Neil’s Mk1 Update (311)
A much-needed steering upgrade had Neil smiling from ear to ear last November – let’s go back a few months and find out why.
There is very little I need or want to change about my Mk1, I feel it has the balance of things just right. There is however one thing that has niggled me from the start: the steering wheel. The original Ford effort was just too large and too skinny for it to give the nice grip and feedback I need when I am pumping my crazy arms to make the car dance a little.
The old wheel kinda had a certain charm about it because it was very retro and had a standard feel about it, so it tied in with the car’s old school yet standard-style interior and helped to fool people into thinking the car was packing less heat than it does. But all this style only goes so far with me, I need my performance goodies and I definitely craved a smaller wheel.
Problem is, while I am focused on all things fast, I can’t ruin the carefully-considered interior. I couldn’t have anything horribly chintzy and modern. I didn’t want to be predictable and choose a run-of-the-mill Mountney wheel or an OMP one. I wanted something a little special, something that was built for vintage style, yet had a very ‘racer’ feel about it.
A tall order? You would think so, but I sat down and started to think and one name popped right up into my petrol-soaked mind. Moto-Lita! Moto-Lita has been around since the ’50s and in that time little has changed! Started and still run by owner and craftsman Simon, I had to get involved. They offer a range of hand-made wood or leather steering wheels – perfect!
The prestigious brand is the wheel of choice for old school legends like Stirling Moss, and now modern-day ones like me! After much deliberation I opted to have Simon make me a gorgeous, dished, three spoke, hand-stitched leather one, with an old-style Ford logo. It feels totally perfect and I am glad I took my time in choosing the Moto-Lita, try and tell me it doesn’t look at home. It feels class in my hands and I have to admit there is a hint of smugness when I stare at my unique steering wheel when sat in traffic.
When it comes to driving, that has improved too. It sounds obvious to say you need your steering wheel when driving, but I find the car much more controllable with this fitted, it just feels so positive and ‘right’. I have the grip and slip I need for when I am throwing the lock on or letting it self-centre when exiting a corner. I love it.
The Mk1 is now going to enjoy a much needed break in my folks garage back ‘oop north’. I am going to focus my attention for the next month or so on a sneaky imported Ford I am having brought in, my track car, a Ka, and breaking the Focus. So, as you can tell, there really is no rest for the wicked.
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on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 at 10:53 pm under Fiesta, Neil.
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Tags: Black Top, Fiesta, Mk1, Supercharger, Zetec