HomeCar CultureCommentarySteering wheel covers for grown-up Barbies are just the start

Steering wheel covers for grown-up Barbies are just the start


Want to interest your daughter, girlfriend or other woman in your life in cars? Consider a Barbie steering wheel cover, or a pair of colorful driving gloves, or a sunshade that incorporates Swarovski crystals. 

Or maybe it’s your young son whose interest you want to spark. Maybe a Hot Wheels sunshade or steering wheel cover will help.

All of the above are products of Southern California-based Pilot Automotive, which was founded in 1996 as part of Wang’s International. Wang’s began in the mid-1980s as a niche supplier of automotive accessories and started Pilot to appeal to the growing do-it-yourself market.

Barbie, Steering wheel covers for grown-up Barbies are just the start, ClassicCars.com Journal
Crystal-crusted seat is for show, not for go

Speaking of Swarovski crystals, what caught my eye as I wandered around at the recent Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo in Las Vegas was a seat cover that was covered by those crystals.

“Wouldn’t that be uncomfortable?” I asked.

“Don’t worry,” Dannette Holt responded, saying that she’d created the seat cover merely as a conversation starter and attention grabber for the booth. (The AAPEX show takes place at the same time as SEMA, but is one monorail stop to the south at the Sands Expo.)

Holt spent the first five years of her professional life developing beauty products. She then took on the challenge of creating automotive aftermarket products for Pilot Automotive that would appeal to women. 

The Pilot booth showcased a variety of colorful steering wheel covers, sun visors, Barbie- and Hot Wheels-licensed products, and automotive electronics.

Pilot brands include Rolling Big Power, Voodoo Ride, Bully Truck Accessories, Rovi Dashcams, Bella & Max (products for pets in cars) and DC Sports.

Pilot doesn’t sell direct to end users, but its products are available through various retails. See the Pilot Automotive website for more information.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.



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