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TROY O'SHEA HANDMADE
USN ALL HANDS MAGAZINE ARCHIVE
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The Bell 500-TX Helmet - Worth its Weight in Gold!!!
As far as I know the Bell 500-TX helmet was first produced in 1962 but I've been watching the 1968 examples like the one shown here on Ebay. It boggles my mind that these helmets sell between $850 - $2,045 ($2,045 is what the pictured helmet sold for). I was told these helmets are more form fitting and don't appear like a huge egg on your head, thanks Tjebbe, but man does that justify the exorbitant prices they fetch? I can't say as I've never owned or tried one on but there has to be something special about these gems in order to grab over a grand each, even with a shot lining. Also, it appears the white ones are the most sought after but I've only seen white and orange. If anyone knows the secret behind these helmets please fill me in!
This 1968 500-TX sold on a Japanese helmet site was considered MINT; it has the foam piece on top. Geez, I wonder what it went for??? Acutally, I was doing a little reading online and saw that the 500-TX was the first helmet to get the Snell rating, however I'm doubtful that milestone plays much of a factor in its high value???
Here's a link to an earlier post of 500-TX that I thought to be late 50s but according to Bell it could only be as early as 1962 but as you will see it has very cool Bell and Bates waterslide decals on it: http://nostalgiaonwheels.blogspot.com/2008/06/1959-1960-bell-helmet-distributed-by.html
The two photos above come from an early 60s car accessory catalog I picked up at a local swapmeet today. The helmet pictured appears to be the same vintage as the one in the link above!
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