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Is this a 1937 Buick Steering Wheel?

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I'm trying to help someone identify a restored steering wheel that he purchased for his 1938 Pontiac.  It will not fit his car.  I believe this is a 1937 Buick for a model with a horn button only, no horn ring.  Can anyone confirm this?

2020-09-09 15.50.36 (1).jpg


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I can't confirm it but I will say that I recently saw a photo of a 1937 Buick with a steering wheel that looked identical to it. I have not seen one quite like that in person.  

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Here's a photo of the wheel of @Gary W's '37.  It looks close to the photo you posted, except for the different horn button set up, so you may be right.  Maybe Gary can chime in here and help you out with the identification.



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17 hours ago, 61polara said:

I'm trying to help someone identify a restored steering wheel that he purchased for his 1938 Pontiac.  It will not fit his car.  I believe this is a 1937 Buick for a model with a horn button only, no horn ring.  Can anyone confirm this?

2020-09-09 15.50.36 (1).jpg



 Kinda says Ford to me.



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There are a few things about your wheel that is "steering" me away from '37 Buick.

Understand that I am comparing it to my original '37 Buick Banjo wheel with a horn ring.  

I know Buick made a black hard rubber one also for '37 and I am assuming all the accessory "banjo" type wheels would have come from the factory with the horn ring....  


This is what I see that differs from my '37 Steering Wheel:




Hub with the cover off.  The casting face is flat except the raised areas to accept the horn ring.  

Your wheel appears to have a rounded top part that looks like the center cap snaps into.

There are three screw holes to attach the cap from underneath.


There are also casting differences:

You have the three raised bumps around the center, but you also have three others in there that the Buick does not.

The "flat" areas that the spokes come through look a lot different.





Underside you can see the three screw holes on the Buick.

And the inside of the Buick has three small indentations which your wheel does not.





The Buick has a "double bump" detail underneath leading down to the column.

Your wheel has three details.




The Buick wheel doesn't have those "stops" mid-way down the banjo.  The 5 spokes are free the full length.




Buick wheel restored, with horn ring.





For comparison.. This is a '37 Packard wheel that has those chrome "banjo ties" midway down the spokes

The center hub has that "rounded" top area, not flat.





Now, all that being said, here is the 1937 Buick brochure.

Artists rendition clearly shows a banjo-type wheel without a horn ring and those "stops", "bumps" midway down the spokes.

So, was this wheel an option also, or simply an artists rendering?

I don't know that answer so I tried to compare the castings directly.


** maybe the catalog artists simply used the 1936 banjo-type wheel as their model for the illustrations **

Could it be that the 1937 wheel wasn't completely finished for production when the catalogs were being printed?

Just a thought




So, like I said, these are the comparisons to my wheel, which is a 1937 Buick banjo-type wheel with a horn ring.

I don't know if Buick made a Banjo without a horn ring...  Just don't know if that was another option.

But there are some basic casting differences between the two for sure.


Hope it helps!




Edited by Gary W
just a thought.. (see edit history)
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Thanks Gary,

You have gone through some very detailed items.  I've seen the '37 brochure and believe it is that wheel.  I've found the same wheel through Google searches described as both a '36 and '37 Buick steering wheel.  In the photo's I've found that appear to be this wheel. the inside of the hub is the same as the one I'm trying to identify.  I agree that it looks very close to a Packard wheel, but Packard wheels of that period had painted not chrome hubs.

Here is a discussion on HAMB asking to identify the same style steering wheel.



Here's a photo submitted there identifying it as a 1936 Buick wheel.  I don't think it's a '36 but the photo does show the horn button.


1936 Buick 2.JPG

Edited by 61polara (see edit history)
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The more I search 1936 Buick, the more I'm leaning that way.  

There seems to be a lot of detail items that match the '36 Buick Wheel.......


Always fun chasing down correct parts and information!  Good Luck!!

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Here's a little more information from my manuals:


From the 1937 Buick Shop Manual, printed December 15, 1936,  in the section labelled "STEERING", page 162 (9-4) states: " The three-spoke steering wheel of hard rubber, molded over a steel reinforcement fastened to a forged steel hub  or  the flexible steel spoke wheel, will be used on all models."


Every drawing in that shop manual looks like your wheel, with that "bump" about midway down the spokes.

Also, there is no mention in the shop manual that discusses a horn ring.  The manual only discusses the Horn Button (pg. 220), and how to remove it by prying it from the outer edge.  No screws from the underside.


That from the manual printed mid-December of 1936.



Now comes the Dealer Service Bulletins which are inclusive to July 15, 1937.  Page 58 discusses how to adjust the horn ring on the 1937 models.  It explains how to remove the center via the three screws underneath, bending the tabs of the horn ring....  And these illustrations DO NOT have those "bumps" midway down the spokes.  These illustrations are clearly the wheel that I have in my car.


So, I don't know if the '37 manual printed in December of '36 was just using 1936 data?  Would Buick ever do what Ford did and use up parts when new models came out?  The more you dig..........


Here are the references:



Shop Manual printed December 15, 1936




Page 162 of same manual.  The illustration in Fig 9-7 certainly looks like your wheel.




1937 Dealer Service Bulletins..  Page 58, "Horn Ring - All Series"




Same bulletin, page 59.. That illustration is exactly like my wheel.  Does not have the "bumps" on the spokes.


So the later Bulletins discuss a horn ring and show a different wheel design.



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Gary, you are confirming my thoughts that this is an early '37 style wheel that was replaced by wheels with a horn ring.  It is slightly different from the '36 steering wheel in that the "bumps" on the spokes are like round steel rods rather than the more styled ones on this wheel.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I had a '37 with an "early" wheel and it looked just like that one. No horn ring. I was even Lucy enough to locate a NOS horn button for it. The seller was very knowledgeable on '37s and his also had a wheel like that. he had bought the NOS button as a spare for his car. 


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