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 official 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.

pre-Momo Montecarlo from 1964 - Hand Made in Italy

Hand Made in Italy

pre-Momo Montecarlo from 1964 - Mod. Dep. N° 12707

Mod. Dep. N° 12707

The first Momo Steering Wheels

In 1966, steering wheels had the word Momo on them 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 360mm - Momo Logo

MOMO engraving 1966-1967

Vintage Steering Wheels for sale

PAT. MOMO ITALY engraving 1966-1967

Stacked Momo Logo Steering Wheels

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 Prototipo 370mm 2nd Generation - Stacked Momo Logo

stacked MOMO engraving 1968-1973

Momo Jackie Stewart Steering Wheel Silver - Stacked Momo Logo - Stacked Logo

stacked MOMO engraving 1968-1973

Made in Italy & Made in Italy M20340 Steering Wheels

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 early 1977, but most of the time referred to as 1974-1976, there were again – two versions. For the first part of that period, the steering wheels came with the “MADE IN ITALY” only. 
Momo Made in Italy 1974-1976

MADE IN ITALY, 1974-1976

Momo Niki Lauda Signature Steering Wheel - Made in Italy

MADE IN ITALY, 1974-1976

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.

Momo Prototipo Steering Wheel - 350 mm - flat - sunburned - M 20340

MADE IN ITALY, M20340, 1974-1976

Momo Prototipo Flat Steering Wheel 350mm - M 20340

MADE IN ITALY, M20340, 1974-1976

Momo Steering Wheels with Date code

As of early 1977, Momo engraved 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 Niki Lauda Signature Steering Wheel Silver 350mm - Made 6-79

MADE IN ITALY, 6-79

Momo Clay Regazzoni Steering Wheel 350 mm Silver - Made in Italy - 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
  • 1974-1976 (Mid-1977): MADE IN ITALY and MADE IN ITALY M20340
  • Mid-1977-onwards: MADE IN ITALY, m-yy