Hooniverse Asks: Non-Round Steering Wheels, Brah! or Blah?

The French oftentimes say vive la différence, expressing a je ne sais quoi attitude that indicates that they are up for anything. That’s why you see a lot of weird French cars out there, ones with mushroom button brake pedals, single spoke steering wheels and headlights that creepily turn with the wheels like some statue in the Hunted Mansion.
I appreciate that sort of boundary-pushing when it comes to design, but there are certain places where I draw the line, and one of those is in my car’s major controls. When it comes to making a car go, stop, or turn, I like my inputs to be made through the old fashioned means.
That doesn’t mean however that those can’t have a little uniqueness and one place where that wild child attitude has shown up over the years is in the non-round steering wheel. Now, many OCD types might rail at the mere thought or a steering wheel that isn’t a perfect circle, but I kind of like them. What about you, do you share my attraction to non-round wheels, or do they just freak you the hell out? Do you think they are brah! or blah?
Image: AutoGeekOnline

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  1. Muthalovin Avatar

    I would totally take a flat-bottom steering wheel from a Focus ST for the Fiesta.

  2. GTXcellent Avatar

    Can’t wait until this flat bottom steering wheel is in my hand. In addition to the cool look, the flat bottom makes it easier to get in and out

    1. The Real Number_Six Avatar
      The Real Number_Six

      Exactly. I’m made of legs, so my GTI’s tiller is perfect. http://thegarageblog.com/garage/wp-content/uploads/2010-GTI-interior-wheel-large-500×492.jpg

    2. Ross Ballot Avatar
      Ross Ballot

      Love the flat-bottom wheel in my Challenger…the one in the SS ain’t too shabby either

    3. ol shel Avatar
      ol shel

      For some strange reason, I’ve had no trouble getting in or out of cars with round steering wheels.
      I think the flat bottom is a style thing. Because racecar.

      1. 0A5599 Avatar
  3. Tanshanomi Avatar

    For a modern, sporty car, sure. But when you’re exiting a turn back onto a straight in a big, old land yacht, there’s something about simply relaxing your grip on the wheel slightly and letting it spin back on center under your fingers. You need a round steering wheel to do that smoothly.

  4. Ross Ballot Avatar
    Ross Ballot

    I cannot unsee the face in the lede image.

    1. kogashiwa Avatar

      I don’t think you’re meant to unsee it.

    2. Batshitbox Avatar

      Try to focus on the “eject lever” door pull, or that weird wart on the gauge cluster that looks like something Luke Skywalker would stick on a used Droid from the Jawas.

    1. tonyola Avatar

      Second that brah!

  5. mdharrell Avatar

    “…a lot of weird French cars out there, ones with mushroom button brake pedals, single spoke steering wheels and headlights that creepily turn with the wheels….”
    It almost sounds like you’re describing Citroëns, except those are normal French cars. The weird ones eschew such routine frippery.

  6. jim Avatar

    Single spoke steering wheels weren’t exclusive to French cars : here’s a Fiat 131 mk2
    Bonus question : has there ever been a production car with a non-round, single spoke steering wheel ?

  7. Tiberiuswise Avatar

    It depends on the application. FrankenJeep the YJ-5 has manual steering so big and round is essential.

  8. Maymar Avatar

    I grew up with reruns of Adam West’s Batman, and Knight Rider. I was promised a future with steering yokes, damnit.
    Come to think of it, someone get Sergey Brin and William Daniels on a conference call, I think I just figured out how to get car guys go accept autonomous cars.

  9. peugeotdude505 Avatar

    I don’t think I’ve ever tried one, outside of a video game.

  10. Jaap Avatar

    Austin Allegro’s quadriple solution. Add what this tells you about the rest of the car car, the company, the people who invented this, the time it came from. the meaning of life yourself.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      On the subject of “still available on Craigslist” is this specimen near Seattle. From my perspective, unconfortably near Seattle. It’s a Series 3 car with a round wheel, though.

      1. Inliner Avatar

        No wonder it’s not selling – anyone wanting an Allegro wants all the quirks, not just most of them.

      2. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
        dead_elvis, inc.

        “it also has a New Electronic Distributor instead of the Troublesome factory Ducelier”
        What other mysterious items does the Troublesome factory make?!!

      3. Rover 1 Avatar
        Rover 1

        Also not a Vanden Plas. Once you’ve had one Vanden Plas, you don’t want to settle for less
        And with those wheels it might be confused for a Corvette C4?

  11. salguod Avatar

    That Mopar wheel above is awesome and I generally dig flat bottom wheels. The ones that bug me are where the design of the wheel makes the center look off center.