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Is it a scam?
I doubt it. Japanese Love alfa's. But you never know. Only 1 way to find out.
Most of the Japanese I have dealt with are very honest. Sure looks good for a fake if it is.
Feedback looks pretty good to me.
 

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These are not scams at all. Note however, that these are not new steering wheels, and so they may have some flaws, albeit these are usually minor and typical of normal wear. As far as the price, they start low, but at the end of the auction the winning bid is not necessarily low, and then when you add shipping to the U.S. (usually around $45, although this one is $39) the price may not be much different from what you would pay here for a used steering wheel.

I bought a very small used MOMO steering wheel from one of the Japanese vendors several years ago. I was very pleased with what I got, and have that wheel installed in my '87 Spider. I'm also looking for another style which was a factory option for the series 3 Spiders. Both styles are out of production but they do come up on ebay from time to time, always offered by a Japanese seller. The bidding does start at a ridiculously low price, but I have yet to be able to successfully bid at a price similar to what I paid for the first wheel I bought, and certainly no where near what I would consider a "bargain" price.

Best regards,
 

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Yes, they are regit. These aftermarket steering wheels (especially the Nardi Classics) were extremely popular in Japan till the early 90s but as the manufacturers started selling cars equipped with the driver's side airbag (and since it is illegal to swap the steering wheel in a air-bagged car with the one w/o airbag) people were no longer interested in these aftermarket wheels. Since approximately 90% of the cars on the road in Japan today are less than 10 years old and they ALL have airbags, the market for these wheels shrunk to the point that it is almost non-existent. The seller is making decent amount of money by selling those wheels, which otherwise are considered useless, OUT of the country.


Enrique,

Is this the wheel you are talking about? I remember the MOMO wood wheel being offered as an option for the S3 Spiders and I THINK this is the type... It's on Yahoo Japan auction right now for 2,500JPY (about 23USD) with no bid:D.

I'm also looking for another style which was a factory option for the series 3 Spiders. Both styles are out of production but they do come up on ebay from time to time, always offered by a Japanese seller. The bidding does start at a ridiculously low price, but I have yet to be able to successfully bid at a price similar to what I paid for the first wheel I bought, and certainly no where near what I would consider a "bargain" price.
 

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Enrique,

Is this the wheel you are talking about? I remember the MOMO wood wheel being offered as an option for the S3 Spiders and I THINK this is the type... It's on Yahoo Japan auction right now for 2,500JPY (about 23USD) with no bid:D.
Yes, Tiger, that is the wheel which was a factory option... I am interested in such a wheel. Is the picture you posted from the one in the auction? The reason I'm asking is that the color of the center piece is different (darker) than that of the wheel. If it is just how it looks in the pic, I would certainly be interested in bidding... (although I've never even seen what yahoo Japan looks like...)

My '87 Spider came with this wood MOMO steering wheel and the matching shift knob, but the previous owner really did a number on both. I removed them both years ago, and every time I think of refinishing them, I don't think the gouges and cracks can be repaired.

Best regards,
 

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Look Legit

I've bought two, a wood & leather Classic Nardi, both signed and look legit. You will probably not get an adaptor and frequently not a horn button so factor those costs in (~70 + 30). As pointed out, they are used and will show normal wear. The descriptions and packing have been meticulous.
 

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Yes, Tiger, that is the wheel which was a factory option... I am interested in such a wheel
Just FYI, I believe the wheel was marketed as the MOMO "Astra".

Joe
 

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My 2 cents...
I bought one last year – an authentic Nardi, for... really short money. It was the exact same wheel pictured in the auction; meticulously wrapped and posted promptly. The shipping cost raised the price to over $100. I am well satisfied. Anyone who sees the steering wheel drools and tells me it was a bargain.

Taiga – Thank you for the explanation!

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed are solely those of an Alfista. Your results may differ. No reimbursement was received for this endorsement, yadda, yadda…
 

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Yes, Tiger, that is the wheel which was a factory option... I am interested in such a wheel. Is the picture you posted from the one in the auction? The reason I'm asking is that the color of the center piece is different (darker) than that of the wheel. If it is just how it looks in the pic, I would certainly be interested in bidding... (although I've never even seen what yahoo Japan looks like...)
I purchased a MOMO Astra about a month ago. It is absolutely beautiful and has an Alfa Romeo center cap. I e-mailed MOMO USA regarding the type of wood used and color variations. Here is the response:
The wood used in the Astra wheel is Zebrano. The last retail that I have for the wheel is $570.00. it was produced from the mid 80’s to the early 90’s.

Best Regards,
Rob Dommes
[email protected]
I then purchased a Zebrano Tall Anatomic Shifter. However, the shifter was much darker in color. I emailed MOMO again and got this reply:
MOMO has used either Zebrano or Briar wood for all of its wooden parts. The Briar wood is much lighter and has an almost orange look to it. The variation in the Zebrano wood could be from the wood itself or from the different finish that is used depending on the finish supplier (I know that it has changed a few times). The steering wheels and the shift knobs are made at different facilities so that could be part of the reason for the difference also.

Best Regards,
Rob Dommes
[email protected]
 

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Yes, very true about the variations in the finish, even when using the same wood. My '87 originally had a Momo Astra and a perfectly matching shift knob, unlike many other cars that I have seen. It now has a very small Momo three-spoke in a dark finish, and also a dark finish Momo knob, which matches beautifully. From time to time I take a look at auctions with the goal of someday restoring the factory options with a matching wood set (wheel and shift knob), but I'm sure this will take some time...

Best regards,
 

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I used to wonder about those sellers also, but earlier in the year I bought a Momo wheel off one of them, and I couldn't be happier. The wheel was exactly as pictured and described, and was packed carefully.
 
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