You don’t need an excuse…
As detailed elsewhere in this issue, replica crash helmets are in big demand at the moment, with lids from all eras of the sport becoming hugely collectible. Of recent times, there are few more distinctive designs than the one Jenson Button wore during that fairytale 2009 season, when he guided the ultimate underdog Brawn GP team to the world championship in its maiden, and only, Formula 1 season.
This is a 1:1-scale replica of the Bell helmet Button wore throughout that season, featuring the distinctive white, black and dayglo yellow colours that were so reminiscent of the team; Brawn GP was so cash-strapped that the car was predominantly plain white for testing, making do with just a handful of coloured stickers which were gradually added to as the season went on. It emerged as the most unlikely of frontrunners.
Button secured four poles and six wins from the opening seven races to put himself clear in the title chase before others caught up with Brawn’s innovative double-deck diffuser. But by then it was too late, and Button secured a dream world title. This item is a signature away from being a potentially great investment.
History of the Monaco Grand Prix ‘Pilotes Edition’
Our friends at Signature Store have a handy knack for finding incredible rarities, and a stunning and hugely limited edition of the Le Grand Prix Automobile de Monaco, 1929-1960 by Yves Naquin certainly qualifies as a gem. While the book itself isn’t so rare, it is thought that there are only around a dozen examples like this one, which is un-numbered and stamped ‘Exemplaire Pilotes’, or Drivers’ Edition.
These ultra-rare versions were given as gifts to drivers willing to contribute or sign various editions of the book, making any one with this stamp hugely collectible in itself. The book itself is stunning, A3 in size, 6kg, sitting almost 3in thick and with 600 pages of beautiful images and editorial supported by the private archives of Prince Rainier of Monaco. You have to read French to get the most from it, but it’s
a great addition for any collector.
Automobilist Burn and Crash art print
Automobilist’s latest release of fine art prints is well worth a peruse, and if you like your pictures to feature serious drama mixed with political overtones, then try this one depicting Manfred von Brauchitsch being pulled from his flaming Mercedes during the 1938 German Grand Prix.
On the eve of war, the prospect of a ‘Britisher’ winning in the Fatherland was unthinkable, but it became reality when von Brauchitsch’s works Mercedes W154 combusted in the pits, prompting team manager Alfred Neubauer to drag him from the blaze. Von Brauchitsch re-entered the race, but crashed soon after, handing victory to Richard ‘Dick’ Seaman in his Mercedes. Cue that fantastic shot of Seaman’s half-mast salute to Hitler on the podium…
Walero beanie hat
As far as current planning goes, spectator banks will (hopefully) get the go-ahead to reopen for sporting events across Europe this summer. And if you’re a fan of British racing events in particular, then you’ll know that it’s handy to have a noggin-warmer nearby at all times – even in August. This snazzy beanie from Walero would fit the bill nicely, and features temperature regulating technology to keep your bonce from burning should the sun decide to put in a rare appearance now and then.
Derek Bell-signed Porsche 956 model
The dawn of an era of new regulations can often turn an established pecking order on its head, but in the case of Group C it didn’t. Porsche already had La Sarthe in its grip, having triumphed six times since its breakthrough with the 917 in 1970. When Group C arrived for 1982, the rules would go on to create a swathe of legendary sports cars as manufacturers were tempted back to take on Porsche.
None properly managed to stop Stuttgart, mostly due to the success of the 956. Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell were fresh from their 1981 victory in the 936 when they were plugged into the 956 the following year, and nobody could get near them. This 1:18-scale model of the 1982 winner is mounted on a plinth, signed by Bell and comes in a presentation box. £299.95
Outboard motor bookends
It’s rare for us to feature something without wheels, but these do at least have an engine and steering, of sorts, plus they have a racing past. In the 1950s it was a popular pastime in Japan to create miniature racing boats, complete with fully working scaled-down outboard motors. These superb bookends are based around original motor designs of the time, crafted from aluminium, painted to look retro and then mounted to heavy cast-iron bases to hold on to your favourite books through even the choppiest of waters.