QOTD: Wheely Good Choices?

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

For an age, car manufacturers were stuck with trying to package an airbag into the centre hub of a steering wheel using technology that — compared to today’s kit — approximated that of what was found on Roman chariots. Most of us will remember the “lunchbox” airbags of the era, especially the enormous rectangular hub from Ford.

Bookending that timeframe, though, there were some nifty steering wheel designs. The acid-trip ’80s provided some good fodder, as does the creative packaging of today’s tillers. What’s your fave? Ours, perhaps predictably, comes from Subaru.

The pistol-shaped hub is just too-perfect, a relic of the time when nobody out-weirded Subaru. Combined with a manic interior and digital gauge cluster (sadly, not shown here) that allowed drivers to act out their deepest Top Gun fantasies, the XT’s cabin took a bit of explaining if your passenger didn’t share your love of odd Japanese design decisions.

Because he is a broken toy, your author also enjoys the upside-down boomerang wheel deployed in FoMoCo products in the mid- to late-80s. With cruise control buttons the size and shape of swizzle sticks, it was certainly better than the enormous thing that followed the brand throughout much of the 1990s.

There are more than a few good ones around today, thanks to advanced tech allowing for the impossibly well-packaged airbags installed in every vehicle. Most of the units in modern Mazdas are just dandy, for example.

What’s your wheely-good pick?

[Image: seller, Ford]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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2 of 21 comments
  • Duke Woolworth The advantage of EVs is the luxurious quiet, even in the cheapest/smallest ones. Passengers can speak in normal volume, and the quiet is less stressful. And no oil changes.
  • Akear They may sell 3500 annually. After a few years it will be gone. Why would anyone in their right mind purchase this over a Prius.
  • Slavuta American capitalism model - public investment, private profits
  • Slavuta This is what BlackRock was supposed to do, not the taxpayer money. Then they will tell us we don't live in socialism for oligarchs. For everyone else - eat zee bugs
  • ToolGuy Only $2.7 million per job.