Auction News

Niki Lauda crash helmet in Miami GP auction


The helmet worn by F1 star Niki Lauda in a fiery crash that nearly killed him will be sold at an auction before the Miami Grand Prix on May 4.

The helmet is a dramatic reminder of the dangers of F1.

It is visibly and obviously fire damaged and has a large dent in the visor. Paint is missing from large areas of the red helmet.

In 1976, Niki Lauda was world champion. His rivalry with British driver James Hunt was one of the big draws of the sport.

They faced off from the front row of the grid at the 1976 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. He span off in the second lap and his Ferrari burst into flames. Driver Arturo Merzario pulled him from the vehicle and probably saved his life.

Lauda was read the last rites in hospital, but returned to racing – visibly scarred and wearing bandages – in time to compete in the Italian Grand Prix 40 days later.

Lauda’s crash was a turning point in GP safety.

His helmet was modified and did not fit him properly, contributing to the terrible injuries he suffered.

Lauda subsequently won the 1977 world title and campaigned successfully for better safety coverage at F1 races.

This helmet goes to sale with no reserve and an estimate of £40,000 to £49,000 ($50,000 to $60,000).

It will be sold alongside a collection of helmets, of which it is predicted to be far the most valuable. Helmets worn by Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost are the next most highly rated with top estimates of $30,000 and $20,000 respectively.

The most valuable items at the Bonham’s Miami auction are cars, with a 2019 Bugatti Chiron going into the sale with a $3 million + estimate.

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