Flannels and Flying helmets!

Monaco Grand Prix 1935

Back in the 1920’s / 30’s the whole concept of “Health and Safety” didn’t yet exist and indeed when it came to motor racing apart from sand bags and strawbales being placed around the track (more to protect spectators) drivers themselves didn’t have anything which could be considered safety equipment.  Drivers wore flannel or cotton overalls (which were not fire-proof and were mainly to protect them from oil stains!) and headgear only amounted to the equivalent of leather flying helmets – which offered absolutely no protection in any sort of impact with solid objects at speed!  From my substantial reference library one of my favourite books is one titled:”Motor Racing -the golden age” authored by John Tennant and published by Ted Smart ISBN1-84403-326-0 and from this book a favourite photo is the one above showing the drivers standing on the grid just prior to the start of the Monaco Grand Prix in 1935.  When one looks at the crispness of the pristine white overalls one could be forgiven for thinking that these guys were about to undertake abit of energetic walking or perhaps harvesting some honey from a bee hive and not sitting in a metal cage full of fuel while driving it as fast as possible!   I have considered replicating this scene in miniature for some time with some suitable 43rd scale figures so as a start in that direction I’ve painted up this miniature from the Scalelink range – see photos below:


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