Derrington Steering Wheel Restoration


I have an original Derrington steering wheel fitted to my MKII. It is the original wheel fitted to the car from new. It has suffered the ravages of time and an unsympathetic restoration. Does anyone know of a reputable restorer who could refurbish the wheel? I don’t mind posting it worldwide from Australia. I know that I can but a new-made Derrington wheel from Moto-Lita but would rather have the original restored. I even asked Moto-Lita if they would restore it for me but I was told by them that to do so would weaken the structure of the wheel making it “unsafe”. I don’t know how that could be when to renew the timber and the rivets would surely strengthen the wheel?


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If the wood need’s replacing , you may as well buy a new wheel , it don’t look that bad to me ,
Why not restore it yourself , mask up the alloy , fine rub down the wood , fill any splits with wood glue , brush on mat vanish , remove tape from alloy , polish alloy up !

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Hi Ian,

As everything gets older it looks good from a distance, especially the car’s owner!

The wheel was subjected to a poor renovation and sadly is a bit far gone. I was hoping that Moto-Lita would refurbish it as they have the Licence to manufacture them. They said initially that they would only repair it if it was one of theirs. Once I established that it was then that they said it couldn’t be done.

Are the rivets on the wheel cast with the rim, then the wood laid over them, then the rivets hammered to hold on the wood? If that’s the case then I understand why it can’t be repaired with new wood.



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Just looked at mine , it’s a old Moto one , you can just see the rivets in the back , I would not take on such a Job , ok if it’s a toy one like on the E-types , they are just stuck together! :grin:

Blasphemy! The originally fitted CTB wheels, like this one are magnificent! Original glue and 57 years old. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Yep… and a frame made of Flubber©…:grimacing:

Nope. This one was discontinued near the end of '62. No thumb groove, full width frame and circular section timber. I also have the later one, with the groove - it is very flexible compared to the earlier.

What diameter is your wheel? Does your car have PAS?

Hi Paul,

I’m guessing the question is for me not Ian? The Derrington Wheel is 16" and yes, the car is fitted with Power Steering - from new!

On reflection I think I’ll but a new wheel (same company, same materials as the original), use the original boss and horn ring as it’s 250.00 GBP + post to Australia.



Liability is the real reason they wont restore it.

Dear Tim

I would honestly suggest simply bringing it to a good woodworker/carpenter.

Such craftspeople are incredibly resourceful with wide range of experience.

The work, frankly, would be as good or better than moto-lita could perform.
Nothing proprietary here.

Word of mouth is strong too amongst craftspeople. Should one feel uncomfortable, they can certainly point you to another who can.

Kind regards

Absolutely: this ain’t rocket science: it’s master carpentry.

However, they did say to me directly that they would restore it if it was one of theirs, which it is, so that’s quite disappointing. I’ve just had the steering wheel of my MKIV restored and I trust it more now than before it was restored. Sadly that restorer doesn’t restore timber wheels.

The question remains for me, are the rivets which hold the timber in place separate from or cast into the metal rim?




The rivets show on the front face of the wheel and bucked on the back side.

Are they brass?

i think you have to be careful about hub fit. if it is a real derrington wheel from before the sale to mota-lita it has a different bolting pattern if i remember properly. i believe the rivets are brass but no backing or bucking. perhaps Paul or Tony’s wood restoration techniques would be better and you could stay with the more desirable wheel?

Out of a few 100s of videos…:wink:

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Yes brass but appear chromed.


Hi Paul,

Thanks for that. I had seen this one among others.



Hi John,

It is a real Derrington wheel and the one originally specified and fitted to the car when new. I have that on a sales receipt from Henleys. The owner must have been somewhat “sporty” in as much as the car was fitted with wire wheels (still have one original rim in the spare wheel well), a sun roof and the Derrington wheel. However, he must have been somewhat reserved as the colour scheme was Sherwood Green with a Suede Green leather interior. The car is now Opalescent Green with a Tan leather interior. I plan to restore the car soon and will have to think about the colour scheme. I do love British Racing Green with the Tan interior but also like to go for originality. If only I knew if the wheels were body colour, or grey stove enamel, or chrome? Sherwood Green would look odd I feel. I’m guessing grey enamel.

Back to the wheel. I just wish that Moto-Lita would sell me the wood and the rivets as that would make life easier! I’ll ask again.

Best wishes,

It’s a nice wheel. Have seen similar on eBay - just the spokes and rim - no horn bar. I have the standard one at 17" and need it all as unassisted. Paul