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Old 12-29-2018, 06:57 PM
Location: Cebu, Philippines
2,875 posts, read 1,047,458 times
Reputation: 5533


In the era before power steering and ergonomic molded steering wheels, you needed all the purchase you could get to turn the steering wheel in some driving situations, like parallel parking, which drivers once needed to know how to do.
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Old 12-29-2018, 07:59 PM
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
20,054 posts, read 4,250,893 times
Reputation: 25363
Originally Posted by getatag View Post
When i owned and drove several different Austin Healeys as daily drivers back in the 60's, 70's and 80's, I used driving gloves. Not because they helped me during the drive, but because I thought that's what the enthusiast wore. Along with a little flat topped snapped down front driving hat.
Once I began racing Healey's locally I realized I actually had better control without the gloves (mildly sweaty palms during a race actually helped grip the wooden or plastic steering wheels) and the hat gave way to a helmet.
Of course, I was never very successful, so in retrospect maybe I should have used the gloves. LOL

Oh miss my Austin Healey Bug-eyed Sprite!!!
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Old 12-29-2018, 08:19 PM
Location: Wyoming
9,263 posts, read 16,791,749 times
Reputation: 13726
We had those spinners on all our farm tractors years ago. They were very useful in the field, but I never used them on any of my cars or trucks. I saw them on some cars back in the 50s, maybe early 60s, along with fox tails on antennas. Silly fads that made no sense, just like some of the fads kids use on their cars now days.

I like wearing thin leather gloves in the winter, whether I'm driving or just out and about. (I don't have a heated steering wheel.) The gloves I wear aren't officially "driving gloves," but they're about like them.
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Old 12-29-2018, 09:15 PM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
25,269 posts, read 60,603,872 times
Reputation: 27972
Wearing gloves make you drive better. Driving gloves are specially made to be lightweight, thus, you do not weigh down your car as much as wearing heavy winter gloves, so you car goes faster since it has less weight to move.
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Old 12-29-2018, 09:36 PM
Location: Lake Oswego, Manhattan, Aspen
3,162 posts, read 4,035,092 times
Reputation: 11209
From my friends who grew up in China and Latin/South America, I got the impression that driving gloves were for preventing sun damage to one's hands. Gentlepersons wore them, in order to protect their skin.

Today's auto glass is better-than-ever, at screening-out ultraviolet rays. But it used to be, that the hands - especially the one closest the door - got the worst sun damage. The car's roof, generally, protected against sun hitting the face, except for the side of the face nearest the door.

So, I've been wearing them, for decades, whenever I've known I was going to be in the car for a while. Seems to have helped...
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:51 PM
Location: Out there somewhere...
38,936 posts, read 45,833,770 times
Reputation: 108060
Gloves keep your hands from picking up germs or other stuff from rentals or other peoples cars.
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Old 12-30-2018, 12:21 AM
3,047 posts, read 3,416,611 times
Reputation: 3773
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
"Necker knobs" is probably the oldest term, 1930s or so.

They're illegal to have on street vehicles pretty much everywhere. That's not the same thing as "outlawed" or "banned" - you can buy a truckload of stuff for custom and show car use that's not allowed on streeters.
This got me curious, so I googled and found this site - Suicide Knob - State Laws for Steering Wheel Knobs
Apparently they aren't specifically outlawed in any state. Some may even allow them if you have a disability. I checked Washington's laws and they didn't mention anything about them, even under the 'Kit Car' section.

I always thought they were illegal for passenger cars too. I've used them on forklifts before, but that is an off street vehicle obviously.

As for gloves, I've driven with gloves before. Not supple leather gloves that Dan Marino used to hawk, I'm talking thick winter gloves. I had a '77 Suburban many years ago and it's steering wheel got real cold when the temps got below zero. It took fifteen minutes before that beast's undersized heater would warm it up enough to take them off.
These days I park in a garage, so no need for gloves at all.
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:40 AM
18,827 posts, read 12,271,005 times
Reputation: 12455
Originally Posted by HappyRider View Post
I remember it being big in the 70s but even then it didn't make much sense. Now I come across this piece. Seems like the only place you see them are on men driving an MG with the top down.


Thank you for the memories! My old man back in the day (1970's and 1980's) had MG rides, and yes he wore driving gloves.
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:04 AM
Location: Massachusetts
9,009 posts, read 9,337,558 times
Reputation: 12586
They are required for some HPDE I've done, but more fire protection. When I've autocrossed, I've never used them. I'm sure they offer some help grabbing a slippery shifter knob and such, but I've always thought of them more for image when considering driving on the local backroads vs actual racing competition use.
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Old 12-30-2018, 01:17 PM
10,673 posts, read 7,770,684 times
Reputation: 18971
When it's cold out I just like gloves PERIOD! I'm usually running almost late so warming the car up isn't an option.
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