Obl steering wheel help

Hi Guys,
Remanufacturing the original OBL Steering wheel for car #42.
I need some help with the size of the wood rim please. Books and videos studied only explain they where made of Beech wood and also thicker. Can someone please help with the thickness of the wood rim? Would be highly appriciated!
Thank You

Hi Conrad,
Mine is 18.2 mm, measured from inner to outer circle

EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about steering wheels!

This post attempts to answer questions on the Coventry Timber Bending Co. Ltd steering wheel. We estimate that 6,958 E-Type’s were fitted with this wheel, including the OBL cars.

Hi Conrad. Mike Lempert is still in business and quite knowledgeable about wood steering wheels including those in Jags. @woodrim is his moniker. I am not sure how to identify the steering wheels on OBL cars, @Heuer has given you the link on that. Just last week I had quite a discussion with Mike Lempert and identified the wood in both of the early S-1 steering wheels I have. One from 887030 and the other from 885766 - both Arizona cars. While my project car is 887030 and its steering wheel is mahogany, there are parts of my car that have been changed out. The other car, 885766, is the one I bought the entire interior from, including the steering column and that car was a one owner who had a stroke just days after taking his car to a shop in Cave Creek, AZ. He lived for over 25 years before he died and the car remained at the shop. I bought that interior from the shop in 2003. In the interest of preserving the steering wheel, not restoring it, I sanded it and finished it with one coat of spar varnish. Here are a couple of pics:

Are there still questions about the early wheels and rims? If so, let me know and I will answer them.

Mike Lempert

For more information on the early Beech wood steering wheels, I’m sure you can ask this vendor who claims they are making exact duplicates: Steering Wheels |
Just scroll down to the Jaguar E-Type steering wheels.

Anyone know if there are differences in the aluminum framework in the wheels as they progressed through the early wheels on through to later series one 4.2 cars? Thanks.

Yes Frank, there are differences. The steering wheels without the exposed aluminum on the inner diameter are less substantial and can be bent fairly easily…or so I am told. This is documented on the Mike Lempert site and also on the EtypeUK site.

1 Like

Thanks Scott, just wondered if a later wheel could be re-wooded in the earlier style. I’ve had both and like the feel of the early wheel.
Actually, after making this comment, I checked ebay. There are two wheels for sale without the wood and the difference in thickness is very noticeable!

1 Like

Hi Guys,
Thank you all for your input to my question regarding early OBL steering wheels. Am I sure there is much everyone can learn from this topic alone! Special thanks to Paul Wigton and Scott Thompson for you insightful links and information. With your help, I will be making tooling to make my dad the perfect early OBL steering wheel! When done, I will share a few photos. Thanks again to all, highly appreciated!!