What’s The Story Behind Trans Am Driver Helmets?

January 26, 2023

What’s The Story Behind Trans Am Driver Helmets?

First and foremost, every driver’s helmet is about one thing: safety. But once a driver has chosen their helmet’s manufacturer, model, materials and features, many opt to also make a statement with it. Some choose something personal, some choose something historic, and others give the talented helmet designers and painters free rein to design something truly unique. Every helmet design has a story, and here are just a few:

Amy Ruman
Artist: Censport Graphics

“Censport Graphics did it for me and we collaborated on it. I told them I wanted to incorporate the car colors, as well as a little bit of blue and the perforation style for McNichols Company. Of course, we went and added the American flag to represent. We did a pretty cool ‘R’ that wrapped around that kind of represented our logo. On the back, I have the cross with ‘To God be the glory.’ That saying is strong for McNichols Company and my grandfather used to say it all the time. This design is just our colors and patriotic colors, wrapped together.”

Boris Said
Artist: AP Designs

“AP Designs did the helmet. They do all the Monster athlete’s helmets, and I’ve just been a Monster guy for a long time, so I’m just representing the brand.”

Brion Gluck

“Our livery and helmet represent the GalantFew organization to support U.S. Army Rangers.”

Cameron Lawrence
Artist: Tyler Cenarrusa, Censport Graphics

“This is the fifth helmet Tyler has designed and painted for me, with each design being an evolution of the previous. This helmet is special because it is a play on stars and stripes, and we included some camo to add some details to the USA design.” 

Carl Rydquist
Artist: Alex Alives

“The helmet has Sweden’s colors, and my hometown of Goteborg’s crest on back. It signifies being on the attack. It’s creative and artsy with the splatter. The sun flares are reminding us to break the mold and never limit your mind. It’s got a music reference from a lifetime of playing the guitar with picks and amp style dial that goes to 11 on each side.”

Chris Dyson 
Painter: Matt Charland, CD Racing

“There’s a very meaningful story for me, personally. Price Cobb drove for our family in the 1980s, and when he left the team, he went to go drive for the Jaguar GTP team in IMSA. When he went there, he took his traditionally white helmet, and he came up with a design that was patriotic and kind of electrifying, and I always loved it. I saw pictures of it when I was a kid, and I just thought that it was such a cool design. Obviously, when it’s somebody’s design, you can’t just take it. When I was starting racing, Price was just about winding down his racing career, and I wrote him a nice email. I said ‘Price, I would really like to honor you and your importance to me by utilizing your helmet design. But you have to tell me this is okay, because the helmet is so much intertwined with a driver’s identity.’ I think he’d only really run the colors for a three-to-five-year period when he was in GTP with Jaguar and with Mazda, so he was happy to pass it along to me, and I wear it with pride all the time. I’ve been racing for 20+ years with that helmet, carrying on his legacy.”

Connor Mosack
Artist: Rad Cats

“I have a custom painted helmet by a company that sponsored me at Watkins Glen called Rad Cats. I had a guy do a really cool paint job on it, so I’m excited to show that one off.”

David Pintaric 
Artist: Off Axis

“I just wanted something that went with my car’s livery.”

Ken Thwaits
Artist: Image One

“It’s funny, a lot of people take their helmet designs very serious, and there’s a meaning behind everything. I have a guy who works for me and his brother is an incredible artist and he paints helmets. I give him a new helmet for every season and say ‘Here you go, send something back that’s really cool,’ and that’s what I got back. I thought it turned out beautiful, and it’s kind of my signature this year. Next year you might see something different.”

Marc Austin
Artist: Darrin Wenzel, West Coast Choppers

“The overall concept was an idea from a 90’s Moto GP racers helmet I liked. I told Jesse James what I liked and he took it from there, working with his staff to finalize a design and get it done. It is a true piece of original art and is also the design we have evolved to be on our cars and the race team logos.”

Michele Abbate
Artist: Savage Designs

“This helmet was painted by Savage Designs.  It features a photo timeline of achievements on the back of it, dating back to my early days of road racing in 2010.  Every racing helmet I have has a timeline of the achievements I've accomplished in the years prior. I’m looking forward to my next one!”

Rafa Matos
Artist: Bruno Starling, Starling Design in Brazil

“My helmet design was basically my father’s design back in my go kart days. The year was 1992, so the design remained the same for my whole career. I’m very proud of it. The colors are the same as 1992, they look like the United States flag, as well. This paint job in particular celebrates my 20 years in racing in the United States, and my paint guy made sure to put all of my titles on the top of the helmet, so it’s a pretty nice piece.”

Randy Hale
Artist: Randy Hale

Thomas Merrill
Artist: Savage Designs

“Savage Designs did the art for me. Every helmet that I do, I try to go for a more classic look, but I always put five stars on the helmet. There’s five stars across the back, and it’s an homage to my engine builder, who was like a grandfather to me when I was young. He built all my engines when I was go kart racing, and he passed away about 10 years ago now, so ever since then, every helmet I’ve had has had the five stars.”

Tyler Kicera
Artist: Tyler Kicera

“I designed it, but I couldn’t find an artist to paint it in time, so I ended up doing it myself out of vinyl.”

Tomy Drissi
Artist: Tomy Drissi

“I didn’t go all out on this one because I like the carbon fiber. All of my helmets, for as long as I could remember, have something that represents where I was born, where my father was born and where my mother was born. So, the American flag, the French flag and the Moroccan flag. My dad is Moroccan and my mom is French. And I was born in Hollywood, California. And obviously I’ve got my sponsor on it, Lucas Oil.”

blog comments powered by Disqus