Battle for hole position in ’55 Argentinian GP
Battered, scraped and drilled, this crash helmet once protected a famous cranium — that of Froilán González. Famed for his maximum attack style behind the wheel, the ‘Bull of the Pampas’ will always be remembered for breaking Alfa Romeo’s grand prix domination with his victory for Ferrari at Silverstone in 1951. He donated his hard hat to the Donington Grand Prix Collection after Tom Wheatcroft had invited him to drive one of his BRM V16s — González being one of the very few to have actually won a race in the troublesome British machine. In return, Wheatcroft had a replica made so that the Argentinian could continue to appear at historic meets in appropriate headgear. Those holes, so the story goes, were drilled for cooling in Argentinian races, notably that searingly hot 1955 GP in which many drivers had to stop for a break. Gonzalez did too, but due to back trouble, not heat; the holes must have worked. He almost caught leader Fangio before spinning his Ferrari, to finish second.