Which steering wheel for a track car? | Project vintage race Mustang

Tim
Update by Tim Suddard to the Ford Mustang Fastback project car
Apr 26, 2022

Photography by Tim Suddard

Our Mustang wore a wood-rimmed steering wheel when it came into our lives. It looked period-correct but wouldn’t cut it for today’s on-track activities.

While the Mustang originally had a 15.25-inch wheel, our expert on this project, Curt Vogt, was adamant that we use a 13-inch wheel. Going this small would require power steering, and soon we’ll talk about adding a KRC unit.

So, which wheel to use? Curt recommended one from MPI, the company founded by two legendary motorsports names: Max Papis and Tatiana Fittipaldi Papis. Curt’s been using these wheels in his own Mustang race cars.

We went with the company’s MPI-GT-13-C, a D-shaped wheel that measures 12.75 inches across and features a 1.25-inch dish. Other features: a grippy suede covering plus an extreme ergonomic grip. The wheel feels solid and doesn't bend when wrestled firmly.

It retailed for $239, and we used the past tense there because we no longer see it listed on the MPI site. The MPI-GT-13-C-HG offers a similar shape with a different covering; at the moment, though, it's marked as out of stock. Fortunately, the MPI catalog still contains some 70 different wheels, from traditional to contemporary, race to street.

And a small sidebar here: MPI also offers a line of steering wheels for sim use.

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Comments
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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/26/22 12:53 p.m.

Sorta related, years ago I bought a CRX that had received an aftermarket wheel–and it was a flexible piece of crap. Buy a good wheel. 

 

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/26/22 1:06 p.m.

No Grant GT steering wheel?

 

 

 

Good.  

j_tso
j_tso GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/26/22 1:23 p.m.

a bit cliche and it's 14", but the Momo Retro fits the Mustang

Wicked93gs
Wicked93gs Reader
4/27/22 2:11 p.m.

Why wouldn't an old school wood wheel be sufficient again? I mean...just going to point out that Shelby used a 16" wood wheel in the 289 Cobras to great effect, winning many a race without even having power steering(probably why it was 16" to begin with). I personally opted for a 14" woodgrain wheel myself paired with a 16:1 box and Shelby quick steer arms...no power steering. It wouldn't be good for autocross, but is just fine for any road-course type track.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
4/27/22 2:13 p.m.
Wicked93gs said:

Why wouldn't an old school wood wheel be sufficient again? I mean...just going to point out that Shelby used a 16" wood wheel in the 289 Cobras to great effect, winning many a race without even having power steering(probably why it was 16" to begin with). I personally opted for a 14" woodgrain wheel myself paired with a 16:1 box and Shelby quick steer arms...no power steering. It wouldn't be good for autocross, but is just fine for any road-course type track.

It would fail most tech inspections.  Doesn't matter if it's original or not.  

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/27/22 8:56 p.m.
Wicked93gs said:

Why wouldn't an old school wood wheel be sufficient again?  *snip*

In a crash a wood rimmed steering wheel can become hand splinters.  Big ones.

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