£3,000 - £5,000
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Barry Sheene's 1977 AGV X3000 Prototype Helmet
Motorcycling's first superstar, Barry Sheene was twice World Champion in Grand Prix racing's premier 500cc class: in 1975 and 1976. In an international career stretching from 1968 to 1984 he made over 100 Grand Prix starts, securing 52 podium finishes and 23 victories. Barry was unquestionably the most charismatic motorcycle racer of his day. In 1984 Barry retired to Australia with his wife Stephanie and children Sidonie and Freddie; he died in March 2003 from cancer at the age of only 51.
This helmet is an AGV X3000 'Ago' (Giacomo Agostini) design, believed to be a prototype given to Barry Sheene in 1977 to try out in race practice. The helmet is black, red, and gold with an applied 'No.7' on each side. It is decorated with Barry's trademark 'Donald Duck' emblem and 'Barry Sheene' lettering to the rear. There is also Sheene's trademark cigarette hole in the centre of the helmet face bar; the mark left by the tape that covered the hole when Barry was racing rather than smoking is clearly visible. There is the original Bob Heath Visors sticker on the top. (Bob Heath Visors was established in 1970 as manufacturer of quality replacement motorcycle helmet visors by former racer and Bob Heath, and rapidly became the number one specialist replacement-visor company in the UK.)
As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness, and originality prior to bidding.
Many of Barry's friends and acquaintances have remarked on this helmet's authenticity, among them his former Heron Suzuki team-mate, Steve Parrish. On viewing the helmet in person, Steve said: "The helmet looks very authentic, and I would have no reasons to say that this helmet is not a genuine article!" Others who have made similar comments include TV commentator and co-author of Barry's biography, Nick Harris; Barry's daughter Sidonie; and former Grand Prix racers Marcel Ankoné and Brian Kemp.
On viewing the helmet in person, Mike Fairholme, renowned helmet designer who used to custom-finish Sheene's instantly recognisable racing helmets with their 'Donald Duck' logo had this to say: "I can categorically confirm that this helmet is a 1977 AGV X3000 'Ago', believed to have been a prototype given to Barry Sheene in 1977 to try out in warm up and race practice. This particular helmet of Barry's was originally blue but would have been given to one of the helmet designers which AGV used to create the artwork on the helmet - possibly John 'The Paint' Moffatt. The helmet would have been given to Barry by AGV in 1977 to try out ahead of his contract with AGV commencing in 1978."
This Lot is withdrawn.