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History Rader - M/T (now Radir) Wheels - how did people run them in the 60's?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by gotta56forme, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. edit: I've adjusted the thread title & text of my first post to reflect that the original wheel brand name was Rader (not Radir, as we now know it) - I've also added the M/T since some people knew them as 'Mickey Thompsons'.

    One wheel that has fascinated me for many years is the Raders (now Radirs) (tri-ribs, other, and look-alikes). I'm assuming their real heyday was the 60's, based on my model building when I was young. I've done numerous searches over the years to learn about them, etc. I've found some pictures of them here on the HAMB, the Radir website, and a few other places. Most photos I see are more modern day photos. Seems the wheels have been used on show cars, race cars, street cars, etc. I don't run into as many 'back in the day...' photos as I might like nor do I have a stash of old magazines to flip through.

    My question is... particularly for those of you guys who were there in the 60's ( I was going into the first grade in '69)... What types of cars did you typically see them being run on? What types of tires did you typically see them with? blackwalls? wide whites? narrow whites? redstripes? bluestripes? goldstripes? white letters? What size rims, typically? With or without center caps?

    If this has been covered before, I'll happily take any Rader/Radir link discussing that I've obviously missed in my searches.

    Thanks in advance,

    Scott/Gotta56forme

    photo borrowed from internet: [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  2. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,888

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    In my neck of the woods, Midwest...Missouri.....and in that period (late '50s/'60s) I was a teen and young adult, Raders were not especially popular and, as I recall, were considered "cheapo"/"cheesy looking" wheels.

    It wasn't until recent years, being here on the HAMB, that I discovered they were/are admired and considered desirable. But my recollection is, that those I did see were on what were later model cars at that time, with whitewalls typically.

    I have no quarrel with those that like them, it's just a different look, and one that never appealed to me. The 5 spokers I liked most, then and now, are Torq Thrust style.

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
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  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,960

    squirrel
    Member

    a few more pictures...hopefully they're all old pictures...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,385

    landseaandair
    Member
    from phoenix

    The original name was Rader. Radir is a recent thing.
    DSCN7876.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
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  5. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    And theres only a vague resemblance between the two...
     
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  6. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    And Jim, that vintage burgundy galaxy is BITCHIN!
     
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  7. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,888

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    To my eyes, they look essentially the same . The early versions had a single rib, the later production have triple ribs, but both on flattish spokes. The rib(s) on a flat spoke was the distinguishing feature then and now.

    Sort of like the subtle spoke contour difference on Torq Thrust and it's imitators, still no mistaking them for anything else but TT types.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  8. I wholeheartedly agree with Rays statement ,as a teenager I was working at Sears,Roebuck & Company as a after school job in the mid 60's and the Sears store here had a automotive department that sold wheels & tires.

    I was in shipping and receiving so all wheels and tires were unloaded on our dock.

    The Radirs were not a very good seller here in Anderson,South Carolina,guys here thought they looked cheap.

    The Keystone 5 spoke mags were the tops in a mag wheel sales closely followed by the more expensive Crager SS mags.

    But,the biggest seller here was the chrome reverse wheel.

    Narrow white walls , black walls and white letter tires were just started to gain in popularity. HRP
     
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  9. Dad's sedan had the thin double white walls.
     
  10. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Not even close to my eye, but your mileage may differ. The originals had a chromed steel rim and were two-piece, completely different look. The modern ones are one-piece, with an aluminum rim. And the modern ones dont have enough positive offset to look like the old ones either. I can literally tell them apart at 50 feet.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  11. The originals were a steel rim, with Aluminum center.
    The new ones, are solid Aluminum.
     
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  12. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,888

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Toomaytoe.......toemahtoe........I didn't say they aren't different...only that at a glance, they won't be mistaken for anything else but Rader/Radir.
     
  13. On a side note: Räder is a German noun, plural of Rad (wheel).

    --> Räder = Wheels

    Probably the Wheel Corporation of America was founded by a German?
     
  14. A rose by any other name still stinks.:D HRP
     
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  15. Phillips
    Joined: Oct 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,282

    Phillips
    Member

    Yep, Radir as a company is completely unrelated to Rader. And just to add to the confusion, there were knock-offs made back in the 60s called "Radar", I think by Trans American Products. Tons of good stuff to be seen in old magazine ads.

    Just for fun, below is a page from JC Whitney '69 catalog, the two-rib Rader wheels shown on this page very well may be "Radars" instead. Yeah they are known for cheap do-dads but there actually was some good stuff available, note the ad for one piece aluminum torq thrust knock offs (probably Appliance or International) and of course the Foresight Flag wheels and cone center caps. Although the faux torq thrusts in the upper right were of the two piece steel rim/aluminum center variety. My brother had some tri-rib style wheels on his 57 Chev back in '65, he doesn't recall where they were purchased from. I would like to be able to order some of those accessories at those prices today! JCWhitney692.jpg
    JCWhitney69.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
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  16. Thank you to a number of you who have replied. I've updated the title to more accurately reflect the names & wheels my original questions are based on. I did use the new knowledge about the original name 'Rader' to search & read threads here on the HAMB. Saw a few more photos, etc. When I do a Bing search, I actually come up with alot more (recent) photos for Radir, as opposed to Rader.

    I'd like more information about how guys in the 60's were outfitting their cars with these wheels. Squirrel's photos (thanks!) show a variety of approaches (bw's, ww's, w/caps, w/o caps). Any other guys who were 'there' (60's) have memories/photos to share of these wheels to address my questions (1st post)?

