Clothing for the motorist


Driving gloves are the most widely used clothing accessory and a large number of different makes are available. Most gloves have a cotton mesh back and leather palms, although they are designed for different purposes. For instance, racing gloves are as thin and light as possible, while ordinary gloves are designed for warmth before other considerations.

Les Leston – The GP driving gloves design is intended purely for racing and have thin cape leather palm with a cotton mesh air-vent back for keeping the hands cool. There are no large seams which is ideal from the point of view of preventing blisters in a long race. In fact, so comfortable are those gloves one forgets they are being worn after a short while. The gloves have elasticated wrists which meets the sleeves of racing overalls to prevent burns on exposed flesh. These gloves are entirely suitable for ordinary road driving, although they are not very efficient at keeping out the cold air prevalent at this time of year. They are priced at 25s.

Lesion’s Motor Accmories, 314 High Hollx.xn, WC1.

D Lewis Ltd – This firm manufactures a pair of racing gloves of a similar pattern to the Leston GP gloves although using pigskin leather, which is slightly heavier. The fingertips are reinforced and the wrist has an elasticated insert. The price is 19s.

D Lewis Ltd, 124 Gt Portland St, WI.

Slazengers Ltd – Slazenger driving gloves are designed for the man who requires warmth with his motoring. They feature thick leather palms with double-layer cotton mesh backs and wool fabric linings fbr maximum warmth. Naturally, with such thick gloves having strong seams they would not be suitable for racing, but fir the man who has an open tourer and who likes to travel with the hood down sometimes, these warm gloves will prove ideal.

Slazengers Ltd, Horbury, Wakefield, Yorkshire.

G Waddington & Son Ltd – This company produces a large range of general-purpose driving gloves for both men and women drivers, ranging from a pigskin leather palm type, unlined and with string back, at 21s. 9d, to a fleecy wool-lined pair at 43s. 6d. These all have open wrists and are not suitable for racing, but, having small seams, would not unduly hamper the fast driver. Once again, the unlined gloves do not keep out the cold in an open car or walking on the street.

G Waddington & Son Ltd., Newland, Hull.


Generally speaking, use of helmets is restricted to racing, but some who drive open sports cars might benefit from the use of a helmet, which may result in a shorter stay in hospital.

Les Leston – A new design was introduced at the end of last season with extended side pieces for protection of the temples. Research indicates a glassfibre shell with a cork lining is the best combination For maximum protection, and the Leston GP helmet uses a half-inch lining. The helmet has been submitted to the British Standards Institute for test and was found to have strength far in excess of requirements. It is interesting to note that the American spaceman type helmet failed the BSA tests. Both Moss and Brabham have used the Leston helmet and others will probably do so next season. The new helmet is priced at LS 17s. 6d. Although we have no facilities for testing the strength of helmets, it is certainly comfortable and with a weight of around 1 1/2lb is not unduly heavy.

Slazengers – The 6810A type helmet is mainly intended for motor-cycling but could be used for racing. It is used by such experts as John Surtees and Geoff Duke. It is, if anything, lighter than the Leston helmet and offers a large degree of comfort.


Les Leston – Some drivers think it is an affectation to wear racing overalls but it is no exaggeration to say several tragic accidents could have been avoided by the use of flame-proofed overalls. Leston overalls have always been flame-proofed and offer a high degree of protection. The intention of the one-piece overall is to cover as much of the body as possible, while the wrists, waist and ankles have elastic crepe inserts to ensure that the overalls will not catch on anything in the cockpit. Poplin is the best material, as nylon melts, and can cause nasty wounds. Poplin is easily flame-proofed by immersing the garment in a solution of 1 lb. of Borax with 3/4lb. of Boric Acid powder boiled and added to a gallon of water. The garment to be flame-proofed should be immersed in the liquid, then mangled dry and ironed in the normal way. The overalls are priced at £5.

Leston’s also manufacture a separate blouse and trousers to be used by the non-racing enthusiast. For protecting ordinary trousers they should prove ideal. These are available with open and closed ankles at £2 15s. 6d. A waterproof nylon suit is also available for wearing over racing overalls.


Goggles are important to the racing driver, especially in along-distance race, where a poorly-fitted pair will become very painful in the course of race.

Octopus – There is no better recommendation than to say than Stirling Moss wears them. He wears the 940 Octopus model which can be obtained with a large curved Triplex lens or a flat safety-glass lens. The frame is nickel plated and is mounted on a chamois-leather lined face-piece. The price of the 940 model is 64s. 6d. There are over 30 different types of goggles to choose from in the range.

L & M Steiner Ltd., Charleville Road, London, W14.

Leston – Popular goggles with racing drivers are a modified version of the RAF Mk VIII pattern, which has angled lenses for all-round vision. These have been modified to fit the latest type of helmet. The lenses are made of Triplex laminated safety glass, which can be replaced with smoke-tinted lenses for driving in bright sunshine.

Starlight – The Starlight shield is intended for the saloon-car motorist to combat dazzle at night. From our own tests these glasses certainly do reduce the dazzle from oncoming headlamps and are a definite asset in night driving. They are priced at 9s. 9d. and can be obtained with either smoked, green or amber lenses.