Leather Steering Wheel in an Opel GT?
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Thread: Leather Steering Wheel in an Opel GT?

  1. #1
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    Leather Steering Wheel in an Opel GT?

    I just bought this on Ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/vintage-197...rdt=true&rt=nc

    Posted some pics below for when the auction is no longer viewable.

    I don't remember seeing a leather wheel on a GT back in the day. Anyone ever see one?

    I am guessing I will have to replace the leather. That doesn't bother me. Looks like quite a few nicks and such. I am curious to see what is underneath. I certainly doesn't look like it is cracked, split and speparated the way most originals are. If I do replace the leather, I will post pics of what is underneath.

    Figured I couldn't go wrong for $95. Looks to me like I can just unbolt if from my current hub, so I won't even need to pull the hub. And the cool leather shift knob is a plus.
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    Member OrangPeEL's Avatar
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    It looks to me like the moulded rubber style material GT wheel, of which I've never seen one in person- and not sure I've ever seen pic of one that nice! Nice find!
    Result driven. Daily blessed.
    1973 GT - '73 block @2L, '71 head, 42/36mm I/E, .407" 256° Isky Torquer, Weber 38 DGES, sprint w/2", vac-delete dist., petronix Ignitor w/epoxy Flame-Thrower, 18# flywheel

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    I believe they changed from fake wood to fake leather sometime around -70, at least in the Commodores and Rekord Sprints sold in Europe.

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    Hoosier Opeler Site Supporter rrossjr's Avatar
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    Lynn,
    Is that real leather?
    The only two OEM GT steering wheels that I've seen are the fake wood and the black rubber.
    From your pics, it looks like there is actual stitching, which I don't think the rubber wrapped ones had.
    Interesting though.
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    1000 Post Club kwschumm's Avatar
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    I've got a wheel that was recovered in real leather and sold by OGTS. Maybe that is one of those. The seams look quite similar.
    Thurston County, WA, effective motto: "Gophers, Gophers Über Alles"

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    Hoosier Opeler Site Supporter rrossjr's Avatar
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    So vintage aftermarket? Very cool find.

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    Not bad I likie very much shiftier knob is cool to great find
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    Quote Originally Posted by rrossjr View Post
    So vintage aftermarket? Very cool find.
    The splendid one are a full repadded wheel.
    The first one is real surviver out of the GT build year 1970.
    This Leather Fake Steering Wheels came only a short time for the USA.
    The Problem was,the foam melted by US hot temperatures.
    So Opel stopp the leather imitates and go back too the plastic wood.
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    Member Michael A. Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by norbertone.gt371 View Post
    The splendid one are a full repadded wheel.
    The first one is real surviver out of the GT build year 1970.
    This Leather Fake Steering Wheels came only a short time for the USA.
    The Problem was,the foam melted by US hot temperatures.
    So Opel stopp the leather imitates and go back too the plastic wood.
    I had a 1970 GT, purchased new, with the hard foam steering wheel -- the only year this was available on the GT. The problem was not so much heat by itself, but over time the foam deteriorated from contact with the driver's hands -- possibly a reaction to perspiration.
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    Can Opeler Knorm65's Avatar
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    Lynn, looks like the leather wrap my red GT came with. Mine has the original rubber directly under the leather cover. Mine was in about the same shape as the one in your eBay purchase.
    Note you can dye the leather back to like new with a special paint called LVP I think the color I use is 508 Ford black. The paint has held up for about 3 years so far with no rubbing off or fading.
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    thanks Kyler. I think this is leather, but will know once I get it. Will report back.

    I have some stuff that works really well to color and preserve leather. It is called Color Plus. It was used on the water buffalo hide leather in my 36 year old BMW 745i, and it still has no cracks.
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    Senior Member Timbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knorm65 View Post
    Lynn, looks like the leather wrap my red GT came with. Mine has the original rubber directly under the leather cover. Mine was in about the same shape as the one in your eBay purchase.
    Note you can dye the leather back to like new with a special paint called LVP I think the color I use is 508 Ford black. The paint has held up for about 3 years so far with no rubbing off or fading.
    It looks like the leather cover I have on my RX-7 and had on my old Accord. If so, there will be a place where the stitching ends and is tied off that will be easily seen.

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    You can buy just about any 13" leather steering wheel cover on amazon for under 20 bucks and then get an upholstery needle set, some upholstery thread and hand sew the edges together. I have done a couple of these and while it is a PITA to sew using a pair of needle nose pliers the result is nice. I also used the packing material, foam strips inside the cover itself to cushion mine.
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    Opel-ing since '74 opelgtguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pumpkindriver View Post
    You can buy just about any 13" leather steering wheel cover on amazon for under 20 bucks and then get an upholstery needle set, some upholstery thread and hand sew the edges together. I have done a couple of these and while it is a PITA to sew using a pair of needle nose pliers the result is nice. I also used the packing material, foam strips inside the cover itself to cushion mine.
    I did something similar on a Manta steering wheel. I used foam pipe insulation that I "filleted" to thin it down. It felt just about
    perfect under a leather wrap that I purchased.
    Whatcha lookin' at ?

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    OPELGTGUY love the dog in the shoes how in the world did you get him or her to stand still long enough to get the pic ( doesn't matter, hilarious, love it)
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    Quote Originally Posted by LynnB View Post
    thanks Kyler. I think this is leather, but will know once I get it. Will report back.

    I have some stuff that works really well to color and preserve leather. It is called Color Plus. It was used on the water buffalo hide leather in my 36 year old BMW 745i, and it still has no cracks.
    Just remember. Safety first. You don't want anything applied to your steering wheel that would make it feel "greasy" "slippery" or any other "lubricated" term you can think of

    That is all
    dpre likes this.
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    Optionally you may search eBay for seller zmr_volanti. He does fabulous work restoring vintage racing wheels. I got this Irmscher Raid 1 all the way from Serbia for $210. And I suck at sewing.
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    Opel-ing since '74 opelgtguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrylewisac View Post
    OPELGTGUY love the dog in the shoes how in the world did you get him or her to stand still long enough to get the pic ( doesn't matter, hilarious, love it)
    Oakley was a one of a kind dog. He was my daughter's, and a fiercely loyal protector of my granddaughters - but a big lovable goof!
    He was up for anything. They just lost him a couple of months ago.
    Whatcha lookin' at ?

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    Well, it isn't leather. It is similar to what was marketed in the 70s as leatherette with some faux stitching to make it look like leather. It is a very thin smooth coating over the hard foam. The auction did say leather wrapped, so I guess I could send it back, but I like it enough to keep it. The underlying foam is in really good shape. I will probably put a real leather wrap right over this one. I think I have some scraps of some very thin water buffalo hide that would look really good. It is already dyed black. Even if I just put it on as is, it looks way better than the severely cracked plastic "wood" wheel on there now.

    The shift knob is covered in the same thing, but it is in perfect condition. It looks like leather, but you can tell by the touch that it isn't.

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