Goodbye to Mr MOMO


Spotted this week that Gianpiero Moretti, creator of MOMO and of course, some of the coolest steering wheels to grace a motor, died on Jan. 13 in Milan. He was 71.

Mr. Moretti started his company Momo — an amalgam of ‘Moretti’ and ‘Monza’, in Verona, in 1966.

The MOMO steering wheel was smaller than what was commonly used at the time, and was finished in leather rather than steel and timber. It was also designed with the anatomy of the hand in mind, and so was shaped and contoured for better control.

In 1964 – Formula One driver John Surtees had used Mr. Moretti’s new steering wheels in his Ferrari 158 – and soon a MOMO was standard issue for race cars and sporty models of choice.

I for one have purchased at least one car purely based on the wicked black MOMO wheel it was rocking – a cool steering wheel, as interface between driver and road at the most basic level.

When I wrote that Mitsubishi off, the only thing I bothered to salvage was the wheel.

Farewell to a man who really made his mark.