Bristol Cars - Owners and Enthusiasts Forum  

Go Back   Bristol Cars - Owners and Enthusiasts Forum > Bristol Forums > 6 cyl Bristol cars

6 cyl Bristol cars Type 400 to 406 - restoration, repair, maintenance etc

Rebuilding Steering Wheel

Closed Thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #21 (permalink)  
Old 26-04-09, 10:36 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 153
Default more on steering wheels

Originally Posted by seanmcs View Post
The only Bristol 6 cyl I've seen with an original timber rim wheel
is the Zagato. That Roller one looks quite nice, but possibly a bit
I have to say the tactile effect of the fatness is first rate, far more comfortable than when I had a 409 with its Blumel.

Don't know about 6 cyl Bristols, but my 410 LHD (now sold and subsequently restored by Bristol Cars), the Elliot Gant (of Gant Shirts) car had a wooden Motolita wheel on it when I purchased it.

Funny story that one... I had presumed the Motolita was an aftermarket add-on, and on a long weekend shopping trip to the UK for parts (it was cheaper - and more fun - to fly JFK to LHR than pay freight), Spencer Lane-Jones kindly sold me a proper Blumel for 50. When I then arrived at Bristol Cars to collect a 411 stainless exhaust system (these were the days when one could still check unusual luggage on Virgin Air), Brian Marelli advised me that in fact the Gant 410 had come originally with that Motolita wooden wheel, and indeed Mr. Gant had been a most particular customer*. He did not like the chrome side strips so they changed them to what became the more understated 411 strips. He did not like the colour of the paint job, and they repainted the car several times. And he felt the huge Blumel steering wheel made no sense, since its diameter was necessary for a non-power steering car, and Bristol had gone to power steering half way through the 409 model... and it seems that this particularity also influenced Bristol to go to a new wheel for the 411.

Mr. Marelli, seeing that I now possessed a surplus Blumel told me the story of one of his customers whose wheel had been stolen, and enquired if I would like to sell it to them. I thought it fair to offer it to him for the price I paid, to be deducted off the bill I was at that moment settling.

Later when I mentioned this to Spencer Lane-Jones, I believe I heard a gasket blow, as it turned out that Spencer had done me a great kindness and sold me the wheel at a substantially lower than market price, a bequest that now had gone to the benefit of Bristol Cars. I probably should not be telling this story, but do so to record for posterity the story of Bristol steering wheels and the naivete of Americans in the old country.

* in the interest of preserving Bristol Cars policy on not disclosing customer names, as N.A. Registrar I had tracked many of the extant cars in the US and Canada, and one day got a call from Elliot Gant, astounded but delighted that I had tracked him down. He was a lovely gentleman and told me any number of stories (having just sold the company, he could have afforded a Rolls, but felt he could never pull it off in Yankee New Haven, Connecticut, hence the Bristol). After I had told Mr. Marelli enough of them to establish the first customer had disclosed his identity to me (Americans like Mr Gant could not care less about this British obsession with privacy acts), I was able to get the factory's side of it. Even Mr. Crook filled in many of the gaps.
  #22 (permalink)  
Old 26-04-09, 03:28 PM
Ex Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: CANADA
Posts: 131
Default Rebuilding Steering Wheel

Peter, I have shopped around a bit including the US links and I know Mark
Wallach very well. It would appear that at this point Myrtle may be offering
good value in that if I undertand correctly you get a new wheel for 325
pounds. I have friends coming over in June so shipping would not be an
issue. I have sent them an e-mail so we shall see.
  #23 (permalink)  
Old 27-04-09, 10:45 AM
Ex Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: CANADA
Posts: 131
Default Rebuilding Steering Wheel

> Peter,
Myrtle quoted me 325 +15 % Vat, or shipping to Canada for some 25 and no
Vat. 300 each if we bought 2. You can contact me off line at

  #24 (permalink)  
Old 28-04-09, 10:20 PM
Ex Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: CANADA
Posts: 131
Default Rebuilding Steering Wheel

Thanks for all your inputs....
I have come up with a plan for my wheel, that is really not that bad. After
talking to my plater, he suggests stripping the chrome and polishing the
spokes. He will do this, and then paper taping the spokes and have a paint
shop Powder coat the rim in black. The plater will then take the powder
coated rim and chrome the spokes. Any repairs to the rim can be done with
various magic epoxies and fine finished by the painter before Powder
coating. I will be using a shop that does motorcycles and are therefore used
to fixing and painting small bits.
So this is the proces I will follow this coming winter. I need the wheel on
the car for now, as steering gripping only the hub is particularly arduous
when parking! Even with white knuckles showing......
I realize Geoff and others might be concerned about the durability of
epoxies and the flexing of the spokes, but I think it worth a try. This
after all is pretty much what some of the restoration houses do so. The cost
will be substantially less and no VAT to deal with.
Fortunately vintage parts coming in from the USA and other countries arrive
with little or no GST ( duty equivalent) as the senders have learnt to be
creative with their paperwork....not so from Merry Olde England!

  #25 (permalink)  
Old 29-04-09, 08:59 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,164

For those who want to continue the debate about import duty, VAT, GST etc, I have moved the off topic posts to a new thread here Importing parts - VAT, GST and duty
  #26 (permalink)  
Old 29-04-09, 09:09 PM
Ex Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: CANADA
Posts: 131
Default Rebuilding Steering Wheel

There is a problem with the posting.....My answer was not directed at you,
but rather in response to another one. By the way, I agree that it doesn't
cost them anything to declare that the part is for a vintage vehicle.
Unfortunately we have much evidence to show that they won't do this on a
regular basis. This is a costly mistake and particularly annoyng when we
were given to understand that the item will be correctly classified and then
it is not. When complaining, we get the feeble excuse that they do not know
for sure how or were the part will be used, and will therefore not declare
it for a vintage car or ??
Fair enough.....but then don't take my money and sell me something under
false pretences. Talk about a fiddle.....
  #27 (permalink)  
Old 30-04-09, 03:41 PM
ex member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Nr. Stroud, Glos
Posts: 141
Default Rebuilding Steering Wheel


It goes without saying that if you are compelled to buy anything from
the most expensive country on the planet, then you should email me for
assistance as we are exporting stuff all over the world all the time
and will be happy to make sure you get it without the benefit of our
VAT as well as your own taxes.

With apologies to Kevin for not leaping to a new category specifically
designed to discuss taxes. I'd rather slash my wrists!

  #28 (permalink)  
Old 30-04-09, 08:20 PM
Ex Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: CANADA
Posts: 131
Default Rebuilding Steering Wheel

Ash....Thanks will call you for sure if the occasion arises.
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT. The time now is 06:49 PM.

This is the live site

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2