47 Clipper Steering wheel

Discussions related to interchangeability between years and models, and currently available modern sources for parts.
Post Reply
merletanner
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:15 am

47 Clipper Steering wheel

Post by merletanner » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:32 pm

Does anyone know of a good source for re-manufacturing an acrylic steering wheel for a 1947 Packard Custom Super Clipper?
thanks,
Merle

Dave Czirr
Moderator
Posts: 4967
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:30 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: 47 Clipper Steering wheel

Post by Dave Czirr » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:24 am

Acrylic? I thought they were Tenite.

I have no recommendation but have you checked with any of the half-dozen or so steering wheel restoration specialists who advertise in Hemmings Motor News? I have friends in the hobby who have used several of them with good results, though I'm reluctant to make a specific recommendation.

merletanner
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:15 am

Re: 47 Clipper Steering wheel

Post by merletanner » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:45 am

I have not checked Hemming's listings. I will see what I can find. An on-line search only revealed one source. They look very good but want $1900.
Thanks,
Merle

merletanner
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:15 am

Re: 47 Clipper Steering wheel

Post by merletanner » Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:31 pm

I found a company on Hemmings that said they would "recast" my steering wheel to look original. Their price at $625.00 seemed very fair and reasonable. Their ad stated they have been in business since the mid 70's so I felt safe that I was dealing with a good company. When I filed a complaint with Hemmings on this company they told me they had been advertising with them for 44 years.
I sent it to them on 4/15/19 and I just now received photos after numerous requests. Upon closed examination of the photos it appears they coated the wheel to look close to the original color. For some cars I am sure this process would be just fine but not for the 1947 Packard Custom Super Clipper. I have been told this was the only model of that year that had the very pretty cast acrylic (or similar) material light tan material with a distinct pattern. When I realized they had misrepresented their work I was not please to say the least. Not only did they not finish it in 6 weeks as quoted but they did not do a recast as I specifically requested and they said they would do. Be cautious when selecting a company for this type work. I thought I was cautious. I though I could trust a company that had been advertising with Hemmings especially for that long but I was mistaken.
They will not ship me my wheel unless I pay them before shipment. I am debating if I should just let them keep my wheel and not pay them and just try and find another correct original wheel. I have tried Max Merritt and E Bay but no luck. I have found a 1947 Packard Clipper wheel but not the unique Custom Super Clipper Wheel. Any ideas on where I might find such a wheel?

merletanner
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:15 am

Re: 47 Clipper Steering wheel

Post by merletanner » Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:23 pm

As an fyi, I wanted to provide some more information on this topic in the hope of helping anyone who might need this type of service in the future and hopefully prevent them from suffering from the same problems.
I was able to locate the correct steering wheel "core" for $300.00.
I contacted two other companies that advertise in Hemming's, JP Donaldson in Phoenix and Quality Restorations in San Diego, both of which do "recast" of classic car steering wheel using the correct process. JP Donaldson wanted $950.00 and Quality Restorations wanted $1900 for a properly done recast wheel. In fact Dennis at Quality Restorations told me he has redone a number of steering wheel that were first done by Backwards Unlimited in Poulsbo, Washington, the company that did my wheel incorrectly.
I also found another local fellow Texas Classic Car Club of America member who had the same problems I had with Backwards Unlimited. He did pay them by check because at the time that was the only method of payment they accepted (they did give me the option to pay via PayPal after I refused to pay by check) and when he received his wheel the color was wrong. He sent it back to be redone and when he received the reworked wheel the color was still wrong.
I would caution anyone needing this type service to "not use" this company as they misrepresent their capabilities, don't answer their phone, don't check their website when you contact them on the website contact page and you don't hear back from them, they can't take photos without waiting for the help of a family member which took over a week in my case and when I finally received photos the quality of each photo was so poor I could not really determine the actual color of the wheel because in each photo the color looked different. Although the photos were good enough that when examined closely you could tell they coated the wheel with a resin and did not recast the wheel and the coating had runs and imperfection that were unacceptable as well.
All said and done I am now out an additional $300.00 for the new core plus the freight and insurance cost to ship my wheel to Backwards Unlimited not to mention months of frustration dealing with this company.
Also if anyone reads this and they had similar problems I urge them to file a complaint with Hemming's. Hemming's claims they only have 2 complaints in their file on this customer. I find that real hard to believe but if people don't let Hemmings know of problems then we can't rely on the quality of the companies that advertise.
I do not plan to pay them to get my wheel back so the moral of this story is "Buyer Beware".

Post Reply