Thanks, gents... I couldn't remember first-gen cars having painted wheels, and you guys have confirmed that for me. Even though a lot of DIY car resto experts recommend it, I've always been leary of painting steering wheels, as rings, watchbands, and just normal use tends to wear out paint.
The overall color of this repro wheel I have is not too far from the pictures provided (which are actually pretty darned close to the original Cyclone/Sprint wheel) but the wheel pictured is clearly NOT the metalic gold my new painted wheel is.
The Sprint/Cyclone original wheel is essntially that (same as picture) color (perhaps a bit browner) with swirls of black cast in -- in a somewhat cheesy attempt by FoMoCo's interiro design staff to mimic wood grain.
Scott Drake used to import a pretty good repro, whose color was just a bit too "orange" for the purists. They got so many complaints from concours restorers -- that they cancelled the contract to reproduce them with the Italian company making them for SD.
So if you are a serious Sprint/Cyclone restorer now, your choices are a Palomino Mustang wheel, or a (very expensive) restoration that probably still won't look right -- because of the difficulty involved in reproducing the dark "swirls" found in the original wheel.
Since there are only a few hundred surviving early Cyclones left, I doubt that anyone will ever reproduce the wheel again.
Guess I will have to use the painted wheel while I play around with dying epoxy to approximate the original wheel's color and filling the cracks. Mine will not be a concours restoration, so I suppose I can live with that compromise.
Thanks again for your help!
Glenn 66 GT FB 351w-toploader-3.25 Trac-Loc 9-in. Former midwest Rustbucket. Now a trophy-winning, beautiful burgundy restomod - thanks to sheetmetal donations from 3 other Mustangs as well as some new panels and alot of cash.