Flying the flag: Nigel Mansell’s signed British GP Williams F1 helmet

What with the King’s coronation and the British GP, it’s time to show the Union Flag. Find this ‘Nige’ helmet and more at the Motor Sport shop –

Signed Nigel Mansell Replica Helmet

Signed Nigel Mansell Replica Helmet

The British Grand Prix conjures up many a magical memory: Lewis Hamilton splashing around the outside of pretty much the entire field in 2008, Johnny Herbert’s shock win in 1995, Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell wheel-to-wheel in that turbulent 1987 race… but it’s another moment from the Midlands hero that perhaps sticks out. After his victory in 1991, Mansell spied a stranded Ayrton Senna, who’d run out of fuel on his parade lap. Mansell pulled over, allowing the Brazilian to climb aboard the sidepod of his Williams giving us that iconic ‘Taxi for Senna’ moment. This display helmet is an exact replica of the one Mansell wore that day, featuring full period correct livery and a visor hand signed by the man himself.


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Fangio artwork


At the birth of world championship grand prix racing, there were few finer talents than Juan Manuel Fangio, who achieved a stunning four world titles back to back during the 1950s, with Maserati, Mercedes and Ferrari. This evocative art print depicts the Argentine legend on his way to victory in the 1956 British Grand Prix at Silverstone aboard the Ferrari (well, Lancia) D50. Limited to just 25, with each numbered and signed by the artist.

£97 standard size; £115 large

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Playforever Lorentino race car


No, it’s not a toy! Well, actually it is, it’s just a lovely one. Playforever’s wonderfully chunky products always look and feel the part, and we love this jet-black version of a classic grand prix racer. Featuring glossy hardwearing paintwork and real rubber tyres, it’s perfect as either a desk ornament or running around the living room carpet.


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Northeast American Sports Car Races 1950-59


American motor racing during the 1950s witnessed a lot of change. From amateur drivers competing on public roads to the rise of a properly professional sport with its own heroes and villains. This work by Terry O’Neil tracks the early days of the sport, covering the triumphs, tragedies and mysteries in intricate detail, accompanied by hundreds of photographs. Well worth a read.


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Vintage British Grand Prix poster

Vintage British Grand Prix poster

There are few things cooler than knowing you have a genuine piece of history hanging on your wall, and this poster from 1965 is a real rarity. Depicting John Surtees in action aboard his Ferrari 158 from 1964, it is one of the few surviving original artworks of an event that would feature an all-British podium, with Jim Clark leading Graham Hill and Surtees home.


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About the Motor Sport shop

With hundreds of special and unique racing-themed products, and many new items regularly added, the Motor Sport shop is aimed at both serious and casual collectors with a wide range of prices to suit your budget.

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The expert


Watchmaking and motor racing are intrinsically linked, with leading brands such as Heuer (TAG) and Rolex either born from the sport or inspired to create some of its finest models by it. And that can lead to both wonderful limited-edition timepieces that collectors can go crazy for, but sadly also a lot of slightly tacky mass-produced cash-ins. Let’s look at a real collectors’ piece.

Chopard is a wonderful brand, and we recently had a pair of super-limited watches cross our desk. Chopard’s CEO Karl-Friedrich Scheufele is a huge fan of the modern Mille Miglia, so much so that Chopard sponsors the event and each year produces commemorative watches for it. These come in three levels – the retail one for general sale and made in numbers, then there are the ones made for the competitors, which are presented to each driver and co-driver as a memento of the event. There’s only a few hundred numbered pieces of these each year. But one up from even that are a very small number (usually only 30) made for the event organisers. Each is numbered, making them like hens’ teeth.


Some clients had a pair of organisers’ edition watches linked to the entry of an original ex-Stirling Moss car in the modern event. I had Stirling sign the case back and boxes about 10 years ago, had them valued (perhaps they didn’t account for the signatures) and they sold almost instantly, and for much more than the valuation. Strictly limited editions of fine watches are always a great investment.

Events like Le Mans and the Daytona 24 Hours award winning drivers with unique engraved watches (if they ever do crop up for sale, you’ll need a mortgage!). It’s an interesting and growing side of the collectors’ market. Just be careful what you buy, often the more limited the better.

Andrew Francis is director at The Signature Store,