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Model 8 Experimental Helmet

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Greetings all,

 

I come today seeking some assistance on an experimental WWI helmet: The Model 8.

 

From my research, I can gather that around 1,300 of these were produced by the Ford Motoring Company, they were never used in the war, and that few survive today. I see them selling at auctions occasionally but they are very hard to source. It seems the market value has dropped a bit over the years but it's still a rare, desirable piece. My question is to those that have some knowledge of the helmet, or better yet, actually own one. Before I go all in on a collectible item such as this I would love to hear some comments. Below are photos of the one I'm looking to purchase (the first seven images that is; the last two are a different sold example for comparison's sake). To start, I want to make sure it's authentic. It looks to be good to my untrained eye but I'd obviously like to be certain. What I do notice is that it has a much different patina than others I've seen online and is smooth to the touch (lacking the drab textured paint that I understand was original to the helmet). Also, the inside liner, leather, and strings look good, seemingly original/authentic. I was hoping for a bit of help and clarity to prove its authenticity and whether or not people think this example would be a desirable and worthy piece to add to my small, but growing, WWI collection. Thank you so much for any and all comments. They are greatly appreciated.

 

Pic 1

200350256_M-8(3).png.b896cd87847d78e94e0517b00335078b.png

Pic 2

546446291_M-8(1).png.160cc792e7d3ac14bbda2b068cbf1dcf.png

Pic 3

1754756860_M-8(2).png.912b07633ed82ddcec234636274bb097.png

Pic 4

1241981698_M-8(4).png.0ea6e399800cbd0005eb1039806a6f9a.png

 

Pic 5

1312223607_M-8(5).png.f5fe6bba035af542eff0c4ee5ff646cd.png

 

Pic 6

M-8_(6).png.5f5671b6bf843ea9856c953506369c93.png

 

Pic 7

M-8_(7).png.becdff14583b3ce7ae0f587807cc2a64.png

 

 

Sold Example (1)

 

1688087246_Model8(1).png.15208e98e84afb3f38c915cd2739830c.png

 

Sold Example (2)

201348641_Model8(2).png.3e51f5bebb01c970730ec0a43e986c94.png

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Looks pretty awesome! Looks like someone took off the outer paint and texture.

Looks like other examples on the web and the aging of the inside components, would seem to me to be pretty hard to fake. It also has the same buckles etc and the original textured paint  on the inside.

No expert here by any means but it looks real.

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It's an original Model 8 with the original liner.  Looks like the exterior was smoothed off and repainted, possibly as part of a theatrical knight costume.

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5 minutes ago, aef1917 said:

It's an original Model 8 with the original liner.  Looks like the exterior was smoothed off and repainted, possibly as part of a theatrical knight costume.

@rooster77  I agree it looks pretty sweet, it just doesn't "look" truly authentic, although I'm sure it is. I agree it would be tough to replicate. I did notice a bit of the textured paint on the inside. Nice eye! 😉 Desirable in your opinion? I want to get other people's take on it before I pull the trigger. Thanks!

 

@aef1917 That makes a lot of sense! The seller has many items that could be used as props in movie/theater productions and what not. He's just been a bit tight-lipped about specifics. Do you think if that's true, and it's been repainted or smoothed down, it de-values the helmet a lot?! In your eyes would you look elsewhere or wait until something else comes along? Thanks!

 

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Well dont take my word on it because Im an advanced novice.

AEF1917 did say its the real deal though....

Not sure what they go for but I can imagine expensive....

Its desireable from a helmet collectors standpoint.

Its rare. And they do look like medievel armoured helmets.....

AEF1917 or another member can answer the paint questions.

Makes sense if it was used in the theater. I'd imagine that paint removal would lower the value ?

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45 minutes ago, rooster77 said:

Well dont take my word on it because Im an advanced novice.

AEF1917 did say its the real deal though....

Not sure what they go for but I can imagine expensive....

Its desireable from a helmet collectors standpoint.

Its rare. And they do look like medievel armoured helmets.....

AEF1917 or another member can answer the paint questions.

Makes sense if it was used in the theater. I'd imagine that paint removal would lower the value ?

