Bell has re-introduced its 1966 original: the very first full-face motorsports helmet, worn by the best drivers from the late 60s to early 70s.
Unlike the earlier version, however, the 2009 Bell Star is fully compliant with the latest (Snell SA 2005) regulations and its carbon-Kevlar composite construction makes it considerably lighter than the older, first-generation helmets.
The American company has been at the forefront of driver safety since 1954. When it introduced the world’s first totally enclosed helmet in 1966, it took the motor racing world by storm and, by 1970, there were few single-seater drivers at the top level using anything else. Top long-distance specialists, such as Pedro Rodríguez, Brian Redman and Jo Siffert, were soon ‘full-faced’, too.
With a simple, single-layer Nomex suit underwear and a fireproof scarf, the addition of the new Bell helmet made drivers’ lives much safer.
The re-introduced Classic also features – as an option – Hans® ‘post’ clips fitted as original equipment (together with an FIA 8858 label).
And, no, this does not refer to a design used by Hans-Joachim Stuck Jnr. when driving F2 in 1973; it’s the life-saving head and neck safety device commonly employed across all levels of motorsport.
With grateful thanks to Malcolm Sanders of MSAR Safety, London-based main dealers for Bell and the Hans® range from Schroth Racing. For further information visit www.msar-safety.com.
Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Bell / Ford Motor Company
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