Home Sold Items Bentley EXP Speed 8 Steering Wheel from the 2001 Le Mans car

Bentley EXP Speed 8 Steering Wheel from the 2001 Le Mans car

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Bentley EXP Speed 8 Steering Wheel from the 2001 Le Mans car

We are truly privileged to offer this superb piece from the Bentley Boys return to Le Mans in 2001, complete with team press pack, RTN badge and signed limited edition print.

The Bentley EXP Speed 8 was a Le Mans Prototype race car that was designed by Peter Elleray and developed at Racing Technologies Norfolk Ltd  (“RTN”) in Hingham. The EXP Speed 8 debuted in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2001 marking a return to Le Sarthe after a 73-year absence and won the race in 2003.

In December 2020 a quantity of parts from the Bentley Speed 8 project including a 2003 show car, spare bodywork, wind tunnel models and assorted ephemera came to auction from the now-defunct RTN storage facility at the “Historics” sale at Ascot and in view of their rarity and significance exceeded all price expectations.

This original steering wheel from chassis 002/3 came from the estate of a former team member. It was manufactured to a bespoke design for Team Bentley / RTN by Sparco of Italy. The original Sparco box provided with this piece confirms it as the race spare with the part number 015000VSP “Bentley Modif Volante speciale”. Several designs were used in 2001 for the #7 and #8 cars with subtle differences in switch positions and some with a flat top to cater for the preferences of the six drivers to race at Le Mans.

This steering wheel is fitted with dummy switchgear and has a ‘Team Bentley’ enamel badge to the centre as well as Sparco branding and switchgear markings.

In the 2001 Le Mans race, the number 8 car (Chassis 002/3) of Van de Poele, Leitzinger and Wallace secured a class win and third place overall first time out in the 24 Heures du Mans. Chassis 002/3 is the only complete racing chassis ever sold by Bentley – initially to a Japanese collector – and subsequently sold in the 2012 RM Monterey auction for US$2,530,000. It remains the sole EXP Speed 8 race car outside Bentley ownership.

This exquisite and historic piece of Le Mans and Team Bentley racing memorabilia is custom presentation framed with an original chromed Bentley “wings” emblem and plaque. It also comes with an original RTN cloth badge, a complete Team Bentley press pack from 2001 with high quality photographs as well as a limited edition print of the 2003 car winning Le Mans signed by Guy Smith.

A wonderful addition to any serious collection beautifully presented.



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