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[C2] Original Teak Steering Wheel

Old 01-11-2019, 02:51 PM
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gjesion
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Default Original Teak Steering Wheel

I noticed a thread on the parts forum of someone wanting to buy a teak steering wheel. I was just wondering, is there a way to determine if the wheel is a repop vs. an original??

Regards,
Jerry
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:46 PM
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Yes, several threads on this. Do some research here on the forum. Here are a few:

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/c1-and-c2-corvettes/4103771-is-this-a-newman-teak-wheel.html

Same question here:
https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...eak-wheel.html


And from the expert:

provette67:

"Many here have hit on some of the differences. None are major but they are there.A misnomer is "he had it for 20yrs". I bought my first Corvette in 1977. A maroon/saddle '66 roadster. I bought it from the original owner. He was a hoarder who gave me all kinds of great paperwork and his collection of old vette magazines. I found repop teak wheels for sale in ads from 1971. As mentioned here earlier it is a feel thing for many. Many of the repops were made with off shore made center sections. That is why the the edges are sharper. Some have even been found to be just a bit shallower in depth as well. Some were made without real teak and rosewood to save money in production. Many times the finger grips on the backside are different. The width of the wood itself many times is thicker on the repops. It all adds up. In person it takes me less than 30sec to tell original vs repop. When I setup with a few parts at Bloomington or Carlisle I usually bring a few wheels with me. A couple repops as well as a couple originals. People ask the differences. I point out a few things and they all quickly can tell the differences as well. Some people don't care if is a an original wheel or not. They just want one because they look good. Which they do. They also feel great. Others like me have to have original when ever possible. Some here that know me know that I am very meticulous about my passions. Teak wheels are one of my passions. My wife among others think that I have taken that passion way to far. Yes I admit that I have several original teak wheels including one that is NOS in the original box. Like I tell my wife unlike her shoes the value of the wheels don't go down. Now even the price of the repops have gone up close to what an original sells for. So others must like them as well."

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Old 01-11-2019, 04:22 PM
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Before I bought my rosewood wheel locally on craigslist, I was considering stopping by a local company near me that does a ton of camaro parts, including rosewood steering wheels to see how they would work on my 64. My friends 69 RS/SS had one, that's how i thought to look for Camaro parts as well. I did not end up pursuing this because during that same timeframe I found the one I bought...
What are your guys thoughts on one of these Camaro wheels for Corvette owners that want a rosewood wheel without the price premium? This is a whole kit for $399.00 bit I think you can get just the wheel without the rest of the kit for less.

http://www.heartbeatcitycamaro.com/s...Tilt-Steering/
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_64-365 View Post
Before I bought my rosewood wheel locally on craigslist, I was considering stopping by a local company near me that does a ton of camaro parts, including rosewood steering wheels to see how they would work on my 64. My friends 69 RS/SS had one, that's how i thought to look for Camaro parts as well. I did not end up pursuing this because during that same timeframe I found the one I bought...
What are your guys thoughts on one of these Camaro wheels for Corvette owners that want a rosewood wheel without the price premium? This is a whole kit for $399.00 bit I think you can get just the wheel without the rest of the kit for less.

http://www.heartbeatcitycamaro.com/s...Tilt-Steering/
its still a plastic wheel. and if you had a repro plastic wheel beside a real GM one you will be able to tell in a few seconds
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by dahogan View Post
Yes, several threads on this. Do some research here on the forum. Here are a few:

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/c1-and-c2-corvettes/4103771-is-this-a-newman-teak-wheel.html

Same question here:
https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...eak-wheel.html


And from the expert:

provette67:

