One of Australia’s great motorsport mysteries has been solved with the discovery of Alan Jones’ first go-kart helmet in an old bag at a market stall on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
An astute anonymous collector found the treasure almost six months ago and verified his find with the 1980 World Formula One champion this week.
The open faced AGV helmet is silver in colour and is decorated with a single blue stripe down its centre.
The helmet, which has now been signed by Jones, has been placed as the feature piece on the newly-launched on-line motorsport and lifestyle retail site ozspeedshop.com.
It has an asking price of $A15,000 and is already receiving interest from around the world – especially Europe where Jones is still regarded as one of the great F1 champions.
The leather Marlboro bag which housed the helmet has also been placed on the site in the Legends section which also includes limited edition and original pieces from such stars of the sport as Mario Andretti, Marcos Ambrose, Russell Ingall, Danny Sullivan and Sir Jack Brabham.
As bonus for the buyer, the helmet will be a formally presented by Jones at a private meet and greet at a convenient time for both parties. There will also be a certificate of authenticity signed by Jones.
“When this guy tracked me down I could not believe what he had,” said Jones.
“I saw the bag and it was obvious it was the bag given to me by Marlboro after I won the world title – it has my initials sewn in the top of it.
“When he produced the helmet I knew instantly that it was my first go-kart helmet.
“He thought it might have belonged to my dad, but I knew straight away it was my go-kart lid.
“I think ozspeedshop.com is the perfect place for the helmet to be taken to market and I look forward to meeting and sharing a few stories with the eventual purchasers of the piece.”
Jones only competed in a handful of go-kart events in the early 1960s in Victoria before progressing into junior formula and eventually into the grand prix footprints of his father Stan.
The age and authenticity of the helmet was also verified by well-respected karting historians.
Ozspeedshop.com is an Australian-based business which has national and international industry links second to none.
“OzSpeedShop.com is a company that lives and breathes a passion for motoring and Motorsport,” said Manager, David Kell.
“Well connected in the Australian and international Motorsport landscape we found a void in what was on offer to people like us…Fans of Motorsport. Our solution was to develop a shop that gives people a chance to own product never before on offer, along with some stuff that we deem as pretty cool!
“Our products tell a story. They are rich in history, products of quality, and products you would take pride in owning.
“The OzSpeedShop.com mission is to create opportunities for people to purchase rare and original pieces of motorsport history, including helmets, suits, trophies, watches, artworks and car parts – some on consignment from private collections. There is also a growing list of opportunities for fan experiences including competitions, exclusive tours, event hospitality and auctions.
“Our commitment to is to offer not only quality products but unparalleled service. On a regular basis we will be adding new items into the mix.
“If collectors think they have items that fit our program we want to hear from them. We want to hear from collectors, artists, designers, photographers and like minded people. We can deliver a targeted sales outlet for their product and a scenario where everyone wins.”
“At the end of the day our passion unites us and ‘Our Story’ is only just beginning.”
Fans can check out the Alan Jones go-kart helmet and dozens of other high-end collectables at www.ozspeedshop.com.
See below for a video news release on the Alan Jones helmet.