oldcpecdr
oldcpecdr New Reader
3/8/22 12:48 a.m.

 

 

Hello everyone

Been working on my new to me Lemons Car and am just about there.

It has been a LONG time since I turned a lap that needed a driver's suit and I need some advice.

First of all I am OLD.......older than dirt..... so I am thinking a 2 piece suit might be easier to put on. Any thoughts on 1 piece vs 2 piece ?

As I settle into my golden years (75+) I have somehow grown around the waist but still have short little legs.....

Any suggestions where to get a reasonably priced  suit in a custom fit... doesn't need to be perfect but I am

trying not to look like Humpty Dumpty doing laps so would like a suit that fits reasonably well. 

 

Thanks

Mike B

 

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr PowerDork
3/8/22 7:57 a.m.

I had a 1 piece suit for a year or two.  They work.  However, they always seem to bunch up behind my back and make it uncomfortable when behind the wheel.

 

There are a few places that sell used race suits and crew suits that are legal for every type of racing in the USA.

 

Raceimage.com is one that my friends have had success with.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
3/8/22 8:03 a.m.

I prefer one piece for fire protection. Better protection trumps looks every day of the week.  Besides no one will see you in the car and outside of the car you can pull the top off and tie the arms around your wast. 
 

I have not purchased a suite in a long while. Others can give you ideas where to shop. 

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 UltraDork
3/8/22 8:50 a.m.

Another factor to consider. Two piece suits are not permitted by state law in New Jersey.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
3/8/22 8:57 a.m.

If you are flexible enough to climb over the door bars and squeeze into the seat of your Rapier, you're still flexible enough to get into a one piece suit. You're not a kid anymore, so I expect your exit time is slower than it once was. If you're exiting a fire situation a one piece suit is better protection. Every extra second counts. There are a number of suppliers who will make you a suit based on some straight forward body measurements, or just buy a good used baggy one and look like Jacques Villeneuve used to..

Kendall_Jones
Kendall_Jones Dork
3/8/22 9:07 a.m.

I've found that the newer 1 piece suits are way lighter and thinner than the suits of old.  I got a deal on a alpinestars GP something suit -  it came in its own bag that was probably 12" x 12" x 3" think.  I thought I got scammed!  Its also sewn together in the sitting position, so it was kind of uncomfortable standing up but once in the car its was perfect.

Also if a corner worker is pulling you out of a fire / accident with a 2 piece suit they are probably going to pull your shoulders / epaulets on your suit which will probably cause a gap to appear between upper / lower halves.

kevinatfms
kevinatfms HalfDork
3/8/22 10:15 a.m.

I bought a 2 piece fire suit off RaceImage.com and its been absolutely fantastic in Champ Car. For $350 it was a total steal, its light weight, 2 matching pieces and its SFI tags are guaranteed.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
3/8/22 10:51 a.m.

Just make sure to check the rules of th eparticular sanctioning body you run with. Some don't allow two piece suits, and some have different standards for two piece vs one-piece.

Aside from that, it's a piece of clothing, so the best way to know how it's going to feel is to try it on. Try to get to an event where a safety company is set up with lots of stock on hand, or find a remote retailer with a generous exchange policy. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/8/22 10:56 a.m.
TurnerX19 said:

Another factor to consider. Two piece suits are not permitted by state law in New Jersey.

What? Is that why everyone is only wearing bottoms at the beach?

trigun7469
trigun7469 UltraDork
3/8/22 11:01 a.m.

If there is a place local to you that sells suits that would be ideal. I am bigger guy so I usually have to purchase a size bigger, because either my chest, shoulders, or legs are too big and then they are too long so I have to cuff them. Atleast with 2 piece you can mix and match, but you may have to wear long underwear (check the series), which can be hot and itchy.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
3/8/22 11:56 a.m.

Go with a one piece suit.  Look for close outs as those can be had very cheaply.

I got a really nice Sparco suit for $399 from Speedwaymotors; they frequently have suits for $200. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
3/8/22 12:05 p.m.

If you're willing to spend a bit more you can get a custom-fitted driver's suit that will solve the "I'm not in the kind of shape that an F1 driver is" problem.  I'm told Sparco will make them, I'd recommend calling a local sparco dealer/race gear shop to ask for details. 

 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
3/8/22 12:11 p.m.
trigun7469 said:

If there is a place local to you that sells suits that would be ideal. I am bigger guy so I usually have to purchase a size bigger, because either my chest, shoulders, or legs are too big and then they are too long so I have to cuff them. Atleast with 2 piece you can mix and match, but you may have to wear long underwear (check the series), which can be hot and itchy.

Just pretend you're a Canadian F1 driver. :)

drock25too
drock25too HalfDork
3/8/22 1:44 p.m.

My first driver's suit was jeans and a white dress shirt. Rules at the track said drivers had to wear a long sleeved white shirt.  I bought my  first "fire  suit" in 1983, it was two piece Speed Sport Nomex 3 suit. No SFI patch in sight. I always wore the top tucked in, just felt safer that way.  I  have  since been using one piece and long underwear, they feel safer to me. Can  be a little hard to get off after a race but to me it's worth it. 

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 UltraDork
3/8/22 4:43 p.m.

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

Great come back line, but New Jersey only has the one piece rule for auto racing. There is a very long (over 20 pages by memory) N.J. State Automobile Racing Regulation. Much of it is based on the strictest sanctioning body rules for a given discipline. Thus SCCA for road racing, and NHRA for drags, etc. I had to buy a new suit to race in N.J. The OP is in New England, so close enough to NJMP that it might matter. 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/8/22 4:46 p.m.
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:
TurnerX19 said:

Another factor to consider. Two piece suits are not permitted by state law in New Jersey.

