Check out our interior tidbits, which bring this 20-year-old interior more up to date. We’re very pleased with how things are coming along.

Project MKIV Supra: Part 13 – Nardi steering wheel plus more Stu Hagen and Speedhut gauges!

by Pablo Mazlumian

Last week we installed our new Corbeau RRB seats, replacing the previous Corbeau CR1s that were in our Supra for about seven years. Today, we adding more spice to our interior by installing new gauges (yes, again) as well as a new, Italian-made steering wheel.

The Supra's factory interior was great, especially for its time. Think about it, the car was released 22 years ago! When you climb into a Supra, the factory cockpit engulfs you. Righ in front of you, and in Ferrari and Porsche fashion, nestled directly behind the steering wheel sits the 8000 RPM tachometer (not the speedometer, like in most cars, which in this case sits to the right). The center instrument panel is curved toward the driver, as if it doesn't mind what the passenger thinks. And who really cares what they think or see anyway? This is my--the driver's--time. Besides, all Supra passengers ever do is scream, laugh, or make stupid faces.

While some purists may disagree, there are parts of a Supra's interior which are somewhat outdated by today's standards. And since an average car owner spends most of his or her time looking at the car from the inside rather than the outside, he or she can benefit greatly from the enhanced driving experience by updating the interior.

Previously, the stock Supra interior would talk to us, so to speak. It was as if it was telling us to "get in and enjoy the ride." After today's installments, however, it seems more like it's grabbing us by our Member's Only label, demanding different ways it wants to scare its passengers (and sometimes its very own drivers).


Today we’ll be installing this lovely Nardi “Challenge” steering wheel, which we ordered from Nardi’s USA importer, JHP USA.

In 1937, Enrico Nardi became Ferrari’s first test driver.  He later became a business consultant to Enzo. Nine years later, he started the company ND with a business partner, and then relaunched the business in 1958 with Ferrari. By then, many Ferraris were sporting Nardi wheels from the factory.

In 1988, Nardi passed away and two years later the company was picked up by one of its competitors, Personal, which relaunched ND as Nardi Italia S.p.A, the name that it goes with today to this day.  Since the relaunch, Personal and Nardi wheels have been used by factory car makers like Ferrari, Lancia, Audi, Maserati, Lamborghini, Rolls Roys, Jaguar, Lotus, TVR, McLaren, VW, Abarth and BMW.

JHP USA, the USA importer of Nardi and Personal wheels, also sells Momo, Mugen, and Spoon steering wheels, along with a plethora of other automotive aftermarket enhancements.


Since Part 12, we resent our instrument cluster to Stu Hagen for our original order, which was with a silver center and 200 MPH speedometer with red TRD lettering. What you saw in Part 11 was only temporary until he could get the correct gauges from his supplier.

We’ve also replaced our old-school Omori mechanical boost and digital EGT twin gauge with this custom “MotoIQ”-inspired boost gauge from Speedhut Inc!
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Tuesday, November 03, 2015 8:42 AM
Probably should have asked last time. Does the temp gauge read accurately or does the needle just sit at one temperature?
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 10:11 AM
Car looks great. Shout out to Trader Joes frozen Indian food, its getting me through engineering undergrad.
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 1:06 PM
If you wanted a TRD wheel, you could have gone with the one out of the latest Celica, its basically the same thing except a Toyota logo instead of TRD

not that there's anything wrong with the Nardi wheel :)
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 1:43 PM
I do enjoy how comprehensive a build this is.
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 5:58 PM
looks proper and purposeful. well done.
R. Motoki
R. Motokilink
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 7:47 PM
How about an article on your garage and that 2 post lift that snuck into the last pic? I really want a lift for my garage but a low ceiling makes it hard. :(
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 8:11 PM
Did a garage with a lift a couple years ago. Had vaulted ceilings so it could put a "Harley Davidson" F150 6' in the air. The place and customer were a PITA.

If you have low ceilings you should look into a press, similar to a motorcycle lift. It gets a car a few feet off the ground with access underneath but not much else.
Pablo Mazlumian
Pablo Mazlumianlink
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 8:43 PM
Hello y'all. thanks for reading!
@Prototad: The gauge itself is the same, it's still the idiot-gauge where the needle will stay in the middle within, say, a 60 degree fluctuation. I haven't had a chance to confirm with the EMS but I'm pretty sure this is so because it doesn't move from the middle.

@van_1986: thanks and indeed! Best "TV dinners" I know--people look at me funny when I call them that. But I get these little "dinners" and always eat them in front of the "TV". oh well..

@warmmilk: Thanks for the idea! And yes I had seen those on Supraforums way back, but I just can't justify the price some of these wheels are getting for a used wheel. Besides, I know I didn't mention it in the article but I'd always been into non airbag wheels from the Italian makers like Nardi, although there is a carbon factory Supra wheel I've always liked (I think MVP sells them). but they're still over a grand if memory serves.

@supercharged111 & SilentG: Thanks for the kind words, guys! Very appreciated/motivating.

@R.Motoki: I actually did that build through European Car Magazine back in 2005 or 2006. When building our KS home I'd asked the 3rd car spot to have no beam over it (since there was no living space) so the builder left like 14 feet for me to play with. So I was able to have a 2-post lift at full height.

You can also try googling a low-ceiling car lift and see you get quite a few two-post lifts that probably just won't have the same weight capacity, but still plenty for a normal car. Unfortunately the company's lift I have is no longer in business.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015 8:51 PM
I'm surprised you didn't do a before/after weight. Seems like you lost some weight by deleting the airbag. I'm obsessive about knowing how much weight I drop on upgrades.

Also, if you're comfortable deleting the drivers airbag, why not the passengers? You could easily drop 10-15 lbs by doing so. If you feel weird about it, remember its 20 years old! Would it still deploy? I know they're supposed to be inspected at regular intervals.
Pablo Mazlumian
Pablo Mazlumianlink
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 9:02 PM
@Ginsu. You know, I usually do perform the weight comparos but it didn't even occur to me this time because both wheels felt fairly light. I still have the old setup so next time I remove the wheel (it doesn't take that long) I'll compare them. And thanks for the heads-up on the passenger side. 15-lb would be significant enough for me to look into this, indeed.
Thursday, November 05, 2015 8:35 AM
The new wheel looks great! I do have a concern. You've passed a wire through hub and to the wiring in the column. I've swapped a few steering wheels over the years and I did something similar on my first swap. Eventually, the wiring will catch and either ground out or become disconnected.

The Momo and Nardi hubs I've used have had slip rings. Your pictures didn't show the bottom of your hub so I can't confirm if you have one. Using the slip ring and a brass tab is the best way to avoid that long wire.

I've outlined the use of the tab in one of my steering swap write-ups here: http://importnut.net/honda-civic-steering-wheel-swap/

Beyond that, keep up the excellent work!
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