    Thanks again,
    Scott/Gotta56forme

    sidenote: the page from the JC Whitney catalog brings back memories of paging through my grandpa's copies of it in the 70's.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
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  17. jimmy1931
    Joined: Jan 13, 2012
    Posts: 728

    jimmy1931
    Member

    Pic was taken in 1966, my '62 Impala SS 409.
     

    Attached Files:

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  18. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 5,569

    arkiehotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  19. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca

    Nice! I bet you wished you still had it. People now days consider Impalas and Lowriders as one and the same, but I remember a time when jacked up Impalas (hot rods) were popular.
     
  20. I always remember them being referred to as,"Mickey Thompson" wheels rather than Rader. They were usually used when people didn't want to use disc wheels(either chrome or painted)and wanted a better look but couldn't afford Cragar S/S wheels.As I recall M/T wheels sold for about $25 apiece whereas Cragars would set you back about $40 apiece. Torque Thrust style wheels didn't really catch on until a bit later.
    A couple of incidents in the early 1960's;one kind of tragic and the other kind of amusing.
    There was a guy from a neighboring town who owned a beautiful 1961 Corvette(brand new)in silver with a white cove that sported a set(5)of Halibrand magnesium knock off wheels that reportedly cost over $500 at the time.
    He was coming into the local donut shop one Sunday morning a little too fast and clipped the curb with his right rear wheel.It broke into several pieces. Luckily he had purchased a spare but was a bit embarassed at his lack of being able to negotiate the entrance.I think he took more flack for that.
    Another involved a 59-60 Corvette that had been assembled from two different cars(one a front end wreck and the other a rear).Two brothers owned the car and had reportedly spent enough money fixing this car that they could have bought two whole ones.As the final touch they had purchased a set of American Racing Equipment 5 spoke wheels and spent a small fortune having them polished to the point that they looked like they were chrome plated.
    The first time they cruised through the local drive-in with the car someone in the lot cried out:" WOW!! Look at that 'Vette with the MICKEY THOMPSON wheels!!!" Talk about an insult.
    Just some old memories surfacing.
     
  21. hrm2k
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 3,620

    hrm2k
    Member

    this was my car in my senior year......'65 going into '66

    [​IMG]
     
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  22. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,218

    F&J
    Member

    I agree with some posters here:

    They were known as "Mickey Thompson wheels", not Rader or M/T Rader. "We" being high schoolers in a blue collar town in CT. Mostly anyone in my school would only have mags if they could be found "used", not new. I don't recall tri-rib personally, back then.

    and yes, they were not a popular wheel that someone would actually be trying to find. You bought them if they were in your budget if they came up for sale.

    I don't recall seeing full sets of 4 Raders on any car back then. My first HS car was a 61 Impala convertible 283 with 3 speed Hurst bought through the local Chevy dealer that was selling it for the Mom of a son who got a tour in VietNam. I bought the USED 15 X 6 M/T single ribs for the front (no center caps), and soon after I bought a USED pair of chrome steelies that had "Prowler ET"fake cheater slicks with the twin white and red thin stripes., I worked after school at a tire place and found a stash of new bias Seiberling red stripe tires , all in various number sizes. Boss gave me a good price on a pair for the Raders; I think 7.15 X 15 ...

    Back then in my area, seems like most of the blue collar teenager cars ran mismatched wheels; either mags on the front and chrome or painted on the back. Could be lack of funds, not sure. The few college prep guys that actually had a "performance" style car, would have a set of 4 Cragers. Those were considered candy ass as I recall...

    M/Ts were still WAY better than baby moons on a painted wheel. You had to have very thick skin to run those, as I think they were 9.95 new for four!

    I still love these single ribs, but the typical offsets don't fit the cars we seem to have on hand. I have a nice pair of 14 X 6 with the early Ford 5.5 pattern with nice chrome, and I got a NOS pair that Seb Fontana on hamb, found at his local scrap yard with bad chrome.. 15 X 6 on chevy pattern.. I have a thread on how to get those spriral rivets out to remove the centers, but I have not tried to get the rim hoops replated yet.

    There was a good web page that told a lot of the history. I just read the link above, but I thought it was "Charles" Rader? Maybe I am wrong. Anyways, he marketed a few types of very early wheels, but had low sales. Then Mickey got a piece of the marketing and the website gave the weekly amount that were selling with his abilkities in promotion. I want to say it was 50 SETS a week to distributors? Not sure. Then some sour grapes between Mickey and George on the Batmobile "kickbacks?" and Barris took the Raders off of it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  23. ronnieroadster
    Joined: Sep 9, 2004
    Posts: 718

    ronnieroadster
    Member

    If I recall correctly the Monogram 1/8 Scale Big Deuce and variations of the Big T model kits included Rader wheels with ribs on the spokes those kits came on the market in 1961. The new version now called Radirs can be had with single, double or triple ribs. The all
    aluminum construction of the Radirs wheel is far superior to Rader design of riveted aluminum to chromed steel rim. The few original sets I have seen always have rusty chrome steel rims and with problems developing with the riveted centers.
    The new aluminum sort of look alike wheels have proven to be very reliable to date I have well over 80,000 miles on the set I put on my roadster so long ago. During our travels even huge pot holes both here on the East Coast and West Coast have not damaged them which of course I'm thankful for.
     
  24. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    langy
    Member Emeritus

    These have Rader cast into the back of them, they are on my Willys gasser pickup, fronts are 4 x15 rears 10 x 15

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  25. HRM2K,

    Thanks for the photo! I have a '56 Chev 210 HT that is a single color (metallic medium silver-blue). While I've long been a fan of Torque Thrust & Cragar style 5-spokes, I'd like to do