Niki Lauda’s 1976 Helmet was to be Auctioned in Miami, Florida

Andrew Roberts

Andrew Roberts

Niki Lauda’s 1976 Helmet was to be Auctioned in Miami, FL – The late Niki Lauda (1949-2019), an icon of Formula 1 racing and three-time World Drivers’ Champion, remains revered for his remarkable skill and enduring influence on motorsport safety. Lauda’s indomitable spirit is epitomized by his miraculous comeback following a near-fatal fiery crash at Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife race circuit in August 1976—a race he had urged his peers to skip, citing unsafe and track conditions due primarily to bad weather and the nature of this circuit. The AGV X-1 Air system helmet he wore during that fateful race is set to be auctioned for the first time by Bonhams Cars at the FORMULA 1 CRYPTO.COM MIAMI GRAND PRIX 2024. Scheduled for Saturday, May 4th, the helmet is expected to fetch between $50,000 and $60,000. In honor of the legendary driver, a part of the proceeds will benefit UNICEF, as chosen by Lauda’s family, aiding the organization’s mission to provide humanitarian relief to children globally. The helmet was scheduled to be showcased at the Bonhams Cars preview area in the Miami International Autodrome from May 3-5.

Niki Lauda AGV X1 Helmet & Giacomo Agostini X-3000 Helmet

Speaking on behalf of the Lauda family, Niki’s son, Lukas Lauda, expressed pride in his father’s lasting impact: “We are proud that our father’s legacy continues to support those in dire need. The challenges UNICEF faces in delivering aid to children worldwide are vast, and any contribution we make to enhance these efforts fills us with immense satisfaction.”

Niki Lauda X1 AGV Helmet (2)

Concerning the incident where Lauda’s helmet came off during his 1976 crash, it was reported that the AGV X1 helmet, which came in only one shell size, relied on varying padding levels to fit different head sizes. Lauda, having a smaller head, required substantial padding. Moreover, the placement of the chinstrap towards the front meant that upon impact with the headrest, the padding compressed enough to allow the chinstrap to slip off, although it did not break.

AGV: Pioneers in Helmets for Champions on Both Two and Four Wheels

Niki Lauda X1 AGV Helmet (1)

With a storied history spanning nearly 80 years, AGV has made significant contributions not only to motorcycle racing but also to the pinnacle of auto racing, Formula 1. Originally bolstered by its association with motorcycle legend Giacomo Agostini, AGV expanded into the world of Formula 1 in the early 1970s. AGV helmets quickly became a familiar sight at the front of the pack of F1 Grand Prix Races, a testament to the brand’s commitment to excellence, regardless of the number of wheels.

