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Technical Banjo Steering Wheel Estate Find

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by old school coupe, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Found this cool old wheel, column and steering box at an estate auction. The guy had a lot of miscellaneous old car parts. All different makes. I was lucky to get this wheel for my '33 Chevy coupe build. Can anyone tell me what car this came out of?

    Attached Files:

    michael knight, jtan and pecker head like this.
  2. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,291


    '37 Chevrolet I believe.
    302GMC likes this.
  3. pecker head
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 3,827

    pecker head

  4. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,165

    Jalopy Joker

  5. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,102


    '37 Chevy accessory wheel. Great find and worth a lot more than you paid for it, I'm willing to bet. Probably north of $500.00 !
  6. Accessory wheel? Meaning it was an option? I paid 120.00 for it. It has a few cracks, but perfect for the style car I am building.
  7. mr.chevrolet
    Joined: Jul 19, 2006
    Posts: 7,222


    that was a good price.
  8. Quite appropriate for your early Chevy.
  9. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,102


    Yes, it was an option. I can't find my '37 Chevy accessories catalog right now, but it probably sold originally for $2.00 to $3.00 dollars. Chevrolet Buyers were a fairly conservative lot and back in those post-depression years, $3.00 was close to a days wages for some - hell, my mother-in-law told me that she earned $18.00/week in 1939 !! There were very few of those '37 banjo wheels sold.

    The cracked plastic is to be expected and are normal, since the plastics weren't very stable at that point in time. The one on my '37 Chevy coupe has several. $120.00? I'll buy all you can find in that condition for $120.00!
  10. Great info! Thanks guys. As stated, this was from an estate auction. The guy had a ton of parts from this era, but no rhyme or reason to his parts stash. It's like he had one or two parts from every car from the 30's. Behind his shop was a banjo rear end with the drive shaft tube still attached and the end of the drive shaft tube with a tree root grown over it. Basically, pinning it to the ground. The auctioneer walked right by it and didn't even attempt to sell it.
  11. Should have bought that axe that went for a dollar, and gone to work on that tree!
  12. Zandoz
    Joined: Jan 23, 2012
    Posts: 307


    Have you found any manufacturer info on the steering wheel? That S/W may have a special connection for me. Prior the Depression, a friend of my dad's was running a plant that supplied parts to many of the auto manufacturers. By the time the depression was in full swing, the plant gates were padlocked. My dad got the idea of turning the plant into a "Job Shop". They would make anything, of anything, no matter the quantity. My dad was the key...he was a mechanical genius, and could convert the shops equipment to make what was needed in very short order. When necessary he'd build the machinery from the ground up. The shop's biggest contracts were making baseball bats, Mail Pouch Tobacco advertising thermometers, and making banjo steering wheels for Chevrolet. Unfortunately I have no idea what model year(s) his steering wheels were for, but the low volume typical of an accessory wheel would be a perfect fit for his shop. If you ever find anything referring to Defiance Ohio, it would make the connection for me.

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