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How Do I Choose the Best Wooden Steering Wheel?

Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann

When attempting to choose the best wooden steering wheel for a vehicle, there are several considerations you must give merit to. The method that is used to attach the wood is a very critical component in the wheel's design and could make or break a show vehicle if the incorrect method is chosen. The color and type of wood are also of major importance when choosing a wooden steering wheel for any vehicle. Also, the amount of wood incorporated into the steering wheel's construction is very important if building a show vehicle.

The addition of real wood to any vehicle is typically a sign of elegance and lends a touch of style and class to a vehicle. A wooden steering wheel is the epitome of that over-the-top styling used by many automobile manufacturers. While several vehicles came stocked with a wooden steering wheel, finding a duplicate of an original wooden wheel is often difficult. Finding the best wooden steering wheel to retrofit into a vehicle is often more than a simple matter of choice. Often, the best steering wheel is the type that accentuates the entire vehicle's interior.

Businessman giving a thumbs-up
Businessman giving a thumbs-up

Some of the most influential muscle cars of the 1960s used a wooden steering wheel; these were not, however, always a totally wooden steering wheel. This is often the problem when trying to find the best wheel for your vehicle. Typically, these were a commonly-fabricated, plastic-like steering wheel with a wooden ring around the top or the face of the steering wheel. The wood commonly used brass rivets to fasten the wood to the underlying steering wheel. Many replica wheels use brass or chrome screws to attach the wood and will hurt a restoration in any judge's eye as being incorrect.

The 1960s-era vehicles used a natural or oiled finish on the steering wheel wood. In order to find the best steering wheel for a 1960s-era vehicle, it is important to avoid the highly-polished and shined wooden wheels. Modern wooden wheels use the very highly-polished wood in the steering wheel construction and may be the best choice for a modern vehicle or a customized older vehicle. When restoration and originality are not part of the equation, finding a wooden steering wheel that adds the right touch to your car is often a matter of simply choosing the wheel that you like the best and fitting it to your vehicle.

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