March 2013

16 March 2013

The Ides of March

Bad for Caesar, but not necessarily bad for Porsches and their owners.

Last week I replaced the car's steering wheel. Realistically, there was nothing wrong with the original except that I didn't like its looks. The original horn pad is big, plastic-looking and ugly. At least to me. So I decided to change it.

The problem with new wheels is that the common brands (Momo, Sparco, Nardi) are a bit too small, in my opinion. The original wheel is 380mm (15") in diameter, but most aftermarket wheels are 350mm (13.7") at best, many are even smaller. Smaller wheels tend to obscure the view of the gauges and increase the steering effort. (Old 911's have no power steering.) For these reasons, I wanted to find a vintage looking wheel as close in size to the original as possible.

After a bit of research, I found what I wanted. A 370mm Abarth wheel, intended for use on vintage modified Fiats. But since it was built to fit to a Momo-style hub adapter, it can easily be fitted to most any classic car. So I bought the wheel, adapter and a horn button with Porsche crest. It all arrived last week, and I put it together and installed it after work last Thursday.

And the results are great. The wheel fits and looks great. The gauge visibility is about the same as stock, and it has a nice feel. To me, it's a nice improvement.

Steering wheel picture

I know that the new steering wheel is good because we took the car on a short drive today. Deanna and I met up with a few other local PCA club members to drive on some back roads to the Long Tom Grange's Daffodil Drive Festival. For several years this event has been the first "driving" event of the year for the local PCA chapter.

Our PCA chapter here has not been very active over the past few years, but we're working to change that this year. John (the area rep) said he really only expected 2 or at most three cars this year, since the past two years were only him and one other.

Instead, we we all happy to see that by the time John got to the start point, there were six Porsches waiting there. For around here, that's a really nice change. John led us on a nice drive through the back country to get to the Festival site, where they try hard to let car clubs park together. It was a nice morning drive.

Porsche's at the Daffodil Festival picture

Continued in April...