Search records

Mike Hailwood motorcycle racing helmet

Date made: 1978

Description: A 'Life' helmet used by Mike Hailwood at the 1978 and 1979 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT) races. Hailwood's helmet sponsor for his 1978 comeback was Life, but a photo exists showing Hailwood wearing this helmet in practice in 1979. In the photo he has covered the Life logo with a Dunlop sticker. As Hailwood's 1979 helmet sponsor was Kangol it would appear that he continued for a time to use an old helmet but did not want to upset a new sponsor. Likewise the 'Mr Bike' sticker may well be covering a Yamaha logo. The traces of glue from the Dunlop sticker (now gone) are still visible. Interestingly there appears to be an improvised scrutineering sticker partially underneath the Champion sponsor's sticker. It is a red disc hand written 'OK 27/5 [27 May]' and initials [JGR?]. 27 May 1978 was the first Saturday of practice so this may correspond.

The signature 'Dave Hailwood' was added by Mike's son, at the request of the former owner. It is also stated by the vendor that he added a contemporary visor, supplied by Dave Hailwood from among his late father's possessions, as the helmet did not possess one when the vendor acquired it.

Mike Hailwood is considered one of the greatest racing legends of the TT, having achieved a record-breaking 14 TT wins in the 1960s and 1970s, and is still a hero to a generation of fans.

He was born in Oxfordshire in 1940 and his father, a pre-war racer, owned a large motorcycle dealership. Hailwood began racing at 17 and showed huge natural ability. He rode for both Honda and MV Agusta, winning nine World Championships.

Hailwood’s TT career began in 1958, the highlight being the 1967 Senior race against Agostini, which he won after a thrilling battle. Following a period in car racing, he returned to the TT in 1978 and made a triumphant comeback with victories in the 1978 and 1979 races.
He was tragically killed in a car accident with his daughter in 1981.

Also in this photograph:
L22219 Suzuki RG 500 motorcycle ridden by Mike Hailwood in 1979
2005-0148 Mike Hailwood motorcycle racing leathers

Photographed in-situ in the TT Gallery at the Manx Museum.

Materials: leather, metal: copper alloy, plated, chrome, paper, plastic: polyester, GRP, acrylic, polyurethane, expanded polystyrene, PVC decals, pressure sensitive tape, rubber

Object name: helmet

Collection: Costume & Textiles Collection

ID Number: 2018-0120

Subject tags : #TT&MOTORSPORT


Optional, not displayed

Manx National Heritage (MNH) will always put you in control of the information we send you. Read our privacy policy