A partial list of F1 Drivers wearing AGV X-1 and X-80 Car racing Helmets

Alan Jones75 -76X 80Williams
Alex Caffi87X 999 F1Osella F 1  Alfa Romeo
Alex Caffi88X 999 F1Benetton B 187  Ford (tester)
Alex Caffi89X 999 F1Dallara 3087 – F 188 Ford
Alex Caffi90X 999 F1BMS Dallara F 189 Ford
Alex Ribeiro77X1March 761 B Ford
Andrea de Cesaris1980X 80Alfa Romeo 179
Andrea de Cesaris1981X 80Mc laren M 29 F , MP4/1
Andrea de Cesaris1982X 80Alfa Romeo 182
Andrea de Cesaris1983X 80Alfa Romeo183T
Andrea de Cesaris84X 80 
Andrea de Cesaris88X 999 F1 
Andrea de Cesaris89X 999 F1 
Brian Henton1975X 80 
Bruno Giacomelli77 X 80 
Bruno Giacomelli78 X 80 
Bruno Giacomelli79 X 80 
Bruno Giacomelli80 X 80 
Bruno Giacomelli81 X 80 
Bruno Giacomelli82 X 80 
Bruno Giacomelli83 X 80 
Capelli88X 999 F 1 
Capelli89X 999 F 1 
Emerson Fittipaldi73X 80  
Emerson Fittipaldi74X 1 
Emerson Fittipaldi75X 1 
Emerson Fittipaldi76X 1 
Emerson Fittipaldi77X 1 
Emilio De Villota76X 1 
Enrico Bertaggia89X 999 F1 
Enrico Bertaggia92X 999 F1 
Ian Ashley1977 X 1 
Ingo Hoffman1976X 1 
Ingo Hoffman1977X 1 
Larini1987X 999  F1 
Larini1988X 999  F1 
Larini1989X 999 F1 
Lella Lombardi74X 80 
Lella Lombardi75X1 
Lella Lombardi76X1 
Nelson Piquet87X 999 F1 
Nelson Piquet88X 999 F1 
Niki Lauda76X 1 
Niki Lauda75X 80 
Oscar Larrauri1988X 999 F1 
Oscar Larrauri1989X 999 F1 
P. Carlo Ghinzani84X 80 
P. Carlo Ghinzani85X 80 
P. Carlo Ghinzani86X 80 
Riccardo Patrese76X 80 
Ronnie Peterson75 – 78X 80 
Vittorio Brambilla75X 80 
Vittorio Brambilla76X 1 

The iconic Italian-flag badge on AGV helmets is rumored to represent Agostini’s helmet, a view his competitors often had from behind. Gino Amisano, the founder of AGV, ensured the brand’s prominence by partnering with top the drivers in Formula One. Produced in Valenza Italy,, these helmets were not long in marking their territory on the Formula 1 circuit with notable victories.

Niki Lauda X1 AGV Helmet (6)
1976: Scuderia Ferrari driver Niki Lauda of Austria and Mauro Forghiere chat before a race. Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport

Emerson Fittipaldi, originally from São Paulo, Brazil, and of Basilicata descent, was the first to carry AGV to a Formula 1 championship wearing an AGV X1 Air System Helmet. Switching from Lotus to McLaren in 1974, he clinched his second world championship, adding to his 1972 title.

Niki Lauda, Ferrari
Niki Lauda, Ferrari

1974 also marked the debut of one of the most iconic helmets in Formula 1, the AGV X1. Known for its modern design and distinctive top air vent, the X1 became instantly recognizable. Lella Lombardi, also from the AGV local region, wore the X1 in the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix. She became the only woman in history to score points in F1 when the race was halted prematurely due to an accident, earning her half a point as she was in sixth place at the time.


The following year, AGV’s success reached new heights with a Ferrari, piloted by the legendary Niki Lauda from Austria. Not yet thirty years old, Lauda was quickly ascending to iconic status. His 1975 season with Ferrari was stellar, securing five victories and a significant lead over his closest competitors, including Fittipaldi.

Niki Lauda X1 AGV Helmet (5)

AGV’s legacy in Formula 1 continued to grow with Australian Alan Jones in 1980, driving a Williams FW07, and Keke Rosberg in 1982, culminating in Brazilian Nelson Piquet’s championship in 1987.

Niki Lauda X1 AGV Helmet

The brand’s impact in Formula 1 over less than two decades included five world championships, and numerous victories and podium finishes, underscoring AGV’s F1 racing winning philosophy.


Rare AGV X1 Helmet Worn By Niki Lauda In Infamous 1976 Crash Hits Auction Block, Expected To Fetch Up To $60,000

Read more about Niki Lauda’s flight crash here:

The Amazing History Of AGV Helmets And Gino Amisano:

About the Author:

Michael Parrotte started his career in the motorcycle industry by importing AGV Helmets into the North American market. He was then appointed the Vice President of AGV Helmets America. In total, he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. He has also served as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.

In 1985, he founded AGV Sports Group, Inc. with AGV Helmets in Valenza, Italy. For over 38 years now, the company has quietly delivered some of the best protective gear for motorcyclists in the world.

Click Here for Michael’s LinkedIn Profile

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