Niki Lauda’s Nürburgring Helmet – A symbol of sporting bravery and determination – Comes to Bonhams|Cars Miami Auction

240420 Niki Lauda’s 1976 German Grand Prix helmet [678]

A PERCENTAGE OF PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED TO UNICEF

MIAMI, FL – April 20, 2024 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Niki Lauda (1949-2019), Formula 1’s legendary three-time World Drivers’ Champion, is rightly celebrated as one of motorsport’s most talented, tenacious, and intelligent drivers. A Champion who tirelessly campaigned for improvements to track and driver safety throughout his career. Niki Lauda’s incredible determination is best illustrated through his survival and recovery from the accident at the notorious Nürburgring Nordschleife track in Germany in August 1976 – a race that Lauda had tried to convince his fellow drivers to boycott due to poor weather and track safety standards.

The ‘never before auctioned helmet’ worn by Niki Lauda during the race, will be offered for sale by Bonhams|Cars Automobilia Department at the FORMULA 1 CRYPTO.COM MIAMI GRAND PRIX 2024 on Saturday May 4 at an estimate of $50,000 – 60,000. As befits the legendary F1 World Champion, a portion of sale proceeds will be donated by the vendor and BonhamsICars to the Lauda family’s chosen charity, UNICEF, to support their vital work in providing humanitarian aid to children worldwide. The helmet will be on display in the Bonhams|Cars preview tent at the Miami International Autodrome during the weekend of May 3-5.

Niki Lauda’s son, Lukas Lauda, speaking on behalf of the Lauda family 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.”

“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,” saidJames Garguilo, Bonhams|Cars Automobilia Specialist.

By 1976, Niki Lauda had become the dominant driver of his generation, he was the defending World Champion and leading that year’s battle for the title. Despite adverse conditions and safety concerns raised by multiple drivers, the Nürburgring race proceeded. On lap two of the race, Lauda was involved in an accident in which his car hit the barrier, resulting in his helmet flying off and the engine igniting. Four of his fellow drivers intervened, pulling Lauda from the wreckage, playing a crucial role in aiding his survival. The subsequent recovery became one of the most iconic moments in Formula 1 history. Despite severe burns and respiratory damage, Lauda returned to racing at the Italian Grand Prix, a mere 40 days after the accident. The following day he qualified in a remarkable fifth place. On race day Lauda completed the grueling 52 laps; finishing in an incredible fourth place. While he was ultimately pipped to the world title in 1976, by British driver, James Hunt; the incredible story of the 1976 Championship was fittingly retold in Ron Howard’s 2013 movie, RUSH. Niki Lauda’s determination and skill led him to win his second world title in 1977 and his third in 1984.

240420 Niki Lauda’s 1976 German Grand Prix helmet [2]

[L-R] Niki Lauda’s 1976 German Grand Prix helmet, offered by Bonhams|Cars, estimate: $50,000 – 60,000. The burnt helmet of Niki Lauda (Ferrari 312T2), after his accident. Nürburgring, Germany.
1st August 1976. Copyright LAT.

Niki Lauda’s determination inspired millions and confirmed his status as one of the greatest drivers of all time. Following his accident, the Nürburgring circuit was redesigned for increased safety, and new regulations were implemented. Lauda advocated for safer racecar and track designs, pushing for stricter controls over driving conditions and race organizers.

Since 1976, the helmet has been privately held in notable car and Formula 1 memorabilia collections. This unique opportunity marks the first time it has been publicly available at auction. The helmet originally painted red with ‘Niki Lauda’ lettered in white to both sides, along with logos for Agv, Goodyear and Romerquelle, shows extensive damage. This piece of sporting history comes from a private collection and will be offered alongside seven other helmets from legendary Grand Prix drivers.

240420 Collection of eight Formula 1 helmets offered from a private collection

Collection of eight Formula 1 helmets offered from a private collection.

  • 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.

For more information about this incredible collection, please contact the department: automobilia@bonhamscars.com.

Sale: The Miami Auction 
Location: Miami, Florida
Date: May 4

About FORMULA 1 CRYPTO.COM MIAMI GRAND PRIX

The FORMULA 1 CRYPTO.COM MIAMI GRAND PRIX, established in 2022 on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship calendar, is the premier culmination of world-class racing, fan experience, entertainment and hospitality, located in the heart of Miami Gardens, Florida. Recognized as Best New Event of 2022 by Sports Business Journal and now entering its third year, the event is hosted by South Florida Motorsports (SFM) at the Miami International Autodrome, a 19-turn, 3.36-mile track within the complex of Hard Rock Stadium, the home of the legendary Miami Dolphins NFL team.

In its first two years, the race attracted more than 240,000 attendees across both weekends and provided an additional tourist boost and economic impact to local businesses in the greater Miami region totaling $798 million. SFM and Formula 1 have also worked closely to engage with and support the local Miami Gardens community, providing over 1,500 tickets for residents, creating a STEM education program through F1 in Schools, offering event internships for local students and featuring 14 local minority-owned restaurants on Campus during race weekend each year.

For more information please visit: https://media.f1miamigp.com/

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