by Owen Crombie

As many will know, later models of all cars including Sprites have such devices fitted, ranging from the simple things with lots of universal joints, to the sophisticated with multiple collapsing sections as fitted to late model (post 73) American Midgets. You can however make a decent replica of the one fitted to English Midgets by using the collapsing section of the steering column of a car such as a Datsun 180 B, or a Falcon, and welding the appropriate ends onto it.

For further sophistication it is mounted into a tunnel block bearing which can be bolted to the original under dash bracket mount. A roll pin or bolt through the column on the non driver side of the bearing makes it harder for the column as a whole to slide into the passenger compartment, and makes it more likely that the telescoping section will collapse if it has to.

An additional advantage of this conversion is that the steering wheel may also be repositioned further away from the driver to improve ergonomics if desired. It should be obvious that the welding must be done expertly to avoid the possibility of the while thing breaking at an inconvenient moment. Such a device is fitted to my race car, but fortunately has not yet been tested in service (it steers OK though).