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@chines1 posted:

I drove a 2019 911T (factory lightweight, more street version of the GT3) a few weeks ago and it automatically rev matches when you down shift.  I eventually was able to let go and let the computer do it for me (which was weird) but I'm a "heel/toe" guy and my instinct has my foot rocking whether it did something or not...

Old habits die hard. The first two or three times I drive the 968 each year, I find myself slapping the steering wheel for downshifts after driving my Smart all year.

Got it out yesterday and did ~150 miles of Canyon Therapy, then stopped for an ice cream. image


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Ok, here's a question for y'all.  Mike Lempert, who is making my custom steering wheel, has asked if I wanted the spokes engine turned or polished.  My first thought was polished, but I do like the look of engine turning.  Just for grins, let's have a poll.  I'll post some comparative pics when I find them.  In the meantime, here's the chosen design before we did some minor editing.

Wheel 8



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Ok, here are pictures of my Speedster wheel in the original polished form and the engined-turned form.

Plusses and minuses

  1. Polished spokes get scratched easily and show finger prints, but they can be re-polished to look like new.
  2. Engine turned wheels don't show scratches or finger prints, but they do tend to look dirty after a while and are difficult to clean without removing engine turning.
  3. You can more back and forth between the two, although engine turning a polished wheel means that the swirls cannot go all the way to the spokes.

48967437903_c89e9ec3bc_kSteering wheel 2Steering wheel 1


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The wood is probably going to be teak, but that's still being decided.  Mike will do the wood in the style of the 356 Carrera wheel with ebony inlays.  No rivets.

...Unless I change my mind before he does it, of course.  The car will originally be delivered with the standard Coupe wheel, which is a Nardi, I believe.  It will be for sale when Mike finishes my custom wheel.



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Last edited by Lane Anderson

I like the polished aluminum but you are right when you say the polished wheel scratches easy. I bought a new wheel and Porsche crest horn button and in short order the polished aluminum parts of the wheel have gotten scratched up. The aluminum parts of my wheel aren't hardened or protected with any coating and it scratches almost just by looking at it. I love my wheel but am not happy with how fragile the finish is, however I do not like the engine turned finish at all. The first pic is the wheel the day I installed it a couple months ago, the next pics are showing the deep scratches that appeared in the first week of use. My aftermarket Polished spoke Fuchs wheels seem about as soft and scratch super easy also.

speedster new steering wheel1speedster scratched wheel 1speedster scratched wheel 2


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Last edited by Jimmy V.

Yes, if you have dry skin and run a finger lightly across it there will be a scratch.  It's amazing how soft aluminum is.

Here's a full frontal (and full rear) on the Carrera wheel.  Mike's are indistinguishable from the originals and he can convert a plastic-rimmed wheel to teak.  The spokes are somewhat hard to come by and expensive, but they can be refinished as well.  He had one plated with nickel that was jaw dropping.

These are really large wheels (15 1/2" or 16", I think) when made to original specs, and most of us want smaller wheels.  My wheel will be smaller - 14 1/2" or 15", I forget which.




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I'm with Jimmy V. I do not like engine turning. It's too old school. Engine turning's heyday was before even our replica time-period.

Polish it, or plate it, hands down. My Nardi replica has some scratches in it, mostly from the first car's crash. However, it did not bend so I polished it as best as I could and re-used it.

I'm in the engine turned camp.  I polished the heck out of my wheel spokes and had them beautiful, then clear coated them.  They look great in the absolutely correct light coming from the right angle.  Veer off that just a few degrees and a world of weirdness appears, from scratches in the clear coat to refraction of the orange peel of the clear coat.  At least with the clear coat they don't get cloudy or show finger prints as they did before I coated them.   I've thought about stripping them and engine turning them from time to time.  Engine turning was big in Ford T-Birds, some late 50's-early 60's Chebby Impalas, Firebirds and a few other cars.  It looks classy in the right place and I think could accent a custom wheel.

Good luck with your decision, Lane.  It'll look great either way.

Most of you know I'm in the engine turning group with Gordon. I just looked at a Lambo out here the other day that had engine turning on the dash. Very small circles. Perhaps 1/4" diameter on stainless veneer. It looked "jeweled" and brilliant ! The dash is hooded so there was no glare.

Engine turning is very easy to do with a drill press and a CRATEX medium grit rod. Some things I do free-hand and others I make a guide to get straight runs of circles.

Here are a few examples of my endeavors  (except the firewall, I had to buy a 4 X 8 sheet for that one and it made two.

It's really easy to re-do it. Just re-polish and you don't need to totally get all the old circles out. The area is really polished anyway to do the first set of circles. Of course the stainless lasts longer but aluminum is easier too touch up a than stainless. 

This is a DIY job that doesn't take high skill to do Lane. You could easily do it and maintain it................Bruce


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Engine turning looks great and I'm a big fan, but I have two thoughts on this one:

1) I'd go polished if the wheel has slots or holes because they minimize the amount of bare aluminum and add visual interest.  Over time the scratches and wear will add patina that some of us like.

2) I'd engine turn them if the spokes are large and plain like the one wheel you showed above.  I think the big plain spokes without holes or slots need something.

In any case, you do you.  We're still gonna fall all over ourselves when we see the finished project!


@Stan Galat posted:

I think of engine-turned parts as being "of a time". That time is not now, nor was it during the time speedsters were in their heyday...



@Stan Galat posted:

...That time was about 20 minutes in about 1975, when Pontiac put an engine-turned gauge surrounds in the Trans-Am. 

Not so agreed.

I think Pontiac was evoking a much earlier time, when 'sporty' cars wore engine turning.

Chebby had done the same thing a dozen years earlier on the 'SS' model Impalas:


They were both references to your grandfather's Oldsmobile, or more likely the Doozeyberg that your grandfather's boss drove back in the '20s or '30s:


Anyways, I agree that the motif is a little out of joint in a 356.

Here's the dash of the '62 Impala SS:


And here's the dash of a '64 356 (presumably the model for Lane's car):


Two way different thangs, right?

For me, the 356 has always been about smooth, understated shape that didn't need any decoration to make its point. The whole 'less is more' thing.

But then, that's just me.



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