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Lauda’s 1976 German GP crash helmet to be sold

The actual helmet that three-times drivers’ world champion the late Niki Lauda was wearing when he had his horrific Nürburgring accident in the Ferrari 312T2 in August 1976 is coming up for sale. Being offered by Bonhams at its Miami auction on 4 May, there is no reserve, though its estimate is $50,000-60,000 with a portion of the proceeds pledged to Unicef. Since 1976, the helmet has been held in a well-known Formula 1 memorabilia collection and has not previously been for sale publicly. 

Lauda’s son Lukas said: ‘We are delighted that our father’s legacy continues to provide help and assistance to those in most need. The challenges faced by UNICEF in providing humanitarian aid to children worldwide are enormous, if we can make a small contribution towards improving opportunities for others; we are delighted to do so.’

James Garguilo, Bonhams|Cars Automobilia Specialist, added: ‘We are privileged to present this historically significant helmet, as a testament to Niki Lauda’s legacy as a driver and as a champion for driver safety. His unyielding determination and sheer courage altered the trajectory of racing history.’

If you find the gruesome back-story of Lauda’s helmet off-putting, it is just one of a load of F1 driver lids going under the hammer at the sale. Others include:

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 1997 Italian Grand Prix weekend worn helmet. Estimate: $25,000-30,000.
Nigel Mansell, Ferrari, 1989/1990 season worn helmet. Estimate: $25,000-30,000.
Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari, 1981/1982 season worn helmet. Estimate: $20,000-25,000.
Alain Prost, Ferrari, 1990 Italian Grand Prix helmet worn to 2nd place. Estimate: $15,000-20,000.
Gerhard Berger, Ferrari, 1995 season worn helmet. Estimate: $5,000-7,000.
Jean Alesi, Ferrari, 1995 season worn helmet. Estimate: $5,000-7,000.
Eddie Irvine, Ferrari, 1998 French Grand Prix worn helmet to 2nd place. Estimate: $5,000-7,000.

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