'Black Stig's' helmet in pole position at Boys Toys auction

A RACING helmet reputedly worn by 'Black Stig' on the motoring TV show Top Gear will be offered for sale at an auction of Boys' Toys in the Cotswolds.

The dark grey carbon fibre Vemar VSR Diadem racing helmet with tinted visor was reputedly saved during a clear-out of the Top Gear production offices.

The vendor is assured that the helmet was one of several worn by the original 'Black Stig': British racing driver Perry McCarthy.

Le Mans competitor McCarthy portrayed the famously anonymous test driver The Stig in the first two series, but after his identity was revealed by a national newspaper he was 'killed off' in the series 3 premiere to be replaced by the familiar White Stig, who lasted through to the end of series 15.

"Was this helmet worn by the original Stig?" pondered auctioneer Philip Allwood of Moore Allen & Innocent in Cirencester.

"We're told it was, but we're selling it as a speculative piece. It is a Boys' Toys auction, though – at £80 to £120 might be worth it for the bragging rights alone.

The auction should appeal to fans of automobilia featuring, as it does, enamel motoring signs, petrol cans, four original spoked wheels from an E-Type Jaguar, and a classic Saab 900i cabriolet.

The blue 1992 Saab on a J plate is one of the last of the first generation of 900s, which was produced from 1978 until 1993.

With 170,000 miles on the clock it's been around the block a few times, but that's seemingly nothing for the Saab engine – in the US, a 1989 Saab 900 was driven over a million miles before being donated to an automotive museum.

On release, the 2 litre engine was capable of 0-62mph in 11.4 seconds and a top speed of 109mph. Auto Express recently called the 900 "one of the greatest classic soft-tops that money can buy."

Armed with a fresh MOT, and with a fully working electric hood, auctioneers will be looking for bids of between £4,000 and £5,000 for what is considered an appreciating classic.

For collectors who like both music and tinkering under the hood, the next lot is a must – a Rock-Ola 435 Princess Deluxe jukebox.

Dating from the late 1960s, the coin-operated jukebox is loaded with 7-inch singles from the 1960s to 1980s.

The internally-lit player comes complete with cityscape design, and the pickup mechanism can select from 50 discs, which can be changed by lifting the hinged top section of the player.

The 'small footprint' jukebox was designed for pubs and cafes – although it will requires a couple of able bodies to shift it. A bid of £300 to £500 should secure the lot.

There's more pub-style entertainment on offer in the shape of a three-quarter sized snooker table by the renowned manufacturer E.J. Riley of Accrington & London – at one time the largest manufacturer of billiard tables in the UK.

The lot includes not just the table, but overhead lights, a cue stand, and scoreboard all bearing the E.J. Riley logo.

Cues, rests and balls are also included in what could be the perfect addition to a man-shed.

The lot commands an estimate of £500 to £800.

Finally, for ladies looking for an unusual Valentine's Day gift for their menfolk – the auction takes place just under a week before the big day – a mid 20th century Rolleicord twin lens reflex camera made by Franke & Heidecke would make anything from a cool desk ornament to an addictive photography experiment at £100 to £150, while a gold pocket watch and chain – a John Lecomber of London and Liverpool Special Chronometer released dating from 1875 – carries an estimate of £800 to £1,200.

The auction starts at 9.30am on Friday, February 8.

For a full auction catalogue visit mooreallen.co.uk/auction-house