Thanks for the response! Yah, it's definitely the real deal. The smoothing, and stripping of the old textured paint is unfortunate (if that's what happened). The owner of the helmet did say the paint has a nice patina but it's smooth with no texture on the exterior. I think I might take a flyer on it. I just don't know when the next one will be available for sale. And even if one turns up, I'm not sure what the condition will be, and if I can even afford the price being asked/if I'd win the bid. Like a member from another forum I'm on said, they're extremely rare so buy it when you have the chance, and then hope to "upgrade" at a later date. 😀 

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Thats what Ive found. Like they used to say on the pickers.

If you see it and like it and want it, you better buy it or you might not see it again. Ive found that out to be true.

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After much deliberation, going back and forth in my head what the right move was, I just finally said @#$% it and BOUGHT THAT DAMN THING! 😂 If my dad were still here he would say, "It's only money son". Haha. It's being shipped out from east to west coast but as soon as it comes in I will be posting some detailed photos to share with all of you fine people. I thank you for the support and help along the way. 

 

MODEL 8 EXPERIMENTAL HELMET!!!! WooHoo!!!! 🙂🙃🙂🙃

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The pool of dedicated WWI experimental helmet collectors is very small, but the Model 8 tends to appeal to people outside of this group.  Not having the original finish will reduce the value, but as you said, the potential to move it when a better example presents itself is always there.  The liners in these tended to deteriorate pretty badly, so an original one in this condition is a plus.

 

For the last few years,, there have been several examples available at the SOS in the $3-5K price range.

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@aef1917  Thanks so much for your response. Makes sense that the original finish being gone would decrease the value. I also thought it a plus though that the liner was in such nice shape. Kind of a wash in my eyes. If another example did present itself, that had original exterior paint and the interior looked as good as this one, I fear the price might be out of reach. I would venture to say that I will at least break even with this example, if I was ever going to sell it and purchase an "upgrade", but I am very excited to have landed this one! 😁 I want to savor this moment! 👍Through an exhaustive search I've found that it's nearly impossible to source one of these online, auction prices usually get too high, too fast, and unfortunately I won't be in Kentucky anytime soon to hit the SOS. 😉(the SOS looks AWESOME by the way).

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I'll be receiving the Model 8 on Monday but I just wanted to share something I found interesting. I stumbled upon the following: 

 

 

As you can see, the helmet I was able to secure, was posted here on this forum back in 2009 by "Kirby" (KLR). Seems that KLR hasn't visited the site since 2014 so is no longer an active member. The only thing is this... the gentleman I bought it from said he had it for over 20 years. Only problem is his name isn't Kirby. Hmmm. Something isn't matching up here. Well, anyway, I'll have the helmet in hand soon. If it's all legit I guess the back story doesn't matter all that much. New photos are forthcoming.

 

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What was the name of the seller? "Kirby" might just be a nickname, or it may be that Kirby has passed and the seller is a friend/relative? 

Hunt


I am an amateur collector of US military items of the 20th century.

 

Looking for items related to:

-The Aleutian Island Campaign of WW2, Alaskan Theater, Alaska Defense Command, and more specifically the Battle of Attu

-Items related to the 50th Combat Engineer Regiment/Battalion

-Items related to Wheelus Air Force Base Libya, particularly from 1957-1960

-WW2 items belonging to service members from Northern Virginia

-WW2 Uniforms (all branches and services)

-Cheap/Throwaway WW2 named uniforms

-Smaller WW2 Groupings

-7th Infantry Division Items

-WW2 Photos and Letters (all branches, theaters, services, etc)

 

^^ PM ME!!

 

Instagram: @surplus_central https://instagram.com/surplus_central/

eBay: http://www.ebay.com/usr/giovachm

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Hey Hunt, I sent you a PM. I might never know who KLR (Kirby) is but some things just remain a mystery I guess. 

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Check this thing out! It's in the "Battlefield Military Museum" in Gettysburg, PA. That camo paint can't be original can it?!?! This is the only picture I could find. I'd love to get out to Pennsylvania and see it in person but I don't see that happening anytime soon. The Model 8 is just too darn cool. 