What? Is that why everyone is only wearing bottoms at the beach?

i only wear the top

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr PowerDork
3/8/22 4:48 p.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:
TurnerX19 said:

Another factor to consider. Two piece suits are not permitted by state law in New Jersey.

What? Is that why everyone is only wearing bottoms at the beach?

i only wear the top

I'm not sure a hat counts as "the top".

oldcpecdr
oldcpecdr New Reader
3/9/22 12:26 a.m.

 

Thanks for all the suggestions..  since NJ is on the list of tracks I guess it is a one piece baggy suit.... now to find

that size that says "husky" old guy.....  

The getting hauled out by the shoulders was an eye opener also.... good thought.....don't want a toasted belly.

Mike B

 

I think that F1 driver is wearing my size.

Berck
Berck Reader
3/9/22 1:06 a.m.

Others have mentioned raceimage.com, but what wasn't mentioned is that most of what they sell are custom-sized suits... albeit for someone else.  They're high quality, used suits, mostly custom-sized.  Measure yourself, then use the pretty good search function and you may be able to find something that fits you really well.  I've had good luck in the past.  My wife was able to get an Arrow McLaren Indycar suit that's super nice.  I'm more NASCAR sized, so I'm stuck with NASCAR suits.  I'm generally not a fan of advertising for other people for free, but it is funny that people think I'm sponsored.

kevinatfms
kevinatfms HalfDork
3/9/22 8:21 a.m.
TurnerX19 said:

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

Great come back line, but New Jersey only has the one piece rule for auto racing. There is a very long (over 20 pages by memory) N.J. State Automobile Racing Regulation. Much of it is based on the strictest sanctioning body rules for a given discipline. Thus SCCA for road racing, and NHRA for drags, etc. I had to buy a new suit to race in N.J. The OP is in New England, so close enough to NJMP that it might matter. 

Reading this i dont see the requirement? Subchapter 3(Road Racing) only states:

§ 13:62-3.14 Driver requirements (a) All drivers shall be of the minimum age to meet the standards required by the sanctioning organization or be at least 17 years of age with a valid drivers license, if there is no sanctioning organization. (b) All drivers of vehicles (other then motorcycles) during a race or race practice shall wear a minimum of two layers of fire-resistant material covering their body, legs, and arms. (c) It is recommended that all drivers wear fire-resistant gloves, shoes, and socks. (d) It is recommended that all drivers wear a fire-resistant head sock. (e) Drivers of street legal cars are not required to wear fire-resistant clothing, but it is recommended.

https://nj.gov/njsp/divorg/operations/pdf/mvracetrack/20150709_racing_regulations.pdf
page 15 of 49

This is the same requirements as both West Virginia and Virginia. I run a 2 piece suit and have never been questioned although i always wear fire retardant underwear along with my suit. So i have more than 2 layers of fire retardant clothing on me at all times while in the car.

Kendall_Jones
Kendall_Jones Dork
3/9/22 8:39 a.m.

Also - if you are "plus sized" like I was (and kinda still am).  Check out the alpinestars "knoxville" suits.  They are pretty cheap and come in generous sizes :)  They are boot cut too so you can play out your ricky bobby dreams.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 UltraDork
3/9/22 9:27 a.m.

In reply to kevinatfms :

That must have changed since my last copy of the regs, which is now about 12 years old. They have been backing down on the state level. In the 1960s you could only autocross on an approved race track. Now parking lots are OK. I was denied a drive in 1985 for the two piece suit at Pine Brook Speedway. The NJSP pulled me out of line.

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
3/9/22 9:43 a.m.
kevinatfms said:
TurnerX19 said:

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

Great come back line, but New Jersey only has the one piece rule for auto racing. There is a very long (over 20 pages by memory) N.J. State Automobile Racing Regulation. Much of it is based on the strictest sanctioning body rules for a given discipline. Thus SCCA for road racing, and NHRA for drags, etc. I had to buy a new suit to race in N.J. The OP is in New England, so close enough to NJMP that it might matter. 

Reading this i dont see the requirement? Subchapter 3(Road Racing) only states:

§ 13:62-3.14 Driver requirements (a) All drivers shall be of the minimum age to meet the standards required by the sanctioning organization or be at least 17 years of age with a valid drivers license, if there is no sanctioning organization. (b) All drivers of vehicles (other then motorcycles) during a race or race practice shall wear a minimum of two layers of fire-resistant material covering their body, legs, and arms. (c) It is recommended that all drivers wear fire-resistant gloves, shoes, and socks. (d) It is recommended that all drivers wear a fire-resistant head sock. (e) Drivers of street legal cars are not required to wear fire-resistant clothing, but it is recommended.

https://nj.gov/njsp/divorg/operations/pdf/mvracetrack/20150709_racing_regulations.pdf
page 15 of 49

This is the same requirements as both West Virginia and Virginia. I run a 2 piece suit and have never been questioned although i always wear fire retardant underwear along with my suit. So i have more than 2 layers of fire retardant clothing on me at all times while in the car.

The one piece suit statement is an odd one, having drag raced in NJ for a long time it's one I have never seen enforced. The only place it's ref in that document is recommended for demo-derby. 

Our Preferred Partners
saUx4HpxYkrv773vRxfakVTNQSlKqSAXe7W0kkAbucRmAMMDqN99xcmYhZqsNNOJ