Posted by Andrew Smith

Miami, FL – Niki Lauda (1949-2019), Formula 1's legendary three-time World Drivers' Champion, is rightly celebrated as one of motorsport's most talented, tenacious, and intelligent drivers. A Champion who tirelessly campaigned for improvements to track and driver safety throughout his career. Niki Lauda's incredible determination is best illustrated through his survival and recovery from the accident at the notorious Nürburgring Nordschleife track in Germany in August 1976 – a race that Lauda had tried to convince his fellow drivers to boycott due to poor weather and track safety standards.

The 'never before auctioned helmet' worn by Niki Lauda during the race, will be offered for sale by Bonhams Cars Automobilia Department at the FORMULA 1 CRYPTO.COM MIAMI GRAND PRIX 2024 on Saturday May 4th at an estimate of $50,000 – 60,000.

As befits the legendary F1 World Champion, a portion of sale proceeds will be donated by the vendor and BonhamsI Cars to the Lauda family's chosen charity, UNICEF, to support their vital work in providing humanitarian aid to children worldwide. The helmet will be on display in the Bonhams Cars preview tent at the Miami International Autodrome during the weekend of May 3-5.


Niki Lauda's son, Lukas Lauda, speaking on behalf of the Lauda family said, "We are delighted that our father's legacy continues to provide help and assistance to those in most need. The challenges faced by UNICEF in providing humanitarian aid to children worldwide are enormous, if we can make a small contribution towards improving opportunities for others; we are delighted to do so."

Why did Lauda's helmet come off when he crashed?

The story at the time about Lauda's AGV X1 helmet was that there was only one shell size for that helmet and the different sizes were obtained by adjusting the padding within the helmet. Lauda had a small head and therefore had a lot of padding. In addition, the chinstrap was quite near the front of the helmet so when the helmet hit the headrest, the padding compressed enough for the chinstrap to come off his chin - there was no actual breakage.

Legends of F1 TShirt - Lauda

When AGV and Lauda conquered Formula 1

The helmets of champions on four wheels

By DemoneRosso | 28 January 2021 | 3 min

In over 70 years of history, AGV hasn’t limited itself to two wheels. The Italian brand also gloried in the highest class of auto racing, Formula 1. Having established its biking credentials with the help of Giacomo Agostini, the start of the 1970s saw AGV helmets make their debut on drivers in single-seaters. 

AGV didn’t merely put in an appearance. Everyone had gotten used to seeing Italian helmets out in front, and two extra wheels couldn’t be allowed to change that. The logo itself tells a success story. Legend has it that the Italian-flag badge encapsulates the helmet of Agostini himself, as seen from behind by his rivals. 

So founder Gino Amisano put the top drivers of the day under contract with AGV. The helmets from Valenza in the province of Alessandria made their debut and notched up wins soon after. 

The first driver to take AGV to Formula 1 triumph was Emerson Fittipaldi, a Brazilian born in São Paulo but with origins in Basilicata. In 1974 he moved from Lotus to McLaren and became world champion for the second time in his career, after the one in 1972.  

Things went even better for AGV next year, if that’s possible. The car of the World Drivers’ Champion was Ferrari red, with a young Austrian at its wheel. Not even thirty yet, he was soon to take his rightful place among the legends of auto racing: Niki Lauda, a name which needs no explanation.  

1975 was Lauda’s second with Ferrari and he was one of the most respected drivers in the world championship to all intents and purposes. He came out on top, with five wins and nearly two races between him and Fittipaldi at the end of the season.  


One of Formula 1’s most iconic helmets, the AGV X1, made its first track appearance that very year. The model was decidedly modern for the time, and is unmistakable even today because of the highly visible air vent on top of the shell. 

It so happens that the AGV X1 was also worn by the only woman in history to earn points in F1: Lella Lombardi, hailing from the same area as AGV, got half a point in the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix. The race was interrupted by an accident while she was in sixth place, the last with points attached to it. The points of all drivers were halved because not enough ground had been covered to warrant full points when the incident occurred. 

The AGV Formula 1 story didn’t stop here, and neither did the wins. In 1980, it was the turn of Australian driver Alan Jones, dominating in a white Williams FW07. Also with Williams came Keke Rosberg in 1982, followed by the last title for the Valenza-based brand, in 1987 with Nelson Piquet. 

In under twenty years in the ring, AGV picked up five world championship titles and a host of wins and podium places, proving that a winning approach crosses the confines between sports.




The first AGV helmet dates back to 1947, a leather protector modeled on wooden molds and left to dry for an extended period to obtain a rigid, protective shell. It had a soft, padded inner lining for comfort and to increase impact absorption.


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