Troy Lee was an aspiring professional motocross racer in Southern California in the early 1980s who had started painting the motocross helmets of several of his pro racing friends. He stopped his pursuit of racing fame to devote his full time and efforts to painting helmets. In 1981 he founded Troy Lee Designs was and maintains a boutique location in Laguna Beach. Examples of Troy’s work on helmets worn by Max Papis, Dario Franchitti and Juan Pablo Montoya are on display at the shop.

On a recent visit to the Laguna Beach location, Chris Demaras managed to defeat the security measures and got a hold of Michael Andretti’s 1993 F1 helmet custom painted by Troy Lee himself.

Down in the basement of the shop was also a vintage Paul Tracy helmet. The IndyCar legend’s iconic blue lid looks so different up close, when the lighter blue patches are revealed to be strippers, like on the back of a big-rig truckers mud flaps. Crazy!

Anyone visiting southern California should absolutely make the time to see Troy Lee’s place.

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