2259: GTE Wheels
I’ve been working on several steering wheels at my home shop, but the steering wheel on 2259 is a little more of a challenge. The owner and I would like to try and preserve the original finish and not completely restore the wheel. Most Nardi steering wheels are too far gone from years of use to save and require a complete strip and refinish, but considering this wheel was in pretty good shape, we wanted to try and save it. The problem was the varnish had worn away from the finger grips and bare wood was exposed. If we left these areas alone, they would darken with oil and dirt from the driver’s hands. On a test area, I tried simply covering these areas with varnish, but found the patches darkening too much, so I’m trying my hand at lightening the dark patches before coating the whole wheel with fresh varnish. The goal is to save the wheel without destroying the original finish, but also protect the steering wheel with something for continued use. The left side of the wheel shows some of the results of the lightening, and the right side shows an untouched side. I’m pretty happy with the results.
A wheel of a different sort was also coming together. The freshly rebuilt wheels from Cork Adams arrived, and as usual, they looked great. With new tires and tubes loaded onto my truck, I brought them down to be mounted and balanced.
When these wheels were removed several months ago, they still had the original lead balance weights on the spokes. In the early 60s, this was how wire wheels were balanced, and I wanted to preserve this look. I purchased a spool of lead weight and brought my kitchen scale to my friend at the tire shop. As the balancing machine told us how much and where the weight was needed, I cut off the appropriate length of wire and started wrapping it to the closest spoke. A little trial and error was needed to get the differential of lead wire to stick on weight, but I soon figured out the method to get the balance zeroed. The result is a period look for a survivor car worthy of the extra effort!
Reminder: If you have a Ferrari related project, car, or idea you’d like to explore, I’d love to talk to you. I can also help if you’re thinking of buying or selling. This website represents what I love to do, and now it’s how I make a living, so if you’d like to do something together, let me know. It all begins with an e-mail!
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