View Full Version : Help - Steering Wheel Color Needed

03-19-2005, 08:34 PM
I have a 1953 Champion Starliner, Bombay Red with Salem White top. I have the flax colored vinyl interior. My dash and steering column are flax colored...what is the correct color of the steering wheel?

I have seen conflicting resources indicate flax, loma gray, etc...please advise. Thanks.

03-20-2005, 12:18 PM
I'm still looking for advice on how to go about finding a responsible party to rebuild my Avanti steering wheel? Would you care to share with us who has done your '53 wheel or who is going to do the work? That is welding, plastic repair, and coloring--to factory (South Bend) standards. I'm getting tired of paying people to do work for me and having it come back like some 14 yearold novice "experimented" on an irreplacable item. Thanks for this and all thoughts and advice--other than from novices. I'm not so young anymore and getting upset with having to redo things.

03-20-2005, 08:00 PM
That is an unusual and very nice Starliner that you have. There are now many 1953 Starliners with the red and white combination that were not originally one of the Spring Specials and have the incorrect interior for that color combination. I believe that the Bombay Red and Salem White with flax color vinyl should have the interior metal trim painted Monterey Beige, not flax. I can't remember for sure, but I don't think that Studebaker would have used the Loma Gray steering wheel with that combination. I would think that the parts book listing for steering wheels should tell the story (an early '53 book would not have this Spring Special).

03-21-2005, 05:02 PM
According to the parts book, there's only ONE steering wheel listed for for 1953 Champion hardtops. That wheel is the 3-spoke Loma Gray wheel. And since the wheel should match the column and dash, I'd think flax would be a wrong color. Unless that's just your interpretation of what's really Loma Gray.
There ARE 5 different colors listed for 54 hardtops: Loma Gray - Aero Gray - Mauve Tan - Aura Blue & Amazon Green (BTW, "Flax" is not listed amongst the colors of steering wheels for 53 or 54. FAct is, ALL 53s used Loma Gray steering wheels whether they were the 2-spoke wheels used on Custom trim editions or the 3-spoke wheel used on everything else.;)

Miscreant at large.

03-22-2005, 02:28 PM
Bob/Mr. Biggs, thanks for looking this up and your input. Not all 1953s had Loma Gray painted interior parts. The Spring Special '53 Starliners in Salem White/Bombay Red came with flax color vinyl seats and Monterey Beige metal trim. Writer, dhodak, has a very late '53 Spring Special with what is not Monterey Beige or Loma Gray metal trim. I didn't remember, but your research on the steering wheels would indicate that Studebaker used the Loma Gray steering wheels on these Spring Specials (assuming that you checked in a late enough parts book and attendant addendums). As an aside - there are now many '53 Starliners painted red/white that were not originally Spring Specials and do not have the correct interiors. I am wondering if his car has some '54 features, like interior paint and steering wheel. I believe that he told me that his car was built September 21, 1953. I don't recall the date '54 C/Ks came out, but I know that they came out in the Fall, unlike the '53s.

03-22-2005, 02:55 PM
Gary, the parts book I referenced has the 54 parts in it too - that should be late enough to reflect any late additions to the 53 listings, no?
The part# alloted the 3-spoke, Loma Gray Wheels of 1954 models is the same part# shown for 1953 wheels (for the '53 wheels, the color name - Loma Gray - is not called out since they were all the same color and therefor there was no need to distinguish one wheel shade from another for that year)
I've told dhodak that there might be further evidence about this issue in the files of info I inherited from the estate of the late Dennis Hommel. I've not had time to sort thru the stuff yet, so I can't say if such info exists therein. There's 8 big boxes of reference material to wade thru and I'm just too busy to tackle it at this time.[:0]

Miscreant at large.

03-25-2005, 03:24 PM
Yes, Bob (Mr. Biggs), that parts book should do it. I didn't know if you were looking in separate '53 and '54 books. It looks like all '53 C/K models came with Loma Gray steering wheels, even though they didn't have Loma Gray painted interior parts.

03-25-2005, 05:30 PM
To add to all this, my '53 came w/o the steering wheel and in hunting one down found that there are 2 types of materials used. I needed the 3 spoke one with the horn ring and I have seen '53s in old boneyards with either a sort of grey plastic that seems to crumble into little chunks from sun/age or ones made of hard black rubber that is painted. The crumbly ones seem to be the same color all the way through. I have only seen the 2 types with the fancy horn ring wheel. The simpler ones that only have a button in the center (either 2 or 3 spoke) all seem to be the black painted rubber. The painted black rubber ones get cracks in them but seem to hold together. I also saw a '54 landcruiser with a blue plastic wheel that was sort of translucent, again the fancy horn ring type and it also was falling apart. Eventually I found a black/painted one and its still waiting for me to fix the cracks.

'53 Champion Hardtop

03-25-2005, 08:54 PM

You may have found 53's with the colored plastic wheels in them, but Studebaker would have listed them in the parts books and 53 shows only TWO types of wheel used for all 53 Stude cars. They were the hard plastic type in 3-spoke style (with a chromed horn ring) OR 2-spoke style (with a simple center horn button). The books call out ALL 3-spoke wheels as Loma Gray. It Could Be that the 2-spoke wheels were glossy black. These were used on the "Custom" trim level cars and on the "Deluxe" trim level Champion Coupes (C-body).
But those translucent wheels you speak of - not used before '54. Of course, that doesn't mean someone could have retro-fitted one if they fancied having such a wheel in their car. But as you've observed, those wheels have not stood the test of time and sunlight. They CAN BE recast anew but it ISN'T cheap to have it done![:I]

Miscreant at large.