Saleen Momo Steering Wheel… Is Your Wheel Original? – Does it Need Replacing?
From 1986 to 1989 Saleen used the Momo Veloce steering wheel and hub adapter on their Mustangs. At one point you could buy a new Veloce wheel to replace a worn or broken Momo wheel in these Saleen Mustangs.
Fast forward 30 years and the challenge is finding one at all. There is the option to recover the wheel which is something that can be done if there is no other option. But, with recovering comes sacrifices for appearance. The wheels end up looking better than a roasted one but the stitching isn’t exactly the same because they have to be hand stitched, and the leather is slightly different in grain. The other challenge is that Momo glued the covering around the three spokes of the wheel and used some kind of press to mash that material almost flat as it transitions to the metal spoke. So, as you can see, there are multiple challenges to this if you’re looking for an original appearance.
As you can see above, the original Momo steering wheel to 1989 Saleen number 50 is really roasted on the top. There may be some process to add filler and smooth it out and make a decent steering wheel. The challenge with that is the filler will separate from the leather with use and as it ages. Plastic vinyl filler is a temporary solution. That’s not a permanent fix. The long term solution is recovering or finding a replacement.
We were lucky enough to find a wheel from a fellow enthusiast! Thanks Rick! He’s a fellow Saleen owner and is restoring the ONLY blue Foxbody Saleen SC made. Below is a pic of the wheel he allowed us to purchase from him. Note that it has white stitching. It’s interesting that we’ve seen both black or white stitching in the Saleen’s. Many would argue that it is supposed to be “black stitching” on the Momo wheel, but with Saleen Fox production it is possible for it to have a white stitched Momo Veloce steering wheel.
Here’s a link to a Bring a Trailer auction of a 1988 Saleen convertible and you can notice in the pics that it has a white stitched steering wheel. So either would be correct.
Finding out if the wheel is original to your Saleen is fairly simple. Momo puts date codes on the bottom center spoke. If you look on the back side of the steering wheel on that spoke you’ll see a month and a year stamped into the wheel. Recently some people have commented that “their car was original” with a Momo Montecarlo steering wheel. While this is very possible that a Saleen came with a different wheel than advertised the quickest way to determine if the car came with a different Momo wheel is the date code on the wheel. For example the date code on the wheel in question of that owner ended up being somewhere around 2000 or 2001. So there was no way a Foxbody Saleen would have had that wheel installed when new.