Mike Hailwood's 1971 Daytona Grand Prix Racing Leathers,

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Lot 51
Mike Hailwood's 1971 Daytona Grand Prix Racing Leathers,

Sold for US$ 16,875 inc. premium
Mike Hailwood's 1971 Daytona Grand Prix Racing Leathers,
red white and blue BSA Bates leathers, together with a pair of black leather 'Ray' racing boots.

Footnotes

  • 'Stanley Michael Bailey Hailwood, MBE, GM (April 2, 1940 – March 23, 1981) was a British Grand Prix motorcycle road racer. He is regarded by many as one of the greatest racers of all time.' The leather suit, with the road-racing boots, being offered was sold last at auction in the UK in 2007. Hailwood memorabilia is, by contrast, both very popular and hard to find. Thus, this sale is a rare opportunity not to be missed.

    Bates, the creator of these two-piece leathers, is arguably America's favorite and best-known specialty maker of such suits. Based in Long Beach, California, 'Bates Leathers is an icon of motorcycling. First started in 1939 by motorcyclist and saddle seat craftsman Bob Bates. It has since evolved and changed ownership a few times. While technology and trends change, they've continued to be... dedicated to impeccable quality and craftsmanship.' Hailwood clearly chose the best there was for his trip to the 1971 Daytona 200. For Bates Leathers, by 1971, white and red were increasingly popular colors while England was still languishing with the thought that black 'didn't show the dirt.' But 1971 was still too early for the onslaught of logos. The Hailwood red, white and blue suit – high quality American cow hide and industrial strength thread holding the pieces together - carries only a small Bates patch and his race number 20, on one shoulder, and then bigger on the back.

    Hailwood's Ray road-racing boots were a popular brand in the 1960s and 1970s – styled with the simple Italian flair of the period. Perhaps their focus was more on lightweight, comfort and even streamlining, rather than extensive impact and other safety protection. Nonetheless, they are leather and 'quality' and there's every reason for Hailwood to have worn them although it is not certain that Hailwood wore the boots in the 1971 Daytona race.

    So, what took place at Daytona in 1971? The BSA Group again saw the Daytona race as their 'best promotion' before spring sales kicked in. Beaten the previous year by Dick Mann on a Honda CB 750, they did not want to lose again so they upped the number of entries, had Rob North build some new frames for some of the entries, ran both Triumph Tridents and BSA Rocket Threes, and hired Dick Mann, and then Mike Hailwood – with fresh leathers for all the riders: With BSAs were Hailwood, Mann, Dave Aldana, Don Emde and Jim Rice; on Triumphs were Paul Smart, Gene Romero, Don Castro, Gary Nixon and Tim Rockwood. A massive talent pool! Hailwood dropped a valve while in the lead on lap 14 – not enough time to 'dirty-up' his leathers – and the race was won by wily-fox Dick Man (again) with Romero and Emde line astern; BSA 1st and 3rd, Triumph 2nd.

    The Hailwood leather are in good condition, the Ray boots are a little scuffed, but sound. A unique opportunity. Hailwood's Rocket 3? It went to the National Motorcycle Museum outside Birmingham but was destroyed in the fire. A replica has taken its place in the new facility.
Contacts
Mike Hailwood's 1971 Daytona Grand Prix Racing Leathers,
Mike Hailwood's 1971 Daytona Grand Prix Racing Leathers,
Auction information

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PLEASE NOTE: THE BUYER'S PREMIUM FOR THIS AUCTION IS AS FOLLOWS:

For MOTOR VEHICLE property the premium is 15% on the first $100,000 of the bid price and 10% on any amount of the hammer price exceeding $100,000. Buyers are required to pay any applicable import duty, sales or use tax, as the case may be.
For MEMORABILIA property the premium is 25% on the first $250,000 of the hammer price, 20% from $250,001-$4,000,000 then 12.5% on the excess over $4,000,001 of the Hammer Price.

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