For 10 years, SKM has been creating smaller steering wheels for EZ Powersteering that are an exact copy of the large original steering wheels of various classic cars. One of the most beautiful steering wheels is perhaps the Maserati 3500GT. Clients Ruud Jong and Roger Reijngoud of EZ Powersteering look back on this project.
“Our customers want to drive a classic car, preferably with some extra comfort and safety. They come to us for electric power steering,” explains commercial director Roger. “50s and 60s cars, like the Maserati 3500GT, often have a quite large steering wheel because the driver needs leverage to turn the wheel without power steering.” People are getting taller and that makes getting in and out of the car more difficult when there is little legroom. “Customers with long legs sometimes even hit the back of the handlebars with their knees when they kick in the clutch. That is why we asked SKM to scale down the Maserati steering wheel for us, because in combination with the power steering, the large steering wheel is no longer necessary.”
“The biggest challenge with the Maserati 3500GT steering wheel was the white caps that cover the small screws,” explains technical director Ruud. “On the original steering wheel, the last remaining caps were discolored. To see what the smaller steering wheel and the new caps would look like, SKM first made a 3D print. Only when it was completely right SKM made a mold to cast the steering wheel.’ The first steering wheel with a diameter of 38 centimeters was an immediate success. Then they received requests for the small replica wheel, but to the surprise of both directors, also for the larger wheel. That is why SKM also developed the original 41 cm diameter steering wheel of the Maserati 3500GT for EZ Powersteering. SKM made 10 different models and hundreds of steering wheels to date. “When I was looking for a 3D rapid modeling company 10 years ago, I didn’t know whether you could exactly scale down a classic steering wheel without compromising on the design,” concludes Roger. “SKM has proven with their knowledge and expertise that this is certainly possible!”