(STORY UPDATED OCTOBER 21)
An Arai helmet belonging to the late and great 500cc World Champion Barry Sheene has sold at auction for £2500 ($4600).
It was part of a collection of his race gear, trophies and awards auctioned by Bonhams on October 19 at the Stafford Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show in the UK. Bonhams press officer Ruth Fletcher says the Barry Sheene Collection of 40 lots sold well, with all bar one lot selling. The collective total came in above the top estimate at £24,774 ($45,500).
Bazza was well loved in Australia where he retired after a stellar career as the playboy of the 1970s racing world.
The helmet was a particular highlight of the auction as it showed signs of one of his many spectacular crashes.
In fact, his 280km/h (175mph) crash at the 1975 Daytona 200 was one of his most famous moment of his racing career. Despite his horrific injuries, Bazza returned to the racetrack just a few weeks later. In 1978 Sheene was awarded an MBE, where the Queen is said to have told him at his investiture: “Now you be careful, young man.”
Sheene began racing motorcycles at the age of five and is the last British racer to win a 500cc GP in 1981. Alongside characters like James Hunt, Sheene put the motor racing world in the headlines with his glamorous lifestyle, brave high speed racing skills, and inspired millions throughout his career which spanned from 1968 to 1984.
The Barry Sheene Collection offered at Bonhams sale included the race-worn Arai Helmet and Dainese leathers from Sheene’s Classic and Historic race meetings, trophies and awards from British and European races including some Grand Prix and International race events from Sheene’s Championship-winning years, and a selection of other motorcycle and motorsport race gear and memorabilia.