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Indianapolis 500 official qualifying photo, May 20, 1978

Fire-resistant Nomex liner inside Janet Guthrie's racing helmet

Race-Car Crash Helmet

Worn by first woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500
In May 1977, Janet Guthrie became the first woman to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. Though mechanical troubles forced Guthrie to retire from the race, she was determined to be back. The next year she qualified again and--wearing this Bell Star helmet--finished the race in ninth place, despite suffering a broken wrist. Guthrie was inducted into the Women's Sports Hall of Fame in 1980.

10-1/2" high x 33-1/2" diameter
White plastic with red stripes and the Texaco star, made by Bell
This version of the Bell Star is made especially for United States Auto Club Championship racing.
Gift of Janet Guthrie, 1979; Janet Guthrie, born March 7, 1938, Iowa City, IA
Web display only

Learn more!
· Janet Guthrie
· Text of Donation Letter

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