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History Knock Off Wire Wheel Education Needed

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flatheadkid1, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. flatheadkid1
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 91

    flatheadkid1
    Member
    from OHIO

    I have always been drawn to the early knock off wire wheels but none of the Hot Rod History books identify these early wires. Specifically the 16" versions. I am aware of the Dayton and Buffalo versions. Were these specifically sold as race wheels or did they predominantly come on earlier cars? Can anybody identify the wheels on the roadster in the pic? As always, any input is greatly appreciated.
     

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  2. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,305

    The37Kid
    Member

    They look like Daytons to me, NOT the race car version, they were on a production car with that size hub. Bob
     
  3. Floorboardinit
    Joined: Dec 2, 2004
    Posts: 771

    Floorboardinit
    Member

    It's surprising there aren't more threads on knock offs. I think they're killer but knock offs are pretty rare and expensive and its quite a task to adapt them to a ford drum. I've got a set stashed away for my roadster but its going take some planning and careful machine work to get em on there.

    Knocks offs were both standard on some (fancy) cars and aftermarket to add flair to your ride. They came in all sizes 18, 17, 16, 15 and I've even seen 13". The trick in the thirties (if you could afford it) was to buy smaller wheels and put on super tall tires. The best tires or so I've been told were off an airplane cause they could be under-inflated to give the best ride. The tall tires would give a smoother ride on the often unpaved roads of the day.

    I would say since knock off wire wheels were from an earlier era they weren't often used because one of the main premises of hot rodding was to try and modernize your car. I can find lots of photos of knock offs on early T's and speedsters and even single seater race cars but none of what you would call a typical 40's/50's hot rod. Where did you find that picture of the '32 with the knock offs?

    Heres a pretty famous example of dayton knock offs on a hot rod. It was owned by the hamber AJofHollywood for a while. Check out his blog for the whole history on it.

    http://www.hotroddisorder.com/

    [​IMG]

    Heres how they're mounted.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,994

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Way back when wooden wheels were standard (before 1930) the more expensive cars offered wire wheels either as an option or as standard equipment.

    Wooden wheels were tougher and more flexible and absorbed bumps better. Wire wheels could be trued up straighter and were better for high speeds.

    Race cars used wire wheels. The knockoff hub was invented to make tire changing quicker. No wrench needed just a hammer.

    Wire wheels with knockoffs are an old tradition on English sports cars.
     
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  5. flatheadkid1
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 91

    flatheadkid1
    Member
    from OHIO

    Daytons are my favorite. I have been looking for 16" Daytons or Buffalo #4's for a project. I can't seem to find out for sure if Buffalo made #4's for racing, aftermarket equipment or just for production vehicles. The hubs stick way out on some of the Buffalo's and look awkward. I have seen others that did not protrude out as much and wonder what the difference is. The Daytons are the most attractive of the bunch though. If anybody knows the whereabouts of any of these wheels please PM me. Thanks. I can't remember where I found that picture..maybe Rodders Journal.
     
  6. Floorboardinit
    Joined: Dec 2, 2004
    Posts: 771

    Floorboardinit
    Member

    Now remember you can always have the hubs relaced to get your desired size. If your budget allows of course as wire wheel restoration is pricey stuff. I've got a set of auburn hubs I'm gonna have built into 16" or 18", I just haven't decided which way I wanna go yet. 16" are pretty hard to come across and a full set sells in the 3-5K price range. If you're careful and hit alotta swap meets you can piece a set together for quite a bit less. JohnnyA
     
  7. anteek
    Joined: Feb 27, 2009
    Posts: 394

    anteek
    Member

    Has anyone adapted Jag hubs and wires to a hotrod? occasionly I see them on an early '50's jag in a boneyard.
     
  8. AJofHollywood
    Joined: Oct 3, 2008
    Posts: 640

    AJofHollywood
    Member

    Here is more of the roadster above and a picture of the mounting on the '40 Ford brakes

    That one picture of the hub on the aluminum drum looks like it's a 32 Ford, not this car.

    Thanks for the mention Floorboardinit.

    Here is a direct link to more Dayton wheels info on this car: http://www.hotroddisorder.com/2010/10/daytons-wire-wheels.html
     

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  9. flatheadkid1
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 91

    flatheadkid1
    Member
    from OHIO

    Johnny
    What should I look for as far as the size of the hubs? I had the same idea for buffalo wires. I purchased one and the seller claimed that it was a #4. When I got it I realized it was a #5 and the hub is gigantic and not attractive. I don't mind piecing a set together but I would like the finished product to look like the original 16" variety like pictured on the model A above or the deuce in my original post. Thanks for your input!
    Eric
     
  10. flatheadkid1
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 91

    flatheadkid1
    Member
    from OHIO

    AJ
    Thanks for posting. The Daytons look great. If I can get my hands on some wheels I have the ability to machine the hubs from scratch and recast the spinners if I have an original to copy.
    Eric
     
  11. AJofHollywood
    Joined: Oct 3, 2008
    Posts: 640

    AJofHollywood
    Member

    FYI, early Daytons had three sizes of tooth diameter patterns: 6", 7", 8" as told to me by Bobby Greene. The ones on the black roadster above were 7". Big cars like Auburn & Plymouth would use 8" with their bigger wheels. So that leads me to guess, midget's used the small 6" diameter pattern.

    Unfortunately, there is so little info online about these vintage wires, I could never gather any stats on which inch pattern was most popular.

    I found most of what I know about them from people that used them. Guys like Pete Eastwood & Rudy Serar who live with and work on those cars are keepers of the knowledge.
     
  12. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,305

    The37Kid
    Member

    A set of 5 Dayton Wire Wheels and 4 hubs with caps would cost you $125.00 from the Chevrolet Brothers Fronty-Ford catalog of February 15, 1927. Bob
     
  13. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 17,990

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Like this Cobra for instance....
     

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  14. Floorboardinit
    Joined: Dec 2, 2004
    Posts: 771

    Floorboardinit
    Member

    Honestly I couldn't tell ya much about this stuff cause the guys in the know are few and far between and when you do find one they don't always feel like talkin. So all I can do for ya is post the few photos of wire wheel knock offs I've collected. I know an old timer that I think can fill in some of the blanks but I gotta find the right time to corner him. If I find out any new info I'll let ya know. JohnnyA

    PS Maybe you could start a "knock offs" Social Group on the hamb to try and learn more about this stuff.

    Killer speedster kinda thing

    [​IMG]

    Heres another one.

    [​IMG]

    Old B&W photo

    [​IMG]

    Heres a single seater with 17" knock offs

    [​IMG]

    Finally these are my knock offs...super wide 15"ers. Musta been an Auburn accessory because I've never seen 15s on an Auburn.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Floorboardinit
    Joined: Dec 2, 2004
    Posts: 771

    Floorboardinit
    Member

    Oh whoops, your right...I got your daytons and the daytons on the Ray Basso car mixed up. Sorry about the confusion.

    Heres the Ray Basso car

    [​IMG]

    Heres more of that build BTW

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=515306
     
  16. flatheadkid1
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 91

    flatheadkid1
    Member
    from OHIO

    [​IMG]


    That car is stunning. A 21 stud Riley and Daytons...I need a cold shower
     

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