"Many here have hit on some of the differences. None are major but they are there.A misnomer is "he had it for 20yrs". I bought my first Corvette in 1977. A maroon/saddle '66 roadster. I bought it from the original owner. He was a hoarder who gave me all kinds of great paperwork and his collection of old vette magazines. I found repop teak wheels for sale in ads from 1971. As mentioned here earlier it is a feel thing for many. Many of the repops were made with off shore made center sections. That is why the the edges are sharper. Some have even been found to be just a bit shallower in depth as well. Some were made without real teak and rosewood to save money in production. Many times the finger grips on the backside are different. The width of the wood itself many times is thicker on the repops. It all adds up. In person it takes me less than 30sec to tell original vs repop. When I setup with a few parts at Bloomington or Carlisle I usually bring a few wheels with me. A couple repops as well as a couple originals. People ask the differences. I point out a few things and they all quickly can tell the differences as well. Some people don't care if is a an original wheel or not. They just want one because they look good. Which they do. They also feel great. Others like me have to have original when ever possible. Some here that know me know that I am very meticulous about my passions. Teak wheels are one of my passions. My wife among others think that I have taken that passion way to far. Yes I admit that I have several original teak wheels including one that is NOS in the original box. Like I tell my wife unlike her shoes the value of the wheels don't go down. Now even the price of the repops have gone up close to what an original sells for. So others must like them as well."
I have somewhat of a different opinion on teakwood wheels. Why try to make them look like complete reproductions? Who are you fooling? For example, I like the look and feel of the Eric Freeman repro and so I go with it. (although I don't understand why they're 15" instead of the standard 16"). I had a so-called reproduction teakwood and it appeared too light and thick. Go with what appeals to you both visually and physically and don't worry so much about making it look original. And if you have a NOS, I can see why you would want to keep it in the closet since it becomes a collector's item all in itself.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
its still a plastic wheel. and if you had a repro plastic wheel beside a real GM one you will be able to tell in a few seconds
oh sorry, wrong wheel, obviously that says right on it it is plastic & simulated, because that was a factory wheel for the camaro, but they also carry real wood wheels like this walnut wheel for $299.00
http://www.heartbeatcitycamaro.com/s...GM%23-9746185/
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_64-365 View Post
oh sorry, wrong wheel, obviously that says right on it it is plastic & simulated, because that was a factory wheel for the camaro, but they also carry real wood wheels like this walnut wheel for $299.00
http://www.heartbeatcitycamaro.com/s...GM%23-9746185/

still plastic
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by jsans View Post
I have somewhat of a different opinion on teakwood wheels. Why try to make them look like complete reproductions? Who are you fooling? For example, I like the look and feel of the Eric Freeman repro and so I go with it. (although I don't understand why they're 15" instead of the standard 16"). I had a so-called reproduction teakwood and it appeared too light and thick. Go with what appeals to you both visually and physically and don't worry so much about making it look original. And if you have a NOS, I can see why you would want to keep it in the closet since it becomes a collector's item all in itself.
I am not sure if you are talking to me or not. I do not make reproduction wheels. I never have. So I am not trying to fool anyone. Many people throughout the years have made them. Some are better than others. I have bought them including Freeman made wheels. Which by the way there are differences between his wheels. Early on he used original cores. Later because of his need to supply to many sellers he ended up with off shore made center sections. As he got better at them he made them closer to originals in finger grips and width. By the way most of Freeman's wheels were 16". Some people wanted a 15" wheel to give them more room so he made them. They are a great way to show the difference between an original and a repop. Besides not everyone wants to spend what an original is worth. So I can sell them that looks close for less money. As far my new in the box wheel I have it displayed above my desk and the box is in the closet. I was at Bloomington a number a years ago where a vendor had the wheel. At the time it was a large amount of money. My friend said that you love you those wheels so much how can you pass on the best of the best. He was right so I bought it. I wish that I could find more just like it!
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
still plastic
I assume you base your comment only on that picture that shows zero detail on.... I will have to stop in there one of these days and check them out, & get some actual facts & pictures.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by gjesion View Post
I noticed a thread on the parts forum of someone wanting to buy a teak steering wheel. I was just wondering, is there a way to determine if the wheel is a repop vs. an original??

Regards,
Jerry
I have a teak repro from Cranes Corvettes from about 15 years ago. On mine the edges of the spokes were sharp and not eased or beveled like the original GM plastic wheels (and I assume original teak wheels. A day with fine files and some careful sanding/polishing and I fixed that. Also the finger grooves on the back are more angular and sharp edged versus the originals I've seen which are very soft edged and rounded. And then, an original that hasn't been refinished appears to have more of a rubbed oil finish where the repros usually wear a more modern finish which has more gloss. Now the Freeman wheels - I don't know if I have ever seen one but I understand them to be more faithful to the originals in these details - but I can't vouch for that.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_64-365 View Post
I assume you base your comment only on that picture that shows zero detail on.... I will have to stop in there one of these days and check them out, & get some actual facts & pictures.
that is the wheel used in 67-68 Chevelles, Camaros, and Impalas. very close to Corvette 67-68 wheel but the dish is different. the Gov outlawed real wood steering wheels for the 67 model year. they thought in a wreck they would splinter and be dangerous

if you want a factory looking teak wheel your going to pay close to a grand there is no way around it
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:55 PM
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I'm good, just trying to help others out, mine is a 15" from who knows where and I am happy with it.
Now if I sent my origina 16" wheel in and had the cracked plastic taken off & changed over wood, i would be happier. Here was my post on that.
https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...ing-wheel.html


Last edited by Rob_64-365; 01-11-2019 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:32 PM
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Were wood steering wheels prevalent back in the 60's? When I had my 63' SWC and my 66' convertible, they both had wood steering wheels. I was going to cover them with the popular wrap around leather covers, but, decided not to. I liked the look and feel of the wood.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Rusler John View Post
Were wood steering wheels prevalent back in the 60's? When I had my 63' SWC and my 66' convertible, they both had wood steering wheels. I was going to cover them with the popular wrap around leather covers, but, decided not to. I liked the look and feel of the wood.
Not that I recall John. Around here, central Illinois in the 60's, I can only remember 1 Corvette with a teak wheel, a black '65. As a young, unsophisticated teen I thought the simulated wood plastic ones looked pretty good.

I'll bet in California it was different.

Thomas
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:24 PM
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I just got a reproduction wheel from Mike Lempert of Lempert Wheels. He uses an original core for the wheel. You can either send yours in and he will use your core, or he will use some cores he already have. If you send your wheel in you get some money off the wheel. Mike is a true Craftsman and I feel the wheel is a work of art.



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Old 01-12-2019, 04:27 PM
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Don't quote me on this. Please, don't. I have a Freeman's wood wheel on my '66 and I love it, incorrectly sharp cut spoke openings and all. I have also held and coveted an OEM teak wheel during my lifetime. That OEM wheel felt heavier to me than my wonderful repro. I dunno, maybe I was simply star struck.


Ray
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by provette67 View Post
I am not sure if you are talking to me or not. I do not make reproduction wheels. I never have. So I am not trying to fool anyone. Many people throughout the years have made them. Some are better than others. I have bought them including Freeman made wheels. Which by the way there are differences between his wheels. Early on he used original cores. Later because of his need to supply to many sellers he ended up with off shore made center sections. As he got better at them he made them closer to originals in finger grips and width. By the way most of Freeman's wheels were 16". Some people wanted a 15" wheel to give them more room so he made them. They are a great way to show the difference between an original and a repop. Besides not everyone wants to spend what an original is worth. So I can sell them that looks close for less money. As far my new in the box wheel I have it displayed above my desk and the box is in the closet. I was at Bloomington a number a years ago where a vendor had the wheel. At the time it was a large amount of money. My friend said that you love you those wheels so much how can you pass on the best of the best. He was right so I bought it. I wish that I could find more just like it!
I wasn't directing my post towards you. I was being more general except for the closet wheel. But I'm not criticizing that purchase, I'm just stating I would afraid to use it for the fear of it fading and wearing it down, so I would do the same thing by keeping it off the car.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 1FLY65 View Post
I just got a reproduction wheel from Mike Lempert of Lempert Wheels. He uses an original core for the wheel. You can either send yours in and he will use your core, or he will use some cores he already have. If you send your wheel in you get some money off the wheel. Mike is a true Craftsman and I feel the wheel is a work of art.



That's a nice looking wheel.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:54 PM
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Default Teakwood Steering Wheel for a C2

Originally Posted by jsans View Post
I have somewhat of a different opinion on teakwood wheels. Why try to make them look like complete reproductions? Who are you fooling? For example, I like the look and feel of the Eric Freeman repro and so I go with it. (although I don't understand why they're 15" instead of the standard 16"). I had a so-called reproduction teakwood and it appeared too light and thick. Go with what appeals to you both visually and physically and don't worry so much about making it look original. And if you have a NOS, I can see why you would want to keep it in the closet since it becomes a collector's item all in itself.
I bought a teak steering wheel for my 67 from Eric Freeman back in October of 2008. I paid $565.00 for it and was extremely pleased with it. It is now on the car with the original hard plastic wheel gathering dust on one of my basement shelves. I wouldn't know an original teak wheel from a repro unless it had a tag on it but I really like the look and feel of the Freeman wheel and it does get a lot of compliments when I go to car shows. I had heard that Eric Freeman had stopped making teak steering wheels a number of years ago which makes me all the more grateful that I pulled the trigger ten years ago and spent what at the time seemed like a lot of money for a steering wheel that never came on a 67.



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Old 01-13-2019, 07:21 PM
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Eric Freeman is still making a few a year and sells them through Dick at Virginia Vettes. I bought this one a few months ago for $845 plus shipping and no core required. I haven't seen an original one for sale that I like any better for two to three times the price. Just my opinion...






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