Snapshot, 1977: No allergies, just (O)positively addicted to speed

It’s March 1977, and qualifying at the 12 Hours of Sebring has just ended. After putting his 911S on the grid for tomorrow’s race, Paul Newman watches his competitors drive back into the pit lane, inadvertently showing some personal information most wouldn’t know, unless maybe you're his doctor…

What do we know about Paul Newman? He’s a successful actor, he’s been nominated for numerous Academy Awards, he’s a new and formidable racing driver, coming onto the scene fewer than 10 years ago (in his late 40s, no less!), and he got a tetanus shot in 1975. Yup, thanks to the health information displayed on the back of his helmet, fans the world over can rest assured knowing that tetanus will not be the thing to take down the great Paul Newman. But all jokes aside, this information is very pertinent on a race track — possibly the difference between life and death. Luckily, Newman has proven himself more than apt behind the wheel, as was evidenced by his run today on the track, which will see his 911S start in 41st position on race day tomorrow. And although the likelihood of the helmet data actually being put to use is slim, when you’re dealing with Butch Cassidy, it’s probably best to err on the side of caution.

Photo: Bettmann via Getty Images