If you’re Jeremy Clarkson, the answer is probably “quite a bit, as long as the piece is Ben Collins’ head on a platter”. Well, you can’t have that, but if you’re interested you can add the next best thing to your collection. Up for grabs is the Simpson Bandit helmet, complete with iridescent visor, as worn by the Stig himself for several seasons. The helmet is autographed by the Top Gear production crew, Richard Hammond and The Stig, though presumably he didn’t sign it, “Much love, Ben Collins”.
The helmet was a gift to a former Top Gear production coordinator, Sophia Valzey, upon her departure from the show. Valzey is wise enough to strike while the opportunity is hot, and was quoted by Autoevolution as saying, ”Selling the helmet has been something that has been on my mind for a while. I’m quite a sentimental person and I don’t want to let go of it, but as my family have said to me it might not be worth anything in 10 years’ time. “
In other words, today the helmet is a “significant collectible”. Ten years from now, it will likely be “a sweaty old helmet, free to a good home”. If you need this talisman to complete your own Stig shrine, be prepared to cough up some cash; the helmet is expected to sell for around $1,850 when the hammer drops at the Gorringes Auction on October 20. I have plenty of sweaty old helmets laying around, and I’ll let them go (signed by me, of course) for quite a bit less. Do I hear an opening bid of $100?