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Homepage. This page: No longer did you need to live with a skinny-rimmed steering wheel, just fit a nylon glove to it.

Bri-Nylon steering wheel gloves.

The home-modifier's checklist in the 1960's might have looked something like this for their car:
  • 1) wider wheels [check]
  • 2) rally-car spot and foglamps fitted to the grille [check]
  • 3) straight-through exhaust [check]
  • 4) buttock-hugging sports seats [check]
  • 5) a spotlamp bolted to the bootlid [check]
  • 6) an in-car wireless [check]
A replacement steering wheel would no doubt also feature in the list of essential car modifications. Factory-fit wheels were often large, thin-rimmed affairs, ok for someone on a shopping run or a trip to the hairdresser, but a bit "girly" for a tweaked and tuned road car. Many's the Mk1 Mini, for example, that was stripped of the factory steering wheel, in preference for a smaller-diameter job from Moto-lita, Les Leston or similar.
However, natty-looking steering wheels weren't cheap, and many modifiers were operating on a wafer-thin budget. The introduction of steering wheel gloves, such as the Imperial glove shown below, would go some way in improving the situation. These were often made from leather, but in this case, the glove was fashioned from trendy Bri-Nylon, 100% man-made bliss. Ok it wouldn't look quite as groovy as a proper sports wheel, but it'd feel much chunkier and therefore a tad more sporty than the original part.
The photo on this original sales leaflet shows one of these nylon gloves fitted to what would have been quite a smart alloy and leather wheel, maybe from a Triumph TR4 or TR5.
Imperial steering wheel gloves
The Imperial s-t-r-e-t-c-h steering wheel gloves could just have been the answer to an impoverished tuner's dream, available for just 14s 6d. They'd keep your hands dry and comfortable on the longest run - we're told - and were warm in winter, yet cool in summer. Four exciting colours were available - red, blue, green and grey. At a time when nylon was all the rage, this must have been quite a cool accessory to own.
Even if you weren't an exponent of traffic-light Grand Prix, or flared wheel arches, and just wanted something more comfortable to grip while driving to the local WI meeting, I guess these could have been quite an attractive option.
The benefit today from owning a classic with a steering wheel glove fitted, is that it hides any chips or wear to the steering wheel itself. Also, some older wheels get a little sticky in warm weather, so a close-fitting glove also gets around that problem. I suspect though that anything other than a leather steering glove on a classic, might just look a bit naff ...
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