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Thread: '51 Champion steering wheel

  1. #1
    Speedster Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Central California USA

    '51 Champion steering wheel

    Are the steering wheels interchangeable between Champions and Commanders from the early '50s? I have a very good wheel and horn button assembly in my '51 Champion but the wheel is black and gets blazing hot in the central California summer sun. I need a lighter colored wheel, grey or white, so I don't have to carry gloves for when the car has been parked in the sun. I've seen pictures of Commander steering wheels with chrome horn rings and I'm hoping I can find one of them to swap into my car. Will a Commander wheel bolt right on to my Champion steering column shaft? It seems like it should. Is acrylic enamel the way to go to change the color of my wheel in the meantime? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Speedster Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Parkton, MD
    Just paint it--that is what the factory did with all the hard rubber wheels. Acrylic enamel with hardener will do well. Fix any cracks with JB Weld.

    If you want a really nice effect, sort of like the deluxe Tenite wheels on higher priced cars: dust on a coat of a nice creamy white. Follow that with several coats of clear that have been very lightly tinted with the same white. Gives a nice translucent effect.

  3. #3
    Golden Hawk Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Gainesville, FL
    Champion and Commanders used the same steering wheels, it's a trim level difference between those with a horn ring and those without. Yes, they'll interchange.

    Nice original wheels are scarce, hence why the Shrocks have made a business out of recasting them. Here's a decent one on ebay without the horn ring. It's been painted but it isn't cracked and falling apart.

  4. #4
    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa, USA.
    Another option would be to simply put a steering wheel cover on the black wheel. I had a leather cover on my '53 for three decades. The 18" wheel covers can be found through dealers in OTR truck accessories.

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