While almost all new vehicles sold today have things like tilt wheel and power windows standard, the earlier musclecars were, for the most part, stripped down, especially the really high-performance versions. Case in point is a 1970 Z/28 Camaro we have been tinkering with. The car is pretty worn out, but at least it's complete. Heck, it still has the solid-lifter LT-1 under the hood and a 12-bolt Posi rearend, so it's a burnout machine right now. One area the car is lacking in is the creature comforts, like power windows and a tilt column.
In this story we will be adding a tilt column and new steering wheel. The column is ididit's brand-new addition to the company's Made To Fit line. It is made to bolt right into '70-75 Camaros and comes with everything needed for installation, like a vehicle-specific floor mount. The new column is a collapsible piece, so in the event of a front-end crash the steering wheel isn't going to come and punch you in the chest. The column is 100-percent American made, with all new parts and features an eight-position tilt, self-canceling turn signals, four-way flashers, GM top shaft, and GM-era specific wiring. The column is offered in paintable steel, chrome, or black powdercoat finishes.
One last thing to mention about this column is the way ididit changed up the ignition switch. Instead of a rod that is hooked to the lock cylinder that runs down to an external switch mounted to the column, it's a micro switch inside the column itself. The micro switch is supported by a few relays that bear the electrical load. Also, since there is no longer a rod running down the column, the ignition turns with very little resistance. These improvements extend the life of the switch and key mechanism.
While the new column is pretty cool, it's also pretty useless without a steering wheel mounted to it. Since the column has a GM top shaft, either a stock or aftermarket steering wheel can be used. Unfortunately, the factory '70 Camaro wheel is pretty unappealing to this author, and the wheel in the car at the time of our install was even worse.
We looked to Classic Industries for a new wheel. Classic had so many options in the catalog, we ended up going to the showroom just to look at them first-hand. What we didn't realize until talking with the guy behind the counter is how much research the company did to come up with these complete wheel packages.
Starting with a steering wheel, Classic Industries then figured out multiple horn buttons and adapters that allow you to tailor the wheel to your build. Look to the end of this story for a sidebar on the steering wheels.