Register now to get rid of these ads!

Art & Inspiration Steering wheels

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. There is nothing new about the subject of steering wheels and I realize this question is not specific to just hot rods but also encompasses customs as well.

    The wheel in our wagon was originally black but with the direction I took with the interior I knew the black looked out of place,so I opted to use the exterior Chrysler Vanilla,which blends well with the white & green interior.


    My question is, do you prefer painting you steering wheel a contrasting color or do you try to match the interior/exterior?

    Or do you prefer lacing the wheel ? HRP
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
    LOU WELLS, mgtstumpy, Jet96 and 2 others like this.
  2. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,284


    Depends. I always prefer a factory wheel and usually paint them to match the interior or at least the dash and steering column color on 50's, 60's cars. Early Fords I generally do as Henry did and paint them black. I wood grained the rim on a couple lately. Can't remember last time I laced or wrapped a wheel.
    frozen_bohemian likes this.
  3. Like you I don't remember the list time I laced a wheel but threw that in the mix since my recent acquisition has a laced 40 Ford wheel. HRP
  4. Johnny Gee
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 9,361

    Johnny Gee
    from Downey, Ca

    Good question. For me it depends on the type of build. Hot Rods black on black interior. Customs some contrast can be beneficial.

  5. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,676

    Kan Kustom

    I like them all and each car needs the one that fits the theme and or color of the build. I see that custom three spoke and metal flake wheels have not been mentioned yet and on a 60s hot rod I lean there ,also on some showrods or customs.
    Crazy Steve likes this.
  6. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,260


    It was back in 1975, thought the Bugatti GP car steering wheel looked fine on the Riley 4Port. Who has this car today? Bob DSCF7325.JPG
  7. Danny it is a very open question. Myself it has to do with the car itself. By that I mean I would look at the car and see what is says to me. My Roadster runs a Bell 3 spoke. Thats what it had 65 years ago so thats what it has now. My Fairlane has the stock wheel painted to match the interior. Falcon has a stock wheel in black.
  8. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,267


    Lacing is for shoes and boots.
    You can't go wrong with a beige wheel.

    DSC07477 (Small)best.jpg IMG_1712best.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
    Automotive Stud and mgtstumpy like this.
  9. 1gearhead
    Joined: Aug 4, 2005
    Posts: 465


    I made this one from scratch for my 28 Model A. 2011-11-11 19-07-20_0002.JPG
    mgtstumpy, dana barlow, jnaki and 3 others like this.
  10. You guys pointed out a few I never even thought of. HRP
  11. Gofannon
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 685


    Scratch, as a building material, is getting harder to find these days. It seems to have been replaced by a new spec called "0800". Here's one I knocked up from scratch one Sunday afternoon so I could mock up my steering. It was only a dummy until I could save my pennies for a 17" Bell from Schroeder, but it was so easy to do I think I'll make a more robust one and use that instead, laced of course.

    dana barlow, Jet96, Barn Find and 3 others like this.
  12. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,869


    My 35 has a Moon banjo and my 46 Olds has the original wheel that I had pearled to blend in with planned OEM 2 tone paint scheme. Can't wait to bolt it all together. Everything like HRP's wagon will look original; trim and wood grained dash and garnish molds etc. I've seen the wrong steering wheel or wheels kill the look of the car.

  13. I really like that pearl finish on the Olds wheel. How do you do that kind of finish?
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  14. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,389

    from Wa.St.

    You pull out alota green and pic your color!
    Bandit Billy likes this.
  15. hudson48
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 2,912


    With my Hudson I used a 54 Hudson wheel and colour matched to interior. Wheel was reduced in diameter as well.
    Work done by Pearlcraft here in Australia.

    109_0970 (Medium).JPG
  16. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,869


    I had it done years ago by a fellow and noted that he used a 3M sheet product. He some some leftover (2 tone) that was exactly what I needed to match my planned paint scheme. Years earlier he did the wheel on my 66 Fairlane as well.

