"Fat Man" wheels are one of the quirkier pieces of automotive history. A collector would probably give you $300 for this one."
- Fact 1: So-called "Fat Man" steering wheels were designed to swing to the right and out of the way while the driver entered or exited the vehicle, theoretically giveing the driver more room to move.'
- Fact 2: Swing-arm steering wheels were available for early automobiles like the Ford Models A and T, but never successfully caught on. They briefly reappearered as an option on 1960s Fords.
- Fact 3: As steering columns became more complex, swing-arm steering wheels became impractical and often unsafe.
- Fact 4: The first adjustable-position steering wheel was invented by Edward James Lobdell in the early 20th century. The complexity and expense of his design remained impractical until the 1960s.
- Fact 5: Early steering wheel designs such as this one used fixed steering columns, which posed a sever impalement risk in accidents. Collapsible steering columns have been legally mandated since 1968.