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History Small Diameter Steering Wheels i.e. Superior 500

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Richard D, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. How long have they been around, and how small? I have one that is around 10" or 12"; I'm may need it to fit in the T roadster.
     
  2. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,323

    Muttley
    Member

    Mid to late '60's. I hope you have some strong arms, you will need them with a wheel that small. ;)
     
  3. I have an old 13" "Superior Products" steering wheel in my '32 pickup with manual steering, and it's fine. A little work to steer it when you're not moving, but not bad at all as long as you're moving a little bit.

    Dropping down to 10" would make steering 30% more difficult. I drove a friend's '70 Chevelle a few times with manual steering and a 10" steering wheel, and it was kind of a pain in the ass but a Chevelle is a heavier car.

    If you need to drive with handcuffs on, you can get one of those 6" chain link steering wheels.
     
  4. I know it will be a bitch at low speeds. My main concern is I want a period correct car, late 50s early 60s show rod.
     
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  5. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,428

    Von Rigg Fink
    Member
    from Garage

    run some skinny front tires..and go for the 12"
     
  6. I don't think the 10" steering wheels got used much at all in any cars until a lot more cars came with power steering. I think the old 10" steering wheels you see in swap meets were used either on power steering lowriders in the late '60s and up, or on things like go-carts, and speedboats.

    To me, a 10" steering wheel would give more of a 1970s vibe.
     
    upspirate likes this.
  7. I have 5.60s up front. I have three or four of these wheels in various diameters, I was just wondering how early they were. Mine are all rubber grips. What about the metalflake acrylic wheels? When did these hit the scene?
     
  8. 64 DODGE 440
    Joined: Sep 2, 2006
    Posts: 4,009

    64 DODGE 440
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from so cal

    I had a couple of the metalflake wheels in 1966.
     
  9. touchdowntodd
    Joined: Jan 15, 2005
    Posts: 4,062

    touchdowntodd
    Member

    ive seen lowrider pics in like 67 or 68 that had 8" wheels.. INSANE..

    did i mention i want one?
     
  10. Moon still makes 10" and 13.5" metalflake wheels, I wonder how old this design is?
     
  11. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,405

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Three-chrome-spoke wheels are as old as 1962. The Milner coupe had one, so that must be absolute proof, right? :)
     
    60F250 likes this.
  12. Shit, you had me going for a second! That's the era I'm aiming for.
     
  13. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    1964 Honest Charlies catalog is the oldest catalog that I have that lists them. Covico and Cragar are the only wheels listed in his 64 catalog.

    If you've never tried to drive a car with a tiny wheel, I'd suggest getting a larger one unless it's a static display model.:D. I have and I'd hate to encounter an emergency requiring evasive action driving one. They are scary.
     
  14. 31whitey
    Joined: Jan 2, 2007
    Posts: 2,214

    31whitey
    Member

    I had a 14" bell(i think, need to post a pic and I.D. it) in the blue truck.

    Its rad, small enough for the little channeled A cab, and it has a fat grip, you can palm it with your arm rigid and it steered great.

    Well after finally scoring the last piece to put it back to its 1962 cofiguration, a 59 impala steering wheel like 17" or something....

    I go crusing down the drive way see a break in traffic and make a left on to the street, over steer cause is so easy, and end up in the oncoming lane pointing at the curb, panic and over steer back and and now I'm heading toward the drainage ditch on the right....

    Luckily I had just done my brake adj. and pumped and stopped short..

    I was like "what the hell man" did I forget how to drive...really didnt dawn on me till this post that there was psychics involved.
     
  15. I Googled Superior Performance Products with no luck. I remember having a 500 wheel on a go cart many years ago as well. Did they make anything else?
     
  16. My boss had a Ford Courier PU truck with a 10" wheel...

    2 rules, never parallel park or go around any bumpy corners.
     
  17. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,315

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    I had a 8 inch superior 500 blue metalflake wheel in my 63 Dodge in high school. I got it in the late 60s and still have it.I didnt have power steering but it really wasnt that bad to drive.
     
  18. Thanks for the response.
     
  19. Jamin
    Joined: Jun 16, 2007
    Posts: 131

    Jamin
    Member
    from Australia

    I saw a guy walk past me at a swapmeet carrying one in his hand. I asked him mow much he paid for it, he said $10, so I offered him $20 and now it steers my mid 60's clinker hull! I love these wheels.
     
    deadbeat likes this.
  20. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,496

    Little Wing
    Member
    from Northeast

  21. http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=285684
     
  22. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    JohnEvans
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

    I think the smallest ones were for Go karts but were quickly picked up by car guys. And Karts started what 59-60 era? I know I had a 12 incher in my 27 T RPU in 64 ,steered just fine with 5.60s on the front.
     
  23. Fordguy78
    Joined: Apr 2, 2009
    Posts: 558

    Fordguy78
    Member

    I have a 11 1/4 inch in my truck that replaced the Grant Challenger and it's a brand new 3 spoke piece. I don't know if I'll be able to use if the power steering goes out.
     
  24. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,140

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Someone was always giving me an 8-10 inch (wheel) in the early '70s. I was always finding someone else to own them. I always hated them.
    Tried a 10 inch wheel in my '55 Victoria, first chug hole I hit twisted my wrist and I had to grab it with my other hand in the midst of trying to shift. Needless to say I missed the shift.

    If they are foam grip wheels they are late 60s at the outside oldest.

    There were flake wheels around in the early to mid '60s that I recall. I don't really remember Superior wheels before I moved back this way. Cal Custom and Covico were pretty much it. Perhaps JC Whittney had them, I just don't remember them. 12" wheels were real common but most of the fellas I knew prefered a 14-15". They just feel right.
     
  25. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    JohnEvans
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

    The earlier 60s ones were a semi hard plastic. Black and white and mid 60s ? the flake ones.
     
  26. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,316

    dumprat
    Member
    from b.c.

    Ya wanna build arm strength? I put a 12" in an 68 bronco with 32" tires and a detroit in the back. It was a workout if you were going slow in the bush. A 10" in something with 5" wide tires would have been a huge upgrade in comfort.
     
  27. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,825

    II FUNNY
    Member

  28. MikeRose
    Joined: Oct 7, 2004
    Posts: 1,563

    MikeRose
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I bought, what I think is a 10" one (can't remember off-hand) with black grip at a yard sale a while back. It was two old ladies, and it was originally off a dune buggy. They had the buggy for sale too. Looked like a fairly early buggy but probably 70s.
     
  29. Colin HD
    Joined: Sep 14, 2008
    Posts: 203

    Colin HD
    Member

    image.png I'm running an 8" wheel, it's the right size for the car.
     
    Kan Kustom and mkebaird like this.

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