This $15k Chess Set Is Made From F1 Parts
Using parts from the world’s fastest game to play the slowest.
Formula 1 racing and chess: Great things, even better together. This is the Luxury Formula 1 ‘Raced’ Chess Set, a £9,950 (read: $15,300) game whose pieces are made from parts of old F1 cars. Specifically, bits pulled from Renault and Lotus team cars, which the chessboard manufacturer claims, have all seen race duty. That means these pawns have travelled over 200 mph. So they’ll be prepared to once again reach such velocity when you hurl them at the wall after losing a match. It’s okay. Chess is hard.
After these plates, screws and pegs are lifted off the old racecars and sold, Memento Exclusives—who builds the boards—cleans and polishes them by hand, then applies lacquers and felt. Every piece makes use of different parts. The lowly pawn, for example, limited to a single square of moment, is naught but a fusion of a wheel peg and a grease retention plate. Knights, midlevel drones, can hop in an “L”; they’re built from brake balance increment plates and front wishbone top hat. The Queen, the wide-roving centerpiece whose capture marks the game’s end, is a driveshaft retention ball, a wheel nut plunger, and grease retention plate. Who knew racecars were so retentive? Then again, in F1, meticulousness is the name of the game.
All these heavy, fancy chess pieces move atop a light, fancy board made of carbon-fiber and titanium. So while all these once-raced wheel pegs will never meet a track again, they’ll at least be in a familiar environment. There are nobler causes than becoming a caretaker of old car parts, but few allow you to ruminate over a tiny army of pieces that once won world championships. Check it out, mate.