Author Topic: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am  (Read 521 times)

Bottom Feeder

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Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« on: January 03, 2022, 12:52:24 PM »
Hey guys.  I have an opportunity to pick out a trans am steering wheel.  My car is a 70, but I'm sure a 70 wheel is big money.  My car will be a 71 T/A clone.  I know I like the "fat" wheel better.  I was just wondering if there was a "pecking order or wish list" of the various steering wheels.  I think I read the 70-72 wheel is the same?  What about the different  colors, gold silver etc, wasn't gold on the later model ta's? Thanks.  BTW, what is the most sought after wheel, he might have one at a great price!

I think the steering wheel will be $100 - $200, unless it's some rare animal.
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roadking77

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Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2022, 02:16:22 PM »
Gold was on the s.e.'s. I think the 80-81 had black spokes. Earlier cars had silver spokes. At some point the thickness of the grip changed. I know the 77 has a thin grip.  I knew a guy that had a dozens upon dozens of wheels of which I bought a few. He was selling them to me for around $100 for very good. I would think $100-$200 would be a fair price for a nice wheel. If youre not too concerned about originality Sue Sarafinski does a pretty decent job wrapping them in leather. It will end up being a bit thicker than stock after she is done. I spoke with her husband Joe and they will not redo the spokes but I have done a couple in silver and theyre pretty easy.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
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Bottom Feeder

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Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2022, 03:23:11 PM »
Thanks Road King
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firebirdparts

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Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2022, 04:33:20 PM »
The early cars really had black spokes when they were new, but they were black anodized aluminum, and over the years they turned silver.  You can look at brochure art and see that plainly.


The first "special" wheel made was the gold anodized/black rim T/A limited edition wheel, and then in 1977 the blue skybird wheel came out.  That was the first one that was color coordinated.  1978 gold editions had a color coordinated tan wheel with gold spokes, and 1978 redbirds have a carmine red wheel with gold spokes. They decided after that they wanted to color coordinate all the formula wheels in 1979.

In December of 1979 they switched to a steel frame steering wheel with black paint and those babies ain't ever turning silver.

I hadn't thought too much about a pecking order, but I do think the "fat" early wheels are at the top of it.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2022, 04:42:26 PM by firebirdparts »
I want to be like Paul Kenny when I grow up
Joe Bays
1977 Y82 4-speed (red interior)
1978 Skybird 350
1978 Redbird 305
1979 Redbird 301 4-speed
1992 Lincoln Mark VII LSC/SE (red)
1970 Datsun Pickup
1953 Chevy pickup (converted 4x4)
1988 T-bird Turbo Coupe

Bottom Feeder

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Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2022, 04:44:20 PM »
Thanks man!!
I worked hard to get to the bottom!

Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2022, 04:44:20 PM »

roadking77

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Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2022, 07:26:31 AM »
When did the they change from black spokes to anodized silver? 

And were there other leather wrapped wheels besides the Tenth? Were the  pace cars leather wrapped? The leather wrapped one is completely different altogether.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

firebirdparts

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Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2022, 12:17:36 PM »
When did the they change from black spokes to anodized silver? 

And were there other leather wrapped wheels besides the Tenth? Were the  pace cars leather wrapped? The leather wrapped one is completely different altogether.

Never.  They were all black (78 brochure is below), but the black faded and then you're looking at aluminum underneath.

The indy cars also had a leather steering wheel.  I kinda think the NASCAR did not, but I wouldn't bet my life on it.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2022, 12:22:34 PM by firebirdparts »
I want to be like Paul Kenny when I grow up
Joe Bays
1977 Y82 4-speed (red interior)
1978 Skybird 350
1978 Redbird 305
1979 Redbird 301 4-speed
1992 Lincoln Mark VII LSC/SE (red)
1970 Datsun Pickup
1953 Chevy pickup (converted 4x4)
1988 T-bird Turbo Coupe

roadking77

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Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2022, 02:13:25 PM »
Hm, thats interesting. I could have swore they were bare aluminum anodized at some point.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

Wallington

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Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2022, 09:01:24 PM »
They wore off, but also seemed popular to polish off, or similar.

If you liked the fatter grip and planned/needed to recover in leather, they can beef it up with extra padding. Save some money using a more common core also. Or add padding to an early wheel for super size grip!

Bottom Feeder

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Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2022, 06:50:30 AM »
Thanks guys!!!
I worked hard to get to the bottom!

roadking77

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Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2022, 07:33:19 AM »
I mistakenly sent a regular wheel to be recovered for my Tenth. It was wrapped on the stock wheel with no extra padding. It is considerably thicker than the stock wheel on my 77. I can pull it out and measure if you would like. I would be careful adding any additional padding unless you want a really thick wheel.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

firebirdparts

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Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2022, 10:40:54 AM »
that is an issue, the leather wheels had a smaller foam core originally.

I sent a bunch of them over the years to somebody who was covering them with leather.  That would be the very best way to go, I think.  There are repops, but I think the leather is better if you just want a nice wheel.

LeCarra makes a nice range of colors (new, leather) at a good price, but they are showing out of stock until 5/18 on Summit.  Well, some are 3/4 and the basic black/silver is 1/26.
I want to be like Paul Kenny when I grow up
Joe Bays
1977 Y82 4-speed (red interior)
1978 Skybird 350
1978 Redbird 305
1979 Redbird 301 4-speed
1992 Lincoln Mark VII LSC/SE (red)
1970 Datsun Pickup
1953 Chevy pickup (converted 4x4)
1988 T-bird Turbo Coupe

Wallington

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Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2022, 07:24:43 PM »
Is the grip on the TATA actually smaller pre-leather, or just has the cutout slot for the stitching material at the base?

firebirdparts

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Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2022, 10:32:49 PM »
It's smaller all around.
I want to be like Paul Kenny when I grow up
Joe Bays
1977 Y82 4-speed (red interior)
1978 Skybird 350
1978 Redbird 305
1979 Redbird 301 4-speed
1992 Lincoln Mark VII LSC/SE (red)
1970 Datsun Pickup
1953 Chevy pickup (converted 4x4)
1988 T-bird Turbo Coupe

Wallington

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Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2022, 08:48:39 AM »
The 78 booklet is only a general appearance of products anyway, may features didn't exist for production models. But good for steering wheel example.

Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2022, 08:48:39 AM »

djustice

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Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2022, 03:10:38 AM »
I had a repop one in aluminium, looked great, but bendt very quickly with sligth force.
I then got a tip of an ebayseller that did quality work in any color and thickness i wanted, these where based on a stock core and repainetd and wrapped in leather. it was a solid piece! i am very happy with the way it turned out.


And a link to the sellers shop: https://www.ebay.com/sch/1joe208/m.html?_trkparms=folent%3A1joe208%7Cfolenttp%3A1&_trksid=p3542580.m47492.l71970

« Last Edit: January 26, 2022, 03:13:55 AM by djustice »
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Re: Steering wheel selection / 71' Trans Am
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2022, 03:10:38 AM »
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