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MOMO was founded by gentleman racer Gianpiero Moretti in 1964. MOMO are the initials for Moretti-Monza. Monza is a town in the Province of Milan. That year, Moretti produced a racing steering wheel for his own race car. This was the first steering wheel produced by the brand. Compared to the other racing steering wheels available on the market at that time, Momo featured thicker grip, the other racers noticed the convenience of that steering wheel and wanted to obtain the same for their vehicles. So, steering wheels by this brand gained fame throughout the racing community and among the Formula One drivers. So, John Surtees, one of Formula One’s drivers, requested the same steering wheel for his single-seater Ferrari. That same year, he won a Formula One race - the first significant victory of the Momo brand.
In 1969 MOMO opened production plant in Tregnago, Province of Verona. Due to increasing United States federal government safety regulations and the wide adoption of airbags in passenger vehicles internationally, MOMO was sold in 1996 to Breed Technologies, a steering wheel airbag manufacturer. Breed Technologies was acquired by private equity firm Carlyle Group and merged with other OEM automotive businesses they owned to form Key Safety Systems in 2003. Key Safety Systems sold the MOMO brand name to an Italian private equity group in 2006, but most of the manufacturing plants and technologies previously owned by MOMO were retained by Key Safety Systems.
MOMO's product range includes consumer accessories such as steering wheels, shift knobs and alloy wheels, through to race equipment such as racing suits and helmets. MOMO airbagged steering wheels have become standard accessories on some regional Subaru and Mitsubishi performance cars. MOMO steering wheels were standard features in the UMM Alter II from 1987 to 1991. MOMO has also designed a steering wheel for computer peripheral company Logitech (called the Logitech MOMO), to be used as a video game controller. Thomas Superwheel controllers (a brand of high-quality, premium priced controllers) also feature the MOMO name. Also watches, eyewear, fragrances, clothing, accessories, etc. are made by brand MOMO DESIGN.
MOMO was the official steering wheel of the Champ Car series from 2004 to 2007, before Champ Car merged to Indy Racing League. MOMO are also suppliers of the official steering wheel, racing seats, clothing and racing accessories of the Speedcar Series.