The abandoned MOMO steering wheel

Every time I go out to my garage, there it is...

7w ago

For about eight years, I owned a 1991 Mazda Miata. It was already well-used by the time I got it, having 205,000 miles on the clock, but the price was right, and it still ran fine. Over the years, I ended up doing a lot of work to it, including a slew of mechanical repairs, a new top, and a mild interior makeover that included a new steering wheel: this MOMO Montecarlo 320 millimeter black leather beauty.

I loved it in there. It totally transformed the steering feel of the car, and due to its slender spokes, made the cockpit feel much more open and airy. (Mandatory disclaimer: yes, I took out the airbag. I put it back when I sold the car. Do not try this at home, airbags are important, blah blah blah.) I enjoyed it for two or three years in there, and when the time came to sell the car, I just couldn't let it go. There's nothing quite like the feel of a steering wheel that no one has ever used but you.

The plan was to move it over to the MG, but that hasn't quite worked out. For one thing, it's quite a lot smaller than the MG wheel, and it's already hard to turn at low speeds. Also, MOMO hubs for MGs are apparently not common, and there were at least three different MGB steering columns over the years, and I'd have to find a hub for the right one.

I thought about putting it in the truck, but that would look silly. Besides, palming that big plastic steering wheel around in parking lots is part of the charm of that old thing, and I don't really want to ruin that.

I could use it in the Toyota, I suppose, but the term "lipstick on a pig" comes to mind. And it would mean removing an airbag again.

So for now, it hangs on the same hook in the garage it has inhabited for four years, since I sold the Miata. Maybe someday I'll have a car it will work on. In fact, I think I'll make sure I do.


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Comments (2)

  • I put one of those on my boat, which was a huge waste of money given the boat...but it was nice.

      1 month ago
  • I put a different MOMO wheel on my 1980 RX-7, the OEM wheel was huuge, heavy, sticky plastic gummy and not three-spoke. As you say, the MOMO transformed the car. I junked the OEM at once but therefore couldn’t swap the MOMO back out when the car was sold years later, which I regret. Thanks for the memories.

      1 month ago