This pair of Heuer alarm clocks from 1976 was designed to look like the helmets of James Hunt and Niki Lauda respectively, at that time the two Formula 1 drivers battling for the F1 World Championship.
The 1976 Formula 1 season would go down in history as one of the most memorable title fights in the history of the sport. It would later be immortalized in the 2013 film Rush starring Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, and Olivia Wilde.
At the beginning of the 1976 season, Niki Lauda, driving for Ferrari, seemed to have the upper hand. The Austrian driver demonstrated both his skill and consistency, claiming victory in four out of the first six races with James Hunt and Clay Regazzoni taking one win each.
Lauda’s scalpel-like precision and technical expertise made him a formidable foe, and he appeared to be on track to secure the championship.
However, tragedy struck during the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. Lauda’s Ferrari suffered a catastrophic crash, causing him to be trapped in the burning wreckage. He sustained severe burns and suffered lung damage, fighting for his life. The incident cast a shadow over the season and left everyone uncertain about Lauda’s future in the sport.
Remarkably, just six weeks after the accident, Niki Lauda made a miraculous return to racing at the Italian Grand Prix. Despite enduring immense pain and wearing a specially designed helmet to protect his still-healing wounds, Lauda’s sheer determination pushed him on to continue fighting for the championship.
Meanwhile, James Hunt, driving for McLaren, seized the opportunity to close the gap in Lauda’s absence. The British driver showcased his raw speed and aggressive driving style, winning several races and rapidly gaining ground in the championship standings.
Above Video: This is the original theatrical trailer for the 2013 film Rush. It was directed by two-time Academy Award® winner Ron Howard working with with fellow two-time Academy Award® nominee, writer Peter Morgan. The film stars Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt and Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda.
In the final race of the season, held in torrential rain in Japan, the championship battle reached its climax. Lauda, still struggling with the physical and mental aftermath of his accident, made the difficult decision to withdraw from the race due to safety concerns. Hunt, knowing that a third-place finish or better would secure him the championship, pushed himself to the limit.
Despite challenging conditions and intense pressure of the championship on the line, Hunt fought his way through the field, overcoming a puncture, the weather, and a damaged wing. In a historic display of determination he secured a third-place finish, just enough to claim the championship by a single point.
The twin alarm clocks you see here were made by Heuer in 1976, they are battery operated and they have quartz movements. The black helmet carries James Hunt’s livery and the red helmet is Lauda’s, each one is 12cm high, or 4.7 inches, and they’re due to cross the auction block with Bonhams on the 14th of July with a price guide of £800 – £1,000 or approximately $1,010 – $1,260 USD.
If you’d like to read more about these helmets you can visit the listing here, they’re being sold at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Images courtesy of Bonhams
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.