 

 

Camo Model 8.png

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Hello.    This is Kirby.    If this is the same helmet it  was in a late friends collection.   I helped his wife sell his huge collection.  I remember listing it on eBay with a $1500 reserve.     The reserve was not met but I offered it to five or six bidders at $1250 and no one took It.      I listed it a few months later and it sold between $1800 and $2000.     Still a good price.    There was a close to mint one at the SOS a few years with a   $5000 asking price . 

 

Kirby

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5 hours ago, KLR said:

Hello.    This is Kirby.    If this is the same helmet it  was in a late friends collection.   I helped his wife sell his huge collection.  I remember listing it on eBay with a $1500 reserve.     The reserve was not met but I offered it to five or six bidders at $1250 and no one took It.      I listed it a few months later and it sold between $1800 and $2000.     Still a good price.    There was a close to mint one at the SOS a few years with a   $5000 asking price . 

 

Kirby

Kirby!!!! Hello sir. Thank you so much for your response. This is 100% the helmet you sold over a decade ago. There are distinct markings that match up exactly with the pictures you posted back in 2009. It's wild how prices on this helmet have fluctuated. I wish I was interested in one back in 2009 though. I'll say that much. 🙂 Now that I have the helmet in hand it does seem that the paint has been altered. Unless of course, this example was one of the very first made by the Ford Motoring Company, and they were tinkering?! Wishful thinking, probably. Other than the paint alteration though this example is in really great shape for being over 100 years old. The visor raises up and down with ease, able to lock in both of the open positions. Also, the interior of the helmet is in good condition. The leather has naturally worn, but is still actually there, which many examples simply don't have (or, if there, has badly deteriorated). It seems that the gentleman I bought it from may have just been confused. He owns many, many rare helmets. If he purchased this one over ten years ago I could understand his confusion with thinking he bought it before that. Thanks so much for clearing things up for us Kirby. It is greatly appreciated! Detailed photos of the helmet will be posted soon.   

 

 

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Below are the Model 8 photos as promised  🙃👍 I welcome your comments. Thanks so much!

 

Model_8_(1).jpg.8b194f537c517f9582a1ecea25af959b.jpg

 

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Model_8_(3).jpg.a6dbcb3169193ed635c612d998d577c3.jpg

 

Model_8_(4).jpg.5d945fc5a6685eb04ac3361c1ea158d6.jpg

 

Model_8_(5).jpg.757e350d441c6724258aa25e59b74320.jpg

 

Model_8_(7).jpg.aa9fb36af9361761fe2edcb5e9bf0fd0.jpg

 

Model_8_(8).jpg.8d22a9457f09a6be7df4fc2ed2d707fe.jpg

 

Model_8_(9).jpg.0c9bc7b6b3bc1c8ac4579386e02f6149.jpg

 

Model_8_(10).jpg.f4be4762162f3f133f83d24eb534d71d.jpg

 

Model_8_(6).jpg.81017053749f541b275bf95c2a9420a5.jpg

 

Model_8_(11).jpg.bc42587251b8e80f2c4bdfca4e04fdf5.jpg

 

Model_8_(12).jpg.6c3cb72ce23a8574b4a10b9d52c07e55.jpg

 

Model_8_(13).jpg.64836df20cae2ddb2b57ad79e52e3165.jpg

 

Model_8_(14).jpg.838103ca27decc1b261b42fe741409bd.jpg

 

I couldn't resist. 😁

Model_8_(15).jpg.b2beb7531106e412d9871824fffe9bf3.jpg

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Great helmet it is my favorite Experimental helmet.  My late friend also had a liberty bell and model 2 experimental helmets.  If I remember correctly I sold those to a collector in Germany.

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42 minutes ago, KLR said:

Great helmet it is my favorite Experimental helmet.  My late friend also had a liberty bell and model 2 experimental helmets.  If I remember correctly I sold those to a collector in Germany.

Yah, the Liberty Bell and Model 2 are also very cool, but the Model 8 is by far my favorite experimental. I hope my photos did it justice. Be well.

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Ironman inspiration?! It has to be! 😁

 

Ironman.png.0fca10461563248271b0f86c954e29cc.png

 

Model_8_(8).jpg.5d4d65559cee538a7e0abcaea45f229e.jpg

 

What do you all think of the Model 8?! Thoughts? 🤔

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