Fans of the American television series Knight Rider will know it. The steering wheel from KITT! The car that speaks and is equipped with artificial intelligence has played countless missions in the fight for justice with David Hasselhoff as "Michael Knight" (who also played Garthe Knight). And always to see what the steering wheel from KITT The part commonly known as the Gullwing steering wheel had a very unique look. It's basically just half a steering wheel that has two small stubs to hold on to the left and right. A very distinctive plastic connection is used as the connecting bar that is connected to the steering column, which tapers towards the top. At least that was the case in the black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. And the steering wheel has a few other names. It is also called a two-handle steering wheel, a KITT hole steering wheel and sometimes a stub steering wheel.
often installed in show cars or prototypes
This steering wheel is not fitted as standard by any vehicle manufacturer and looks dangerous from the moment you look at it. In this country (Austria and Germany, Switzerland etc.) it is not allowed because the steering wheel results in limited responsiveness and control from the car. But some people have found a solution for this: they attach attachments to the stub of the steering wheel so that it looks like a normal steering wheel. There are also reverse variants. If the vehicle is at an exhibition, the attachments are removed and the steering wheel returns to its original appearance. At least variant 1 is permitted, but not allowed in this country. In America, however, it is permitted and is sometimes installed. It is almost always installed in cars that are also in the style of the Knight-Rider Pontiac Firebird. From the outside, these cars are often kept very dark and they typically have a very futuristic interior. KITT! In general, the Gullwing steering wheel can only be found in cars that also have a few optical modifications. Some people convert their Pontiac Firebird to Knight Rider optics and so the steering wheel is simply part of it. You can also buy it in complete sets that also offer the rest of the interior of the vehicle.
not approved for the road in this country
If you use it as a decoration and don't install it permanently, it is of course allowed. Fixed installation in a show car that is not on public roads is also not a problem. The basic installation of the steering wheel is not very difficult, since it works the same way as a conventional steering wheel replacement. In addition, the steering wheel usually has no function buttons and so there is no need to pay attention to cabling. However, the steering wheel does not have a really improved function, but it has an even more meaningful appearance. The high differentiation from conventional steering wheels is popular with the owners. In addition, there is a very high retrofactor and this gives many vehicles that special touch. There are no different variants of the steering wheel, all copies look almost the same. They almost always have the knight rider look and you almost always have the corresponding logo. The Gullwing steering wheel is also built by some screwdrivers from a normal steering wheel itself.
other variants are definitely available
There are also other variants of such steering wheels to buy. For example, which are kept in the style of a racing car from Formula 1. In principle, however, you can say that if a steering wheel is not classically round, it is not approved for road traffic (except for steering wheels that are slightly flattened at the top and bottom, such as the RS steering wheels from Audi). The problem is the fact that multiple turns are very difficult to implement with such a steering wheel. In a Formula 1 vehicle, a small steering angle is sufficient so that a corresponding classic steering wheel can be dispensed with. But this is unthinkable for road traffic. And now and then you can see steering wheels that are only “cut off” in the upper part and are therefore open. The problem of not being permitted to drive on the road is also present here, however. In conclusion, it should be said that the gullwing steering wheel is a nice retro application, but it is pretty pointless in countries where it is not allowed and only has disadvantages in terms of its practical properties.
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What would the penalty be if you get caught with that gullwing steering wheel?
Driving without a valid ABE is an administrative offense according to § 69 StVZO. If there is no permit for commissioning and it is still driven, there is a risk of further penalties in addition to a fine. Especially if a hazard to other road users cannot be ruled out. If road safety is at risk, there is a risk of a fine of 180 euros.
Driving without an operating permit 50 euros 0
... for cars
... with damage to the environment 90 euros 0
... with a risk to road traffic 90 euros 1 point
... for trucks / buses
... with damage to the environment 180 euros 0
... with a risk to road traffic 180 euros 1 point