced a lot of design upgrades. Nowhere is this more evident than in auto racing. In the early days of racing, many drivers were happy to wear a leather helmet, similar to early football helmets. After WWII, the flack helmet took over as the primary design. As time went on, the motorcycle helmet became the standard, and after many design upgrades, began to resemble the current racing helmet, which will be improved in the future.
One variation of racing helmet from the early days was a helmet that looked like a baseball batting helmet. This example was used by a driver who raced at Stafford Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut.It comes with a photo of the driver who raced in the helmet, in his modified car. It looks like it was take in the late 1960’s to early 1970’s, probably before the track started holding NASCAR events.
The helmet shows a lot of wear, and some water damage. The insides are leaking the old padding that is present. It has dog ears and straps, to provide a snug fit and extra protection. The helmet and car are number 168, and are in a green and white color scheme. The mold from the water damage is present on the helmet, and on the photo.
The independent driver makes auto racing what it is. Examples like this are reasons why. His name might have been lost to history, but his spirit lives on in the future drivers in auto racing. Next week, we take a look at some boots…