Have photos of early cars with wire wheels? Period and current

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Alex Dragone
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Have photos of early cars with wire wheels? Period and current

Post by Alex Dragone » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:19 pm

Let’s see some photos of some early model Ts 1909-1914 time period with accessory wire wheels. I would love to see some period photos. Speedsters or stock

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Rob
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Re: Have photos of early cars with wire wheels? Period and current

Post by Rob » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:56 pm

Alex,
I’ll go one better. Vintage 1910/11 wire wheels on a Ford Special racer, designed and built by Ford. Photos and drawings courtesy of The Henry Ford, all rights apply:
52999A32-6C98-4FFF-A756-DFFCBA06F6D5.png
8A22FBC5-1EB0-4238-914D-758920E5167F.jpeg
Ford drawing of racer spokes:

This drawing is for the M-III racer(300 cubic inch motor). The drawing was updated in 1914, although the last racers were built in 1911. (I have a theory about that, but for another thread)
972A4D07-5348-4C99-A5BD-6A096F1737FF.png
Rear hub drawing:
3B5B3C62-097C-4DB3-A67D-BB1D6C829644.jpeg


wayne sheldon
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Re: Have photos of early cars with wire wheels? Period and current

Post by wayne sheldon » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:31 pm

I just went through a file on my computer with over 300 era photos. It is heavy with both speedsters and brass era Ts! I saw a couple pictures of the 999 racing car with wire wheels. There were a couple of Edsel Ford's 1915 cross country trip with wire wheels, but those are after 1914. I found I think three brass radiator speedsters with wire wheels and details making the photos later than 1914. One of those was a speedster with a '15/'16 hood former, and built probably a couple years later than that. In that group of photos I did not find even one non-speedster T in the brass era with wire wheels, other than Edsel's. And the one and only brass speedster that MIGHT have been before 1915 is this one.
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Walter Higgins
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Re: Have photos of early cars with wire wheels? Period and current

Post by Walter Higgins » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:00 pm

It looks like a 1909 front axle turned around backward with the clearance notches facing forward.


wayne sheldon
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Re: Have photos of early cars with wire wheels? Period and current

Post by wayne sheldon » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:04 pm

I have held the opinion for a long time that although wire wheels were common in Europe, they were not common in the USA due to the tremendous amount of hickory available for wheel making. Even in Europe and England, many of the most expensive cars used wooden wheels more often than not because they rode better on the roads of the day. And those cars the cost of the wheels was NOT a consideration.
In 1915, Edsel Ford and friends drove from Detroit to the fair in San Francisco. Edsel drove what may have been the most accessorized model T in the world at that time, including wire wheels. He may have left Detroit with the wire wheels, but by the time he arrived in San Francisco, the wheels had been changed out to standard T Ford wood wheels. Says something about the wheels on the roads of the day!
As roads did improve, options of wire or steel disc wheels became more common, and those options were seen on the roads of the USA more and more. However, it wasn't until the late '20s that wire and steel disc wheels outnumbered wooden wheels on new cars.
I suspect that there are more brass era model Ts on the road today with wire wheels than there were by the end of the brass T's production. Although they were available from the very beginning, use of wire wheels on brass Ts is a modern fad, and not typical in any way to HCCA era Ts.
By the way, one is more likely to find photos of Australian, English, or European Ts with wire wheels than USA built TS. Over the years, I have seen a few era photos of those. Certainly more than I have seen USA era photos. On a quick look, I didn't find any, but will post some later if I can.


wayne sheldon
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Re: Have photos of early cars with wire wheels? Period and current

Post by wayne sheldon » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:12 pm

Walter H, Good eye! The car has been discussed in the past, and known for the 1911 or earlier front axle. But I don't recall anyone mentioning those clearance notches?
Notice also, it is a wide track front axle. The car has after-market type electric headlamps on forks. It is one of my favorite brass speedster photos. I love the look, and pose of the two guys. It may be just an old Ford, but they be stylin'!
I sure would like to know just when this picture was taken. Anyone able to identify the license plate?


Allan
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Re: Have photos of early cars with wire wheels? Period and current

Post by Allan » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:26 pm

Wayne, those headlights may well be Ford lights, like those fitted to our Canadian early 1915 cars. The forks on that speedster do look just like Ford items. If they are Ford lights then the photo must be 1915 or later.

Allan from down under.


Kevin Pharis
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Re: Have photos of early cars with wire wheels? Period and current

Post by Kevin Pharis » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:09 pm

While not on a car... or a period photo... here is a pic of a ‘14 Bugatti wheel recreated to complete a wheel set for a restoration. You think we T’ers have a hard time finding good parts!!
31525676-7427-4164-B741-5E6BBD027129.jpeg


wayne sheldon
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Re: Have photos of early cars with wire wheels? Period and current

Post by wayne sheldon » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:50 am

Allan B, I have considered that those could be Canadian headlamps. Just don't see anything to really say one way or the other. Fork mounted after-market electric lamps were available by 1911 in the USA, and became much more popular quickly after Cadillac introduced the full electric (starter, generator, lights) package on their cars in 1912. I have wondered if the "conversion kits" were cheaper than the whole electric lamps. I see more converted from gas headlamps in era photos than I do the "modern" black buckets. However, I have seen clippings from a number of catalogs from the era.

We probably should stop drifting this thread from its OP's purpose?

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