    I never saw how it was applied or finished however he became ill and stopped work altogether. It appears that Pearlcraft down here do them, I'm not aware of anyone else. Definitely a dying craft. Here's an old Hot Rod write up.
    Elcohaulic and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  17. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    from Central Ky

    I have always been fascinated by the 59/60ish olds steering wheels, They would be great if your column was too short.....Ive seen a few cool ones standing up in older built hot rod T buckets etc.
  18. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 2,180

    from norcal

    My 32 came with a 56 Olds Wheel (white) that my dad had in it. The Coupe had a 324 in it at the time. I think it was "tradition" to use steering wheels and hubcaps of the donee at the time. Just an observation, cheers
    i.rant, Atwater Mike and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  19. Well, which is it shoe or boot. LOL
    This is full on custom, needed something to do a couple winters back. Took a few days to learn the hitching and turks heads. Truck will be green.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  20. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 7,053


    In about 1963 I was going through the junk behind a body shop and found a slightly bent 59 Olds wheel. I put it on my bike with the banana seat and hooked up the 2 horn buttons to work the bike horn. I had the coolest bicycle in south Minneapolis.
  21. The 40 Ford steering wheel in my mordor all laced up. HRP

    mgtstumpy and dana barlow like this.
  22. sportster-bob
    Joined: Oct 30, 2016
    Posts: 18


    Planning to use a stock color, gray mid-forties Ford steering wheel for a '29 Hot Rod that's mattes black with obviously some red interior. Never actually thought about painting it but se that's a cool idea too. For now, the gray gives a little contrast without clashing with the other colors.

    mgtstumpy and dana barlow like this.
  23. Dave's confused pickup wheel. HRP

    mgtstumpy and Jet96 like this.
  24. staleg
    Joined: Jan 8, 2004
    Posts: 241


    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,236


    Ever notice how the old colored sterring wheels were just a bit transluscent? I like to trick the eyes of the casual observer. Get a good base color that's a little bit lighter than stock. Apply a conservative mid layer of pearl, I like gold for ivory-ish colors, even dry white works. Conservative is the key, not too much. Final coat is the tricky part, you want to lay a "candy" over it that mutes the pearl just enough. I try for a rich brown transparent top coat and you need to apply it sparingly. Don't be in a hurry because you'll need to understand that new clears with the tint tend to dry darker than they look wet. 2 coats reduced a bit seems to be the win but sometimes it takes 3. It might seem like you want "more" in each step but no, you don't. The trick is to tease the eyes, to make them think it's an OEM transluscent wheel. Colors? Same/Same. Blue? Good base, light coat of blue pearl, blue candy. Red, green, orange (!), any color. If you can't see the "flakes" of the pearl, that metallic look without looking real close you nailed it. A final clear coat will give it a long life so your skin doesn't wear the candy coat off, and it also tnds to "pop" the trick part of this gig. This isn't a "some's good so more's better" thing if that OEM look is the goal. I did a tech on it a long time ago:

    Have fun...
    brad2v and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  26. Nice work. HRP
    staleg likes this.
  27. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,317

    Barn Find
    from Missouri

    You made the right choice. That looks great. So do a lot of the wheels posted here-nice work everyone.
    staleg and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  28. Here is one of the rarest 60s hot rod steering wheels there is. These vinyl rimmed chrome wheels were ubiquitous made by several manufactures. Typical version was colored rim with 3 flat chromed spokes that had 3-5 round holes on each spoke.
    interior steeringwheel.jpg
    The one it question was a version made by Cragar that combined 3 of the round holes into one large oval hole with one small round hole remaining. It is of interest because Ed Roth used this wheel in the Mysterion (metal flake silver rim) and Orbitron (solid white rim) show cars.
    orbitron interior.jpg

    interior drivers car show 4.jpg

    Since I was building a replica of the Mysterion, I obviously needed this wheel. Not only could I not find one with a metal flake silver rim, after looking at swap meets and on ebaY for at least 5 years, I never found any version of the wheel.

    I was left having to improvise. Picture below shows how I modified one of the modern Mooneyes 4-hole wheels to create the Cragar version. I used my slitting saw to cut out the web between 3 of the holes. Cutting carefully, I didn't mar the chrome so a touch up with clear urethane on the cut edges made it look original.
    steerign wheel transformation.JPG

    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,236


    I've never seen the Cragar wheel. Superior, Grant, Cal Custom, never a Cragar. So it begs the question, could that have been a Roth mod? It wouldn't surprise me in the least. He had an eye for subtle things like that and I have to say it really 'works' on such a build.

    A brief edit, answered my own question, and learned something new. Guess I'll live a day longer, thanks...
    HOTRODPRIMER and Jet96 like this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.