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September 27, 2011 7:37 PM   Subscribe

What's the deal with the sliding wheel?

I'm watching The Andy Griffith Show on Netflix. The episode "Bailey's Bad Boy" includes a scene (around the 4 minute mark) where Bailey get's behind the wheel of his convertible and slides the car's steering wheel back to center, from an off center position.

Anyone have any info as to what car this was or what the name of this mechanism is?
posted by RolandOfEld to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: that would be a swing-away steering wheel.
posted by Paragon at 7:41 PM on September 27, 2011

Best answer: More information here - the car was probably a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, given that the Andy Griffith Show used Fords and that episode was released in 1962.
posted by Paragon at 7:45 PM on September 27, 2011

Response by poster: "Priced at $25.10, the Swing-Away used a special steering column that was movable to the right about 10.5 inches to allow for easier entry and exit for the driver,..."

Wow, thanks for the links. Exactly right. Simply amazing.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:54 PM on September 27, 2011

The 1950s era Mercedes SL/Gullwings also had a wheel that tilted down with the pivot at the wheel hub for easier entrance and exit. The T-Bird's wheel pivot was down the column at roughly the point where it met the dash.
posted by bz at 8:44 AM on September 28, 2011

Pics of the Gullwing wheel.
posted by bz at 8:46 AM on September 28, 2011

Response by poster: Any ideas if anyone's ever tried to retrofit either of those systems into another model/make of car from around the same time period? I'm interested in investigating putting it into a '62 VW Beetle.

By interested I mean 'curious but will probably never happen'.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:15 AM on September 28, 2011

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