JLF Designs are celebrating 20 years of helmet paintwork this year and so far our anniversary year is proving to be the busiest one yet with May probably being the busiest month of all. Special one-off designs for Dan Wheldon and EJ Viso for the Indy 500 and a special design for Lewis Hamilton for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix have kept us burning the midnight oil to get everything out on time!
Everyone here at JLF Designs was really happy with the news that long-time JLF driver Dan Wheldon was back racing with a deal for the Indy 500, and as soon as the box of helmets arrived from Bell we set to work on some new designs for Dan. 2 helmets were painted in the team colors for testing and qualifying, and another was painted for the race itself.
The Indy 500 race helmet has mostly white and orange coloring to match the colors of Dan’s car, with a black and gold flake Indy 500 logo and pinstriping detail. Dan wanted a clean, classic design for the centennial race but with the kind of detailed touches that his helmets have become renowned for. Dan’s Indy helmets always feature a themed cartoon on the back and this year the Lionheart Knight is shown driving a version of the car Ray Harroun drove to win the very first Indy 500 race. Everything on the helmet is hand-painted with around 30 hours taken to produce the paint scheme.
Also shown here is an exclusive peek of the helmet 2008 F1 champion Lewis Hamilton will be wearing at this weekends’ Monaco F1 race. Every colour on the helmet has a fine metalflake effect laid over it – even the sponsor logos, and again the paintwork was completely hand-airbrushed before the shell was sent back to Arai in Japan for Lewis’s custom-made internals to be fitted before being sent back to the McLaren F1 team in the UK.
With the Indy and Monaco helmets done and delivered we’ve just about got time to catch our breath and then it’s back to work on new designs. The helmet paintwork order book is full until August and the artwork and prints side of the business (www.artbyjlf.com) has taken off, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed the next 20 years will be just as busy as the last 20!