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MOTO-LITA STEERING WHEELS

moto-lita logo

 

From the point in the late ‘50s when Simon Green designed and built the first Moto-Lita steering wheel for Arthur Moss, father of Stirling Moss, the Moto-Lita name has been synonymous with high quality British craftsmanship.   From humble beginnings making one-off racing car steering wheels, they have expanded their range to offer steering wheels for the most respected and admired classic cars from Britain and around the world.    From AC Cobra, through Bentley, Jaguar and Jensen to Mercedes, Porsche, Rolls Royce and TVR: They have handcrafted steering wheels for almost every car you can think of.

 

Aston Martin Moto-Lita stuur        Sir Stirling Moss

Moto-Lita steering wheel in an Aston-Martin          A personal thank you from Sir Stirling Moss

 

 

 

 

Their workshop is a hive of activity, but not bustling - controlled and steady, born out of years of deliberate, precise and exacting work.

Entering the Moto-Lita workshop is like taking a privileged step back to a time where quality matters more than pace and profit. The whirring of a lathe and the rhythmic thud of the press provide a soundtrack to the equally rhythmic work of our craftsmen as they each play their part in making a Moto-Lita steering wheel a testament to handcrafted British engineering.

 

At each stage, from cutting frames through polishing, shaping and adding wood rims, to cutting and sewing leather rims, these steering wheels are handmade by experienced craftsmen. Whatever they make, they hold it, shape it and inspect it. They instinctively know when things are right. Robots and computers can’t do that and that’s why we don’t employ any. 

Whatever their role, each of our craftsmen prepares the wheel for the next, each respects the work of the other and the whole builds to produce steering wheels that people will cherish. The sort of steering wheel you want to caress...

 

A lot of people wouldn’t understand the desire to caress a steering wheel; the need to run a finger along the silken smoothness of the deeply varnished wooden rim; the desire to feel the cool solidity of a polished alloy spoke.

But you understand. You know that when you hold your new Moto-Lita steering wheel you’ll feel as strongly about it as the people that made it for you. You’re connected with each of the people involved in its manufacture - there’s a little bit of our craftsmen in every wheel they make and they want you to be as proud of their creation as they are. 

 

 

moto-lita prototype        Moto-lita origineel team      

One of Simon's first prototypes, circa 1956 The original Moto-Lita team, 1958 

 

 

 

In a redundant chicken shed on a farm in Esher, Simon started to design and make his own steering wheels. His plan was to design and build race-grade wood and leather rim steering wheels for road cars. Armed with his tools, ideas and enthusiasm, Simon made his first wheel, placed a photo-ad in “Autosport” and the Moto-Lita brand was born. 

A short while later, Simon had a call from his first customer, Alfred Moss, father of Stirling Moss and partner in British Racing Partnerships. Alfred ordered two steering wheels and set in motion a run of production that has continued ever since.

Mr. Moss wasn’t the only one to respond to Simon’s advertisement and the orders continued to roll in. 

 

Simon’s Moto-Lita branded steering wheels quickly built a reputation for quality and the news spread throughout the motor-enthusiast community. At the start of 1958 Simon was so busy, and his products in such demand, that he employed two friends to help him keep on top of the orders. 

And it wasn’t only enthusiasts that had got wind of Simon’s high-quality, handmade steering wheels. In the early ‘60s Simon was approached by Aston Martin and asked to make Moto-Lita steering wheels for them, as original equipment for their cars. 

It still seems a little staggering to think that a few years after making the first Moto-Lita steering wheel in a shed, Simon was making the steering wheels for one of Great Britain’s most prestigious car manufacturers. 

 

But, as it transpired, Aston Martin was to be the first of many prestigious customers.

With such an impressive roll-call and high levels of orders it’s hard to imagine that every wheel supplied was hand-crafted, but every one of them was just that: a hand-crafted steering wheel, which is of course, why they were, and are, so sought after. 
    
When you fit a Moto-Lita steering wheel you’re not just fitting a beautiful, ergonomically de-signed steering wheel made in the best traditions of British engineering - you’re fitting a piece of living history: a steering wheel with a live connection to the heritage and heyday of British motor-sport.

You’ll feel it every time you get behind the wheel - that pleasure is priceless!