Bell has announced its partnership with the Steve McQueen Estate to launch a series of helmets and apparel to pay tribute to the original King of Cool. The first helmet in the series is a Custom 500 Six Day McQueen, a period correct replica of the helmet McQueen wore while competing in the 1964 International Six Day Trial off road race.
McQueen was selected to represent the U.S. along with a group of other American riders, including McQueen’s close friend and desert racing legend Bud Ekins, as the first Americans to participate in the competition. The number 278 Triumph TR6SC, a Barbour waxed-canvas jacket, and McQueen’s Bell helmet have become synonymous with his role in the race and can be seen in hundreds of now famous photos. It’s a style and look that is still emulated more than sixty years later.
“Bell is excited to partner with the McQueen Estate on this iconic helmet,” said Simon Fisher, category manager at Bell. “As the first name in helmets, it only makes sense that Bell collaborates with the McQueen Estate on bringing to life the Six Day racing replica. This collaboration represents a golden era of motorcycling that both McQueen and Bell helped shape.”
Bell will offer this Steve McQueen replica Custom 500 in a beautiful blue and white paint scheme, with subtle red accents just like the helmet McQueen wore during the competition. “Steve” is written in a playful font on the back of the helmet adding a unique touch along with a period-correct 510 visor. The helmet will also come with a special 278 decal featuring Steve McQueen’s name and the 1964 ISDT details, showcasing its authenticity and significance. A special keychain featuring McQueen’s name will also come with the helmet, which will be shipped in a beautiful black leather helmet bag.
“My Dad loved riding motorcycles more than anything” said Chad McQueen, son of Steve McQueen. “Much of my childhood memories with my dad revolve around motorcycles. We loved going on two wheeled adventures together and I’m thrilled to see this helmet come back to life considering my dad and I always wore bell helmets. Celebrating my dad’s passion for motorcycling and his role as an ambassador for off road-racing, my kids and I couldn’t be prouder of this partnership.”
“Motorcycling has long been a part of the McQueen legacy,” said Molly McQueen, granddaughter of Steve McQueen. “So many iconic images tied to my grandfather’s legacy include motorcycles. This is a special opportunity to honor his memory through a hobby that is so deeply linked to who he was.”
The Custom 500 itself is an icon – paying respects to the original Bell TX open face helmet, which revolutionized auto and motorcycle racing and paved the way for future innovations in head protection such as the Moto-3. This authentic replica which bears McQueen’s name is a must-have for enthusiasts, collectors and McQueen fans alike.
Available online and at Bell authorized retailers in sizes XS through XXL, the Custom 500 Six Day McQueen will retail starting at $209.95. Along with the helmet, a limited run of apparel featuring imagery of McQueen will be available for short time.