Early Mod Department 12707 steering wheels

At the weekend I was finally able to spend more time at the garage. I constantly plan to clean up and catalog what I’ve got. At least start with it, but it didn’t work out – again. The first box I opened was full of steering wheels and I had to see what I got there.

Very early Momo steering wheels and more recent ones. It reminded me that people have repeatedly wondered what the sometimes cryptic engravings on the Momo steering wheels mean (if at all) or what years the steering wheels are coming from, where no production years have been engraved.

Well, most interestingly, there is no information about this. And since the company Momo has gone through several hands, there is also no sufficient information there. All there is is little hints here and there, advertisements that reveal something, posters of car races.

At the very beginning, we speak of the years 1964 and 1965, even before the official founding of Momo (as a short form of Moretti Monza), the steering wheels had engravings on two of the spokes on the back. On the left spoke “HAND MADE IN ITALY”, on the right spoke “MOD. DEPARTMENT 12707” has been engraved. 12707 was a patent that Moretti had filed. There are no further records. However, in addition to this 12707 variant, there are at least two other variants out there. I will take pictures and add them.

In 1966, steering wheels bore the word Momo for the first time. In the period 1966 to 1967, however, there were three variants of engravings on the back. First one showed “12707 MOMO Made in Italy”, second was “MOMO”, third one was “PAT. MOMO ITALY “. Although all of these engravings are from these period, it is not clear when exactly Momo used which one for which wheel.

Momo Sebring steering wheel 360 mm - logo view

MOMO engraving 1966-1967

Momo Le Mans steering wheel 355 mm - Pat. Momo Italy

PAT. MOMO ITALY engraving 1966-1967

From 1968 to 1973, the well-known “stacked” Momo logo made it onto the wheels, the first real designed logo and the first horn buttons from Momo, which also showed the stacked logo, have been introduced. Those are much sought after today by collectors. This was also the last phase in the history of Momo that the Momo engraving was found on the back.
Momo Indy steering wheel - wooden 370 mm - stacked logo

stacked MOMO engraving 1968-1973

Momo Prototipo steering wheel 320 mm - stacked logo

stacked MOMO engraving 1968-1973

In 1974, the steering wheels showed the Momo engraving on the center spoke (if any) at the bottom (with a few exceptions and deviations, which, however, have no particular significance). In this phase, which lasted from 1974 to the beginning of 1977, there were again – two versions. One came with the “MADE IN ITALY” only and as you can see in the pictures – even there are two different versions. See the “IN” in the first picture? 

Momo Jacky Ickx steering wheel 350mm - made in italy

MADE IN ITALY, 1974-1977

Momo Prototipo steering wheel black 350 mm - made in italy

MADE IN ITALY, 1974-1977

The later ones of the above mentioned period had “MADE IN ITALY” and underneath again a mystic number – “M20340”. Again, a number for a patent specification.

Jackie Stewart silver steering wheel - made in italy m 20340

MADE IN ITALY, M20340, 1974-1977.4

Momo Prototipo steering wheel 350 mm - made in italy between 1974-1976 - M20340

MADE IN ITALY, M20340, 1974-1977.4

As of May 1977, Momo coined the corresponding production month and the production year under “Made in Italy” in the format “m-yy”, ie month (without leading zero) and year (two digits) on the back of the center spoke. 
Momo Clay Regazzoni steering wheel made in italy in 12-77

MADE IN ITALY, 12-77

Momo Clay Regazzoni steering wheel 350 mm - made in italy in 2-80

MADE IN ITALY, 2-80

As previously stated, after Momo has gone through several hands, the engraving slightly changed to this day as well as the typo. And they’ve added the leading zero to the month (mm-yy).

Momo logo and production year engravings

  • 1964-1965: HAND MADE IN ITALY (left spoke) & MOD. DEPARTMENT 12707 (right spoke)
  • 1966-1967: 12707 MOMO Made in Italy and MOMO and PAT. MOMO ITALY
  • 1968-1973: stacked MOMO
  • 1974-1977.4: MADE IN ITALY and MADE IN ITALY M20340
  • 1977.5-onwards: MADE IN ITALY, 5-77