J. M. Fangio Leather Crash Helmet and Goggles goes for £4,370 after 53 bids

11/12/2019     Automobilia

J. M. Fangio Leather Crash Helmet and Goggles goes for £4,370 after 53 bids in the HandH Automobilia Auction Online that finished on 8th December.
A motor racing crash helmet of cork/brown leather construction, complete with protective goggles, by repute formerly the property of J.M. Fangio, used before his World Championship successes in post-war single-seater Grand Prix racing.

Hand-signed in white to the crown, now faded, with period repair to one chin strap and some internal tearing to lining. There is an ink annotation to one strap however this is now illegible.

Provenance, kindly provided by the vendor -

By repute formerly the property of Ezequiel González – a personal friend of J.M. Fangio, that first met ‘The Maestro’ whist they were both working as assistant mechanics. The two racing enthusiast’s paths crossed again much later after both serving their compulsory military service – Fangio began building and modifying American stock production saloon cars around this time and González is said to have assisted Fangio for a period whilst he competed in long-distance races held on the dirt roads of South America.

By 1948, the Argentine Automobile Club (and government) provided Fangio with the cash injection he required to become a Grand Prix driver and it is reported to be at this time, the crash helmet was gifted to González as a momentum of their time competing together.

The helmet is later said to have become the possession of well-known historic racer Hamish Moffatt who met González whist touring South America in a pre-war Rolls-Royce. The cash-strapped Argentinian apparently took to the larger-than-life Hamish and allowed him to purchase the helmet. Leaving Moffatt’s custodianship in the early 1980s (apparently swapped for a ‘Brescia’ Bugatti T13 gearbox!!), it entered the current family ownership then, only re-offered today due to bereavement.