SLC Steering wheel options

Mercedes SLC models (280, 350, 380, 450, 450 5.0, 500) had three different steering wheels in their lifetime.   All three steering wheels were large (around 19″) and made from plastic.   This was a big departure from the elegant wheels of the 60’s and the nicer leather covered wheels from the mid 80s and 90s.

These wheels also do not fare well in the sun, so many owners wish to replace them.     The first type of SLC steering wheel was from 1971-1972.  These wheels are easy to identity as the horn press is in separate buttons on the sides of the pad, and the wheel rim is thinner.   These wheels would have only been fitted to early 350SLC models (up to #5139).

The second and more common type of SLC steering wheel uses the full pad as the horn push.  It also has ribbing on the left and right hand side of it (photo below).   This type continued until partway through 1979 (at car #28363), when the later wheel without ribbing was introduced.

SLC Steering wheel

As well as three types of wheel, the steering column changed in around 1978 (Specifically at car #20032).   The original one has a nut holding the wheel on a smaller shaft.   The larger one has an allen bolt holding on a larger shaft.   This means that later wheels are incompatible with earlier cars – i.e. mine from 1977 which is in the #17000 range.      The picture below shows the earlier shaft and the data stamp can be seen 11/2/77.


This post came about as I had seen a nice W124 wheel at a good price and was investigating if I should change over.   However, this wheel is incompatible with my car.   My wheel is in good condition, so I will not make the change, but my other option would be a wood Nardi wheel.  These are very nice, but also very expensive.


Update: July 2022:   I went with a Nardi steering wheel in the end and am really happy with it.

1 comment to SLC Steering wheel options

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>