Important Information about buying Used Racing Suits: -An Interview with Race Image

Our last post, Buying used Safety Gear: Which items are worth it, and which to avoid discussed used safety gear. Still have questions? I reached out to David Phillips at Race Image with a few more questions about Used Racing Suits:


Is there any safety compromise with wearing a used suit vs brand new?
No, not from us. We inspect all the suits we purchase carefully for any flaws. The majority of suits that we sell use NOMEX from Dupont as the primary fire retardant. Because this is an actual fiber, and not a chemical, it lasts pretty much forever. Very cheap suits usually will use FRC, or Fire Retardant Cotton as its fire resistance. Though it is functional, it does not have the life span of NOMEX.

How much cheaper is a used suit than it would be new? 

I just posted some suits last week that we acquired from BAR1 Motorsports, an IMSA team. I purchase them directly from the owner who told me that they would normally purchase their OMP driver suits for $2000-2400. We’re selling them for about $400. That is an extreme deal. They do have a couple stains and signs of wear on them, but are perfectly safe. Many of the crew suits we sell from Roush and Petty cost the teams $1600-2000. We sell those for anywhere from $200-350 on average. Just to clarify. Pit Crew Suits and Driver Suits are essentially the same thing. They just happen to be worn by pit crew members instead of the driver. We get asked this question a lot.

What should someone look out for when buying a used suit? 

The source of the suit. Suits can be hand me downs, purchased on Facebook or Ebay, etc. You must trust the seller. Race Image has been doing this since 1999, and we’ve sold over 6000 suits to racers. We’ve kind of got it down now. We’re also the only seller who has a real website at If buying a used suit, you must be certain of what the regulations are for your racing series. We sell mainly multi-layer suits, which have safety ratings of SFI-3.2A/5, or FIA rated. Anything below that is a single layer suit which will protect you from 2nd degree burns for a period of 3 seconds, versus 10 seconds of protection with a multilayer suit. You must also look at the suit to make sure there are no big holes, massive stains, broken zippers, etc., which may affect the safety of the suit.

Is there anything else you would like to share/add? Anything about getting a gently used suit that I’m missing? Anything about what sets your store apart from buying direct form another person? 
I believe I have covered most of those questions above. It is important to measure yourself correctly for your new “used” suit. Many of these suits we sell are MTO (Made to Order) and may not be a stock off-the-shelf dimension. Our website provides complete measuring instructions for the suits that we sell. We also stand behind what we sell and if a suit doesn’t fit correctly, we provide and exchange with a reasonable stock balance fee. Many sellers will have nothing to do with returns. Lastly, safety apparel is not the place to save money. Many racers will spend tons on performance goodies, and at the last minute they’ll say “Oh, I forgot to get a new suit because my old one is shot” A quality suit from us can last years. Don’t skimp on your safety.
Also, Check out our ABOUT US link on our website to get a little background. We’ve had some articles in Auto Week and Speedway magazine.
-David Phillips
Race Image USA


Did you come straight here? Don’t miss our previous post, Buying used Safety Gear: Which items are worth it, and which to avoid


Also, check out our full list of No Money Motorsports posts here.

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