History of the Vintage steering wheel

March 29, 2015

It’s hard to imagine a car without a steering wheel, right? The thought of steering a vehicle without one is almost absurd. But before the vintage steering wheels we know and love today, the first vehicles of the 1800s were fitted with a tiller, similar to what had been devised for steering boats. Lucky for us and all you car enthusiasts someone discovered the ease of driving that came with a circular steering device, and the classic steering wheel was born.

The steering wheel did not become popular until motorsport driver Alfred Vacheron drove his Panhard equipped with a steering wheel in an 1894 Paris-Rouen race. Five years later the vintage steering wheel became standard in the French-built Panhard et Levassor cars, followed shortly after by Charles Stewart Rolls in England and the Packard Motor Company in America. The vintage steering wheel was an established component of cars by 1908 when Henry Ford launched the Model T.

Since this time the standard circle design of the steering wheel has remained relatively unchanged, and it’s this classic feature which adds to the beauty of the vintage steering wheels Yesteryear Steering Wheel Restoration sees today. Our steering wheel repairs and services can return dehydrated and damaged vintage steering wheels back to their former glory. We have perfected steering wheel refurbishing over many decades using our old-world handcrafting techniques.

For more information on steering wheel restoration and how we can help you, get in touch with us at Yesteryear. You might also find some useful information in our frequently asked questions.