The excellent steering wheel is, sadly, an endangered species.

Where it once roamed and rotated freely within the motor industry, it survives now solely in a few secure reserves, such as Dartford in Kent, Crewkerne in Somerset and Weissach in Germany.

It never used to be this way. Once, the excellent steering wheel – clean of design, round in nature and thrice-spoked – could be found everywhere. 

Yesterday I was in the Autocar archives, when it struck me just how common the excellent steering wheel once was. From hot Ford Sierra to Ferrari F40, there was a good chance that any driver’s car had an excellent steering wheel, because it was a time when they were still organically-designed and singly purposed, before they were intensively farmed to squeeze more muscle, bulk and function from this most fundamental of car control devices.