Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Helmet question

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Helmet question

    It's probably be covered on this forum before, so if there's a link to an old thread I'd welcome it:

    Who/when/where was the firsts full face, enclosed helmet at both Indy and on the champ car circuit in general (answer might be one in the same?) Who was the last open faced helmet, same question.

    I'm wondering ditto for F1.

    I believe in F1 Gurney in 68 was the first?

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    I don’t know for sure but I think Gurney was first at Indy, too. My dad had the first consumer Bell full-face for his street bike riding in the early ‘70s and I inherited it for dirt biking later on. It was originally white and I spray painted it black.
    Johncock’s custom Bell with the small eye slit looked very claustrophobic.
    "Charging a man with murder here was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500."- Capt. Willard, Apocolypse Now
    "Ain't nuthin' like [being with a woman], 'cept maybe the Indy 500."- Bunny, Platoon
    "To alcohol! The cause of- and solution to- all of life's problems."- Homer J. Simpson

    Comment


    • #3
      Ol' AJ and Lloyd Ruby wore open faced as late as '73.
      The Ayn Rand of Indycar

      No one had to badge the Offy.

      Crapping all over threads since 2000.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm pretty sure Ruby still had an open face helmet in 1974, but he had full face in 75.

        Comment


        • #5
          George Snider might have worn one late as well. From photos it appears he had a full face in 1975, though I believe in the dirt track division he was using an open face with bandanna later than that.
          "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's future, and we are all mortal".

          John Kennedy at American University 1963

          "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power"

          A. Lincoln

          Comment


          • #6
            Even though Hurtubise didn't make the 500 in later years, he may have been using an open face up to the very end.
            "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's future, and we are all mortal".

            John Kennedy at American University 1963

            "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power"

            A. Lincoln

            Comment


            • #7
              I’ve had a little time to research my own question.

              While I don’t know if he was the first sport wide, it appears Gurney was among the pioneers in the full face helmet. Because of his height the windscreens on open cockpit cars didn’t protect him to the degree they did other drivers, catching bugs, pebbles, dust, etc. on a regular basis. He begin using the full face mid 1968 with the German GP at the Nurburgring being the first race. He wore one at Indy the following year, but I’m not sure if he was the only one in Indy car at that time, or indeed the first.

              I wonder if Dan got the idea from the Can-Am series?

              An interesting variation, also dated to 1968, is that some F1 drivers were wearing open faced helmets with transparent full face “bubble” visors in wet races. Both the Dutch and the French races were in the rain prior to the also wet Nurburgring GP, and photos confirm select drivers were using them. Apparently the Canadian GP the prior year was extremely wet and many drivers goggles were fogging up, which led to a desire for something different. Why this wasn’t an issue before I don’t know; certainly there were wet GP’s before 1967.

              EDIT: On further research, Dan wore one earlier at Indy in 68 and Dutch 68. Apparently the first in each case. Still no idea who sported the last open face design.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Martyj View Post
                ....

                EDIT: On further research, Dan wore one earlier at Indy in 68 and Dutch 68. Apparently the first in each case. Still no idea who sported the last open face design.
                Gurney started using the full face helmet at Indianapolis sometime after Time Trials as he was wearing an open face helmet then. Here's a photo of Gurney alongside Joe Leonard (in the Lotus turbine) during the '68 500 wearing the full face helmet. 1968 was also the first year that USAC required drivers to have their name on the side of the helmet and you can see Gurney's name in block letters.


                Comment


                • #9
                  As said, Foyt and Ruby were wearing open-faced helmets in 1973. It appears that everyone that made the race for '74 was wearing full coverage, although Ruby was wearing a full helmet with goggles instead of a shield.
                  You have the IndyCar you deserve.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dalz View Post
                    As said, Foyt and Ruby were wearing open-faced helmets in 1973. It appears that everyone that made the race for '74 was wearing full coverage, although Ruby was wearing a full helmet with goggles instead of a shield.
                    In his qualifying photo for 74, Ruby is holding an open face helmet.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The last open-face helmet in F1:

                      lk-gb74.jpg

                      Leo Kinnunen, 1974. Started one race (Sweden), retired after 8 laps. DNQ'd a few others, the last one at Monza.
                      "An emphasis was placed on drivers with road racing backgrounds which meant drivers from open wheel, oval track racing were at a disadvantage. That led Tony George to create the IRL." -Indy Review 1996

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Speedbump64 View Post

                        In his qualifying photo for 74, Ruby is holding an open face helmet.
                        Yes indeed. The scenario I described was from 1975.
                        You have the IndyCar you deserve.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          79320C0B-3791-49FE-8D38-F6FB09E17382.jpeg
                          The same question about the last 500 driver to wear an open face was asked in the latest Miller Mailbag and he says Hurtubise in ‘74 was the last. I don’t even remember him making that race, but he was in it. According to google images this his ‘74 car.
                          "Charging a man with murder here was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500."- Capt. Willard, Apocolypse Now
                          "Ain't nuthin' like [being with a woman], 'cept maybe the Indy 500."- Bunny, Platoon
                          "To alcohol! The cause of- and solution to- all of life's problems."- Homer J. Simpson

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It's as if many forget that Hurtubise ran rear-engined cars on several occasions, including 3 or 4 Indianapolis 500s. The early/mid-70s period between his efforts with the Mallards seems forgotten.
                            "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              To add to the original question, I believe one of the first drivers to wear a “hard” helmet in the 500 was Wilbur Shaw sometime in the ‘30s. IIRC he mentioned that in his book that he was a pioneer in that aspect of the 500.
                              "Charging a man with murder here was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500."- Capt. Willard, Apocolypse Now
                              "Ain't nuthin' like [being with a woman], 'cept maybe the Indy 500."- Bunny, Platoon
                              "To alcohol! The cause of- and solution to- all of life's problems."- Homer J. Simpson

                              Comment

                              Unconfigured Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X