The F1 Helmet Niki Lauda Wore in the Nurburgring Crash Is Going to Auction

The helmet is reminder of Lauda’s extraordinary life.

byNico DeMattia|


On August 1, 1976, Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda was in a horrifying crash during the F1 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. The crash resulted in Lauda being severely burned and nearly dying. Fortunately, he survived and went on to have not only an incredible career but remarkable life. Due to that extraordinary life, F1 collectors will be very interested to know that the helmet he wore during that terrible crash is headed to auction.

The helmet is being auctioned by Bonhams in Miami and a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to UNICEF, though it doesn't say what percentage. However, at least some good will be done with the money, and the helmet is expected to sell for between $50,000-$60,000.

Lauda's Ferrari AGV helmet is painted in a simple red livery, with its Goodyear sponsor, Italian flag stickers, and a damaged Romerquelle sticker.

Days before the German Grand Prix, Lauda expressed concern over the safety, or lack thereof, at the Nurburgring, especially since rain was expected. Lauda wanted to boycott the race but most of the drivers voted against him, so the race continued and Lauda crashed. However, despite the evident damage, Lauda's helmet actually came off during the crash, which is why his face, head, and lugs were exposed to the flames and intense heat. Lauda tragically suffered scarring on his face, severe lung damage, lost most of the hair on the right side of his head, and lost much of his right ear. When Lauda arrived at the hospital, he was read his last rights, as he wasn't expected to survive. And yet, just 42 days later, despite being in immense pain, Lauda raced in the Italian Grand Prix and came in fourth place.

It might seem a bit morbid to buy and own the helmet Lauda wore during a near-death experience. However, his helmet is a reminder of his courage, resilience, and astonishing life.

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