The Driver Suit Blog-Same Suit, Different Stories Part 1

By David G. Firestone

It’s amazing how many used firesuits are on the market in this day in age. Every one of them tells a story. Some are worn by professional racing champions. Some are worn by weekend warriors. Interestingly, some people who acquire these suits to sell don’t know the true back story behind the suit itself. This is evident that in the next couple weeks, I’m going to discuss two identical suits with different back stories from the sellers.

One of America’s most well-known sports car races in America is the 12 Hours of Sebring. Located in Sebring, Florida, it was opened on the defunct Hendricks Army Airfield in 1950. The race lasts 12 hours, has several different classes racing, and has had many well-known race winners including Juan Manuel Fangio, Dan Gurney, Mario Andretti, A. J. Foyt, Bobby Rahal, Arie Luyendyk, Scott Sharp, Wayne Taylor, and Scott Pruett.

While BMW is considered a luxury car brand, they are involved in Australian GT, DTM, IMSA, GT Racing, and FIA Formula E. They have won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1975, and 1999. At some point in the 1980’s, one of their teams came outfitted in this cream colored single-layer OMP suit. The suit shows some wear, and while I can’t match it 100%, there is an undated photo showing three crew members wearing this same suit design. The collar has a Velcro strap, and an OMP patch on the strap.The cowl has a small unreadable flag tag sewn into it.The right chest features a BMW logo sewn into it.The left chest features GOODYEAR, JEB’S HELMETS, and SKF BEARINGS sewn onto them.The front torso features a black stripe over a red stripe. There is some damage to the red stripe. The suit has an unadorned white belt.The legs are unadorned, and have standard cuffs.The shoulders have black over red stripes. The sleeves have OMP patches sewn into the upper area, but are otherwise unadorned. The back is unadorned.The back of the neck has the warranty label sewn in an off-center manner. The back torso is unadorned.Next week, I’ll discuss an almost identical suit with a different, yet believable back story.

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