A journal of the history of the '60s Batman Batboat, how I came to buy a replica and my hopeful adventures in repairing and making it a functional Anti-Crime cruiser.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Steering Wheel Identified
Hot Boat magazine ad from 1965
I was going to keep this to myself to make it easier to find one, however, since a company making similar ones (Grant) stopped production on them until they relocate to Mexico, the vintage wheels are now getting top dollar. I can't afford $300+ eBay prices so I'm letting the cat out of the bag.
The round steering wheel used in the Batboat in the movie and TV show was made by Covico. Diameter is unknown but looks, to me at least, around 15 inches and I believe it to have been "CA Royal Blue." Possibly with a Deep Dish profile.
The Covico wheels were aftermarket parts for custom cars and boats.
Thanks to the guys at the http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum, not only do we know who made it but they gave me some background info on the company. One member actually worked for Covico and made them.
The evenly spaced spokes were the dead giveaway. Other companies made them with two spokes farther apart to not get in the way of viewing dashboard gauges.
Ad in a 1963 Almquist custom car catalog
Covico started around 1961 in Covina, California. Their wheel line was eventually sold off to Grant but they still were in the business of dipping them in rubber coating. They were made of thicker steel with a thin molded grip cover instead of the hard plastic you'll find on later wheels.
There were no identifying markings on Covicos. The company is still around making marine steering wheels.
Grant makes metal flake wheels specially for Mooneyes but with non-symetrical spokes, pictured below. As I said before, these are out of production due to relocating to Mexico.
California Metal Flake Steering Wheels made by Grant for Mooneyes.
It seems that Glastron offered the Covico wheels as an option only in 1966. They are not shown or mentioned in any other '60s catalogs.
Here are the ones shown in that '66 Glastron catalog.
Metallic blue and white Jetflite V-143 Super Sport.
Close up of the Jetflite V-143 dash.
Deep tan and white Futura V-150 Super Sport.
Dark jade and white Gulfstream V-204 Super Sport.
Dark jade and white Bayflite V-163 Super Sport.
Dark blue and white Crestflite v-172 Super Sport.
Dark blue and white Carribian V-234.
One of the earliest known mentions of Covico steering wheels, Hot Rod magazine Nov 1962.