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VW Bus
Wolfsburg Wired
April, 2000

Hello and welcome to WolfsburgWired, the monthly online newsletter of information for customers and friends of Wolfsburg West.

Name that steering wheel

This month, we delve into the world of Beetle steering wheels. If you think about it, the steering wheel very well may be the most important and useful part of your car. Not only does it assist you in pointing your car into the right direction, it's the only part of your car in which you have a continuous "skin to skin" connection. There is simply nothing like driving a restored Beetle or Bus with a freshly painted steering wheel to grab onto!!

1. May'49-Dec'49 Deluxe Beetle, 1945-1959 standard Beetle 1960-1966 standard Beetle without M1, M11 or M110 option code This is probably the most coveted of all stock steering wheels, and regarded as the rarest. However, when observed from a world- wide standpoint, this wheel is actually quite common as it was used on all standard Beetles (1960-1966 standard Beetles without M1, M11 or M110 option code) through 1966. It must be noted that the U.S. market did not receive many standard model Beetles, making this wheel uncommon to the U.S. market. This wheel fea- tures 3-spokes which when mounted correctly, form the shape of a "Y". I cannot tell you how many times I have observed these mounted incorrectly!!!

  • Colors:
    1945-Sep'52 standard Beetle, 005 black May'49-Dec'49 deluxe Beetle, 567 ivory Oct'52-1963, 041 black 1964-1966, 466 silver beige

2. 1950-1955 deluxe Beetle This wheel is often referred to as the "bat wing". The horizontal bar features grooves on the lower half which gives it a bat wing appearance. It was larger than the standard Beetle version, and had more pronounced gripping ridges. VW integrated a larger horn button (as compared to the standard model steering wheel) which was ivory in color for 1950-Sep'52 Beetles. In Oct'52, VW introduced a new horn button featuring a gold foil embossed Wolfsburg coat of arms badge, which rested behind a convex clear resin housing.

  • Colors:
    1950-Sep'52, 71 beige
    Oct'52-1953, 278 grey beige
    1954-1955, light grey


3. 1956-1959 Deluxe Beetle, 1960-1966 standard Beetle with M1, M11 or M110 opotion code) VW relocates the horizontal bar into an offset location and reduces the thickness a bit, and redesignes the grooves thus losing the bat wing appearance. A new gripping surface is designed which utilizes taller finger ridges for better grip and comfort. A new horn button is introduced which has a round and smooth housing, and features a less detailed Wolfsburg coat of arms badge.

  • Colors:
    1956-1957, 567 ivory, 278 grey beige
    1958-1959, 471 stone beige
    1960-1966 standard Beetle with M1, M11 or M110 option code, 466 silver beige

4. 1960-1961 Deluxe Beetle A horn ring is integrated within the steering wheel, as well as a redesigned horn button. The horn ring is of a half circle design and is chrome plated. The horn button loses the plastic outer housing, and rests inside of the horn ring. The Wolfsburg coat of arms badge loses even more detail, and is now embossed with chrome foil. The horizonal bar is much thinner, and has a groove in which the horn ring is housed.

  • Colors:
    1960, 471 stone beige
    1961, depending upon color of car: *020 basalt grey for cars painted L41 black, L380 turquoise (Mar'61-July'61), L390 gulf blue, L391 pastel blue (Aug'60-Feb'61), and L456 ruby red *023 sand stone for cars painted L87 pearl white *021 hydrate green for cars painted L380 turquoise (Aug'60-Feb'61), L391 pastel blue (Aug'60-Feb'61) *022 nepal green for cars painted L478 beryl green

5. 1962-1963 Deluxe Beetle This wheel is essentiall the same as the 1960-1961 variety, however uses a different horn ring which mounts slightly different. The two rings cannot be interchanged.

  • Color: 466 silver beige

6. 1964-1965 Deluxe Beetle A new horn ring is designed, lacking the half circle appearance. The new ring is a straight bar, chrome plated.

  • Color: 466 silver beige

7. 1966 deluxe Beetle, 1967-1970 Beetle standard and deluxe Beetle The return of the half circle horn ring!! 1966-1969 rings were chrome plated, while the 1970 featured a silver coating. The groove which houses the horn ring remains the same as the previous version, without notches for the half circle portion of the horn ring.

  • Color: 045 grey-black

8. 1971 Beetle, standard and Super Beetle Esthetically the wheel reamins the same as the previous version, however the mounting hub is changed slightly to fit inside of a new steering column. The horn ring is coated in silver as in 1970.

  • Color: 045 grey-black


VW totally redesigns the wheel. The horn ring is deleted and the horn button evolves into a flat panel, which extends to form 4 spokes. There was 2 wheels that were offered for the 1972 and later Beetle, depending on the model. The standard wheel (used on standard Beetles and Super Beetles) version was an unpadded wheel and featured the Wolfsburg coat of arms badge heat embossed directly into the horn button panel with no accenting colors or flair. Special edition models (used on custom and Super Beetle models. Examples include the Sun Beetle, Love Beetle, Fun Beetle, Water Beetle, La Grande Beetle, and Champaign editions) produced from 1973- 1979 used a "sport wheel". The "sport wheel" matched the standard unit in shape, but had a silver metal center inte- grated within the horn button panel which featured the Wolfsburg coat of arms badge silk-screened in black, and the outer perimeter of the panel outlined in silver. The "sport wheel" was padded which made it thicker and more comfortable as compared to the standard unit.

  • Color: 041 black

10. 1975-1979 Beetle The wheel is the same as the previous, however mounts onto a 16mm diameter steering shaft (formerly 18mm).

  • Color: 01C black


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Published by Wolfsburg West
Specializing in parts for the restoration of 1979 and earlier Volkswagen cars.

Snail: Wolfsburg West, 2850 Palisades Dr. Corona, CA 92880
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