When I hold one of my father’s steering wheels, I feel like I have a little piece of art in my hands, something that speaks to the heart… (R. Grosso Nardi)
The 2-litre engine wakes with a healthy and well pleased “grunt” and quickly settles. A sound that is not “allowed” in today’s cars where everything has to be as silent as possible, and a sound that most from the younger generation would consider as “broken” and noisy. Slowly select first gear – no rush – to make sure that the gears goes perfectly into place, release the clutch and you’re off.
Everything in this car is about feel, and right there in front of you is the beautifully crafted Nardi steering wheel. The quote above from Nardi’s son actually capsules exactly what this is all about – the feel. To Enrico Nardi, it was impossible not to consider the wheel. This is what connects the driver to the car, shows his personality; his heart, his brain, his feels behind the wheel.
Enrico Nardi’s passion and knowledge led him to cooperate with many of the greats in automotive history – Vincenzo Lancia and Enzo Ferrari just to name a few. For instance, Ferrari’s and Nardi’s mutual attention to detail led to most of the Ferrari Cars were equipped with Nardi steering wheels.
Nardi has always been equivalent to quality – the finest leather, hand finished precious wood, aluminium etc… But one things is for sure – the steering wheels are not there to be driven with white gloves – first and foremost, it is a tool that connects you to the car that you are driving and there is no doubt in my mind that this is where Enrico Nardi’s own racing legacy plays in, and what separates them from many other manufacturers.
Today, Nardi still manufactures some of the greatest, most beautifully made and handcrafted automotive products in the world, and when I had the pleasure of driving the Alfa Spider shown in the picture you know exactly what Enrico Nardi intended with his wheels – perfection and art that speaks to the heart.
Originally posted as part of the Gents Cafe Newsletter, a bite-sized read about men’s lifestyle to enjoy over a coffee or a nice cocktail. Join now!