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How did the term "mag" come to be for rims?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Zumo, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. Zumo
    Joined: Aug 30, 2004
    Posts: 1,389


    We used to say "Check out my new mags." Is that short for something? Where did it originate from?
  2. Probably derived from the material from which they we made. HRP
  3. old beet
    Joined: Sep 25, 2002
    Posts: 5,750

    old beet

    Think Halibrand!!!.............OLDBEET
  4. Foul
    Joined: Mar 25, 2002
    Posts: 643


    how did the term "rims" become a lazy way of saying "wheels?"

  5. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,108


  6. Back in the 50's and 60's, the wheels were made of Magneseum, hence the term "mag's".
  7. Magnesium,,was the what the first material used to cast wheels .

    and the fact that the word don't look right! HRP
  8. Mooseman
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 309


    some wheels were made from magnesium years ago , the nickname must of stuck
  9. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Magnesium wheels go way back, but were really for well funded racers only...then marketers figured out that aluminum and aluminum/steel rim look-alikes would be cheap and saleable, about 1962 or so, and suddenly mag-looking wheels became the dominant aftermarket wheel overnight. They were briefly referred to as "fake mags" by rodders, then just accepted as the norm and called mag wheels despite the lack of actual mag.
    Real magnesium remains in the province of expensive racing stuff.
  10. Zumo
    Joined: Aug 30, 2004
    Posts: 1,389


    No I feel dumb. Of course it's from magnesium, haha. Seems so obvious now. Very cool.
  11. meteor
    Joined: Mar 17, 2006
    Posts: 443


    Hey man, don't feel dumb. I knew 'mag' was for magnesium but didn't know the connection with racing or how the term came about.

    Thank you Mr. Lancaster, that's the great thing about the HAMB - you learn something new everyday.
  12. rustyford40
    Joined: Nov 20, 2007
    Posts: 2,168

    from Mass Bay

    Isn't magnesium flamable. I think it catches fire an is very hard to put out.
  13. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    I think 1962 is pretty close...til then, chrome wheels or fancy hubcaps; after, everyone wanted mags. When musclecars took over everything about '64, you NEVER saw one without mags of some sort. Stock wheels were just to roll the thing to the speedshop.
  14. slopchop
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 45


    Indeed it is! Changing from magnesium was a big safety improvement as well. Just imagine the sparks that fly when you blow a tire on the picture that when you wheel catches fire that looks as bright as welding...
    A blowout could really become more of a blow up!
  15. It's spelled RIMZ...
  16. Dubzz
  17. Gigantor
    Joined: Jul 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,825


    It's something I still want more of, regardless of safety ...
  18. RugBlaster
    Joined: Nov 12, 2006
    Posts: 563


    It would make sense to assume "mags" is a contraction for the material they are made of, but you don't don't hear other wheels called "alums", I discount that theory out of hand. A lot of cars sporting "racing wheels" were featured in MAGAZINES during that period, thus the coined term "MAGS"

    I'm bullshiting.
    Joined: Aug 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,259


    A bike has RIMS, A car has WHEELS???????????
  20. RancheroMan
    Joined: Mar 31, 2006
    Posts: 260


    i think in early 60's that was about the time cragar was introduced or became a name for wheels.
  21. Whatever you want to believe,,It WAS because of the material the were
    made of....continued to use after Alum because everyone wanted to impress you that they were Magnesium...not really alum...
  22. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,942

    from DFW USA

    I've heard of guys burning a few dozen VW engine blocks (made from magnesium) at big parties back in the '70s. Sounds like fun!
  23. Pir8Darryl
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,488


    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100&#37;" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">Originally Posted by rustyford40 [​IMG]
    Isn't magnesium flamable. I think it catches fire an is very hard to put out.

    Magnesium powder or wire will burn,,, so will aluminum,,, so will steel [wool]

    A magnesium ingot, like a wheel WILL NOT catch fire and/or burn. This is a reduculous old myth based on poor assumption and mis-information.

    Personally, I'd be MUCH more concerned about the tires on your car, which WILL burn quite easily, and use [an average] of 23 gallons of oil each to manufacture.

    Or maybe the plastic fuel tank on your ride with 15 gallons of gasoline in it on your daily ride.

    The magnesium wheels on my ride spuntaniously bursting into flame are the least of my worries here in the real world :rolleyes:

    Google "magnesium flamability" and learn for yourself.
  24. burl
    Joined: Nov 28, 2007
    Posts: 733

    from Minnesota

    I have never seen large chunks of magnesium catch on fire.We machine magnesium in our shop and the only thing i have seen go up in flames is the dust or small chips.PS do not use water to put out.
  25. Its not "rims" its "wheel Rins" :D

    Mag is short for magnesium, then it just became the slang for about anything pre billet that wasn't a stamped steel wheel.
  26. creepyjackalope
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 560


    A RIM is the outer hoop that holds the tire. When a RIM is connected to a HUB with SPOKES it becomes a wheel. When a RIM has a center in it that attaches it to a car it becomes a WHEEL.

    Pet peeve, sorry.
  27. loudpedal
    Joined: Mar 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,185

    from SLC Utah

    You can go to the bend in the road and watch a VW fire at B-ville... we should all wear bellbottoms and and have a flashback!!
  28. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,482

    Atwater Mike

    <<Isn't magnesium flamable. I think it catches fire an is very hard to put out.>>

    Yeah. Where do you think they got the term "Hot Wheels"? (k-Boom! Tssss...)
  29. 63_nova_ss
    Joined: Mar 25, 2007
    Posts: 169


    it's a pet peave of mine when people call wheels "rims".
  30. Dan10
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 386

    from Joplin

    Alot of newer cars have transmission cases made out of magnesium alloys. Being a Volunteer Fire Fighter I have personally witnessed the ball of fire that ensues if you try to use water to put it out. This is of course after it got hot enough from the engine fire to make it burn.

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