• Ayrton Senna is one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time.
• The late legend's steering wheel is up for auction.
• It could sell for an estimated R330 000 at the Hansons' Iconic 20th Century design sale.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
I don't think there's a single Formula One fan who doesn't know Ayrton Senna. He is probably one of the best Formula 1 drivers of all time - to some at least.
Each one of us would probably go to the ends of the earth to have some sort of physical connection to him. To me, it's my Senna model car, a book about his life, and a rolled-up poster safely tucked away in my car collection cupboard.
Hansons' Auctioneers held their Iconic 20th Century design sale on Friday, 6 November. One very special lot includes a steering wheel which was used by Senna in the 1980s.
Hansons' Auctioneer Rik Alexander says even the younger generation who might not know or remember the legend that Senna is, will know him through watching the film, and they too will connect with the mythology of Senna.
The steering wheel was used by Senna at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1987, the same track where he died seven years later in 2004.
According to the auctioneer's website, the wheel was given as a gift to Robert (Bob) Preece who worked in F1 for more than 20 years from the mid-80s onwards.
The Lotus steering wheel is mounted on a wooden plaque, bears the inscription, 'Presented to Bob Preece for his help and co-operation in helping his friends at Team Lotus – Senna Imola 87'.
The San Marino F1 Grand Prix was held on 3 May 1987 at the Autodromo Dino Ferrari, Imola in Italy. The race was won by British driver Nigel Mansell in a Williams FW11B. Senna finished 27 seconds behind behind the Williams driver in his Lotus 99T.
The steering wheel is being sold along with photos autographed by Mansell and Senna, the latter which was made out to Preece's son, Adam.
By late Friday evening there had been no news as yet if this amazing piece of history had found a very lucky new owner, or how much it was possibly sold for.