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Camaro Steering Box - Steering Ahead

A Billet Leather-Wrapped Wheel On A Tilt Column Add A Measure Of Comfort And Style To This First-Generation Camaro

Photography by Roy Landgrave, Terry Cole

It used to be that if you wanted to adorn your performance machine with creature comforts, you had to check the option box when you ordered the car, and pay a lot of extra money to boot. Upgrades such as an 8-track stereo, power windows, or a tilt steering column (things we take for granted today) all were plush-and expensive-add-ons during the early years of musclecars.

Fortunately, there are now aftermarket companies that make retroactively installing many of these sought-after options a relatively simple procedure. So, if your machine didn't come with A/C or power door locks, don't fret; you can still get what you want.

Recently, as we were readying the Classical Resurrection Camaro for its trip to the painter, we discovered that we didn't want to keep the stock steering column (which was broken) and its accompanying original steering wheel. No loss, though, since the factory job was a basic, non-tilt version that was desperately in need of some esthetical attention, as well as mechanical fixes. As for the steering wheel, a broken black plastic unit would have been an eyesore in our first-gen's meticulous cabin, anyway, so a new wheel was definitely in order.

With that in mind, we got on the phone with the good folks at ididit to see what they suggested for a steering column. Now, as much as we love billet aluminum-in either the plain or polished versions-our first thought in making a choice was to determine what was best going to fit the style of the car. (As a reminder, the Classical Resurrection has been an ongoing buildup that was originally designed to imitate a late-model Z28's all-around performance and comfort for a fraction of the new car's cost.) Based on that, we chose to go with an unpainted steel tilt column that would fit precisely where the original did.

The ididit column came complete with a billet knob on the end of the turn signal stalk, a tilt lever, and an emergency flasher. It also came with a wiring pigtail that allowed it to connect directly into the factory wiring harness.

With the decision of what column to use made, we turned our attention to deciding what steering wheel would go well with the car. That was easy; with billet rolling stock from Budnik hanging on all four corners, it only made sense to use one of Budnik's popular billet steering wheels. Our choice: The Prism, a three-spoke classic design that features a black leather half-wrapped ring.

To make the connection between the custom column and the Camaro's stock steering box an easy one, we enlisted the help of Borgeson Universal Company. Their rag-joint adapter accepted the column's double-D shaft into one end and connected to the box's spline on the other. It was a piece of cake, as was the entire installation.

But the outcome of this install was more like a fine wine, as you'll be able to see by the accompanying photos. Check it out, and don't delay in upgrading to those options you've always wanted. As the old saying goes, it's worth the wait.

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