Steering Wheel Guy -- Engineer, Racer, & 3D-Sculpture Artist...
The Custom-Molded Racing Steering Wheels were invented, patented, and perfected by racer/engineer, Ed Dellis in his Lister Corvette.
After a quarter century, Dellis is currently traveling the globe presenting his work at Steering Conferences: www.SteeringWheelTechnology.com
Over 850+ steering wheel grips have been designed by Dellis himself in IndyCar, Formula One, NASCAR, The Unlimiteds, et al. Dellis can now say that he's made all the mistakes already, and he can design your steering wheel grips PROPERLY.
...and get it in your hands in just two days.
On its first time out, Emerson Fittipaldi recorded the fastest lap of the '93 Indy 500 with wheel Ser. #001 just two laps before he won the race...a time when drivers are normally too fatigued to even think straight.
Incidentally, Ser.#001 steering wheel was STOLEN AT THE VICTORY BANQUET THAT NIGHT!
Independent EMG tests later proved that a 54% reduction in grip effort happens when steering wheel grips are designed properly, and drivers are taught how to use them correctly.
It boils down to a higher signal-to-noise ratio which means the steering wheel feedback is much easier to read at the cornering limit -- which is the top of the mu-slip curve.
So, the limit seems to suddenly "light up" in the driver's mind and feel like a sharp peak instead of numb resistance across a broad range of steering angle while in the corner.
Dellis' customers read like a Who's Who in the highest forms of racing around the globe, and they include: Fittipaldi, Villeneuve, Schumacher, Luyendyk, Mansell, Rahal, Unser, St. James, Sullivan, Jarrett, Bodine, Castroneves, Kanaan, Villwock, Seebold, and Alonso, to name just a few.
Dellis has campaigned his own racecars throughout his driving career.
Perhaps the most popular is his Beck Lister Corvette #007 Lightweight -- www.ListerCorvette.com -- which he ran the Cannonball One Lap of America in 2000, and in 2002 he set the 1/4-mi record for the event that held for eight years...
...using a custom-molded shifter.
His previous employment includes over 2-1/2 years at SAE's Automotive Engineering magazine where he authored and edited 95 technical articles as the Associate Editor.
During this time, Dellis led the classroom at the Bobby Rahal TrackTime Driving School for nearly 6 years. Prior to that, he worked full-time for Skip Barber for over 2 years, and his driving championships include The National Auto Journalist Assn's, and many Divisionals/Regionals in SCCA, and BMWCCA.
Dellis' graduating thesis for his Mechanical Engineering degree, BSME, was entitled: "Vehicle Dynamics for the Racing Automobile" which included references to the original Friction Circle research from the '60s.
Dellis' '71 Corolla that he started racing while in college served as his first rolling laboratory. YEARS before PersonaGrip hit him, Dellis installed a tilt steering column and Grant steering wheel to improve the cockpit ergonomics.
Shortly after graduation, the idea for PersonaGrip occurred to Dellis in the mid-80's aboard a turbocharged motorcycle, flat-out.
Arm-pump -- from hanging on so tightly -- was the inspiration.
But, it would be DECADES later while driving his own Lister Corvette that Dellis realized -- and felt -- why the world's top drivers in:
Why Don't ALL Custom-Molded Steering Wheels Work?
... because they are NOT DESIGNED CORRECTLY.
Today, drivers can get their steering wheel custom-molded by Dellis from anywhere in the world in just two days by answering a few questions, providing a trace or a photo of their hands, and, ideally a video.
Whether you have power steering, electric steering, or manual steering, the benefits of using a custom-molded steering wheel will surprise you...and it starts with its guaranteed feel.
DIY kits may be tempting, but unless the material is RE-remoldable, you'll corner yourself into a first-guess design that may not be safe.
CASE & POINT: According to Dr. Terry Trammell (www.motorsportsmd.com and www.indyspinemd.com), 2013 had the highest number of hand and wrist injuries.
...IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF INDYCAR.
All but two drivers used DIY kits that were NOT REmoldable -- or something similar.
NONE were designed by The Steering Wheel Guy.
So, while the DIY molded grip above might LOOK OK to you, it lacks the safety features The Steering Wheel Guy has developed over the past quarter century after molding 850+ grips and counting....so please don't be fooled.
Looks Simple, But It's NOT....
Turns out, making a custom grip looks simple enough, but whenever ergonomics involves high forces at the HMI (Human Machine Interface) in a cockpit littered with controls, history shows that it's more difficult than it looks.
The article linked below by Marshall Pruett in 2010 for SPEED shows what happens when well-intentioned teams attempt to design custom-molded steering wheel grips for their drivers.
After over a decade of trying it on their own, the results are in. Unless you're willing to settle for very mild molds, even the 3D-scanned, injection-molded grips can be problematic if wings intrude on a thumb release during a steering wheel kickback.
The New Paradigm
PersonaGrip is a new paradigm because it requires designers and drivers to think outside the box, and use an entirely new set of design rules.
Compared to the old friction paradigm that existed for steering wheels prior to PersonaGrip's arrival at Indy in '93, PersonaGrip converts the Human-Machine Interface from a constant into a TUNABLE variable.
To go more in depth, be sure to watch Dellis' presentation at the Annual Steering Conference in Berlin: www.SteeringWheelTechnology.com
Suffice to say that after you do something 850+ times, you eventually figure it out due to the sample size allowing you to spot trends...INJURY trends.
Today, Safety Features are built right into every PersonaGrip steering wheel made by Dellis. These design features help avoid the problems mentioned in this SPEED article linked below.
The grip design shown in Marshall Pruett's article below caused blisters on Dario's hands, and the grips appear to have been abandoned prior to completion: