Author Topic: Nardi steering wheels  (Read 526 times)


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Nardi steering wheels
« on: May 03, 2024, 18:25:54 »
Whats the story with the Nardi steering wheels that some of our Pagoda's have.

Were they ever original to a Pagoda, where they ever an optional extra or are they just an after market customisation item ?

What do our members think of them on a Pagoda ?


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Re: Nardi steering wheels
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2024, 19:00:21 »
I think Nardi steering wheels are generally respected after market addition to our cars. Tenths of threads written about them here, just try search.

There are two camps: fans of Pagoda factory steering wheels and Nardi supporters. I am in the Nardi camp. The stock steering wheel was not designed for Pagoda and in my opinion it just does not fit it well. It is too big (it had to accommodate turning wheels in heavier cars without power steering), plastic is fragile, they make it difficult to get to the driver's seat, they cover gauges if you are of certain height and they, in my opinion, just do not fit the aesthetics of the interior. That is why I am in the Nardi camp.

Having said that, I prefer Nardi Anni 60, which is designed as per the 60ies aesthetic standards and matches Pagoda dash look and ornaments. Most of the owners go for Anni 50, which is thicker and grip feels better.

When I bought the Nardi Anni 60 with the Mercedes star horn button (black background), i have re-done the wood in my car to match the steering wheel.

280SL 1970 automatic 180G Silver
W128 220SE
W121 190SL


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Re: Nardi steering wheels
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2024, 22:17:55 »
The steering wheel in Mercedes Benz cars has been a topic of discussion ever since the 60s. It was always an issue, that the wheels were too large. Steering and suspension engineers were looking at a possible rate of 1½ to 2 handwheel turns per second in order to achieve safe steering during backward parking and evasive maneuver operations. Mercedes Benz did not have power steering as standard in their passenger cars until the 70s. So, to be able to steer a manual steering gear you needed a certain size steering wheel, considering a rather heavy weight on the front axle due to 6-cyl and 8-cyl engines. Also, the "typical" MB customer and driver was a male older than 45. All these factors and the scenario of having the same steering wheel for manual steering and power steering models resulted in steering wheels "oversized" for many people's taste.
The Italian wood-rim Nardi wheels were a coveted sports car accessory in the 60s and many owners of various brands of "sporty" cars put them in their vehicles.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner


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Re: Nardi steering wheels
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2024, 00:34:56 »
I like the Nardi wheels and I also like the original steering wheels, especially in ivory. I do believe that the Nardi wheels were strictly aftermarket or dealer installs. Just my opinion.
68 280SL 906 Blue 4-sp
69 280SL 906 Blue
70 280SL 904 Blue
70 280SL 571 Red
70 280SL 040 Black 4-sp
66 230SL 162 Blue/Grey 
68 280SL 568 Red 4-sp
69 280SL 304 Horizon Blue
65 230SL 519 Red 4-sp
83 911SC
98 911 cab
56 Ford F100
08 RS60
62 Corvette Fuelie
66 GT350H
67 GT350
70 LT1 conv