2nd Bespoke Ultimate GTO Helmet Bag for Richard Meaden – renowned EVO motoring editor and racer

Helmet Bag

New to the Grid – We are very proud to present this special commissioned Bespoke Helmet Bag Dickie Meaden


Some years ago, I commissioned Simon to produce some pieces for a friend’s 50th birthday. The helmet bag and holdall were themed around a Lotus Cortina the pair of us raced, and not only incorporated the iconic white-and-green colour scheme, but also its racing number and registration plate. To make it even more personalised the lining was a collage of images that celebrated some of our successes in the car.

The trouble (if you can call it such) with Simon’s products is while they last a lifetime, the process is so enjoyable and the possibilities so endless you find yourself hankering to do it again. With Jordan Bespoke introducing a new Racing Colours Collection I couldn’t resist having a new helmet bag.

It’s tempting to go for bright colours and designs inspired by classic racing liveries, but I fancied something a little more understated. My helmet design is a Frank Stella-inspired geometric pattern of thin white lines painted on a bare carbon fibre background, so I wanted a bag that complements its monochrome scheme yet still has something about it.

After an initial chat with Simon, we agreed on a black leather bag with contrasting silver-grey handles and a black-and-white chequered lining. He then sent me various samples of leather, plus the lining material and new seatbelt webbing to have a look at.

If you’re remotely into classic cars the Connolly name is very special, so the fact Simon uses their leather is a nice touch. In the end I went for a crushed grain Vaumol 8500, which looks and feels fabulous, and has that aromatic smell that’s so characteristic of Connolly. Every time I pick the bag up it smells like I’ve just got into an old Aston Martin.

To add some detail to the lining we created a repeating pattern of old Porsche wheels – the classic Fuchs rim and BBS Turbofan from a 962 Group C car – which use the chequers as a background. It’s a subtle touch that nods to my love of all things Porsche without looking like a piece of official merchandise. Embossed ‘RM’ initials are a nice finishing touch.

Size-wise it’s generous enough to comfortably hold a helmet and HANS. With some careful packing I reckon I can fit a race suit, underwear and boots, too, so it’s perfect for a test day, but if I’m racing overseas it’ll fit in an overhead locker. There’s also useful zip pocket in which to slip my competition licence, and there’s room to safely tuck my wallet, phone and car keys when I’m out on track.

It’s always a pleasure to work with Simon because he has such enthusiasm, matched with expert knowledge and a great network of suppliers and craftspeople. Any creative process is fun, but with Simon it really is special, and the result is so much more than ‘just’ a bag. I can’t wait to use it.   Dickie Meaden 25.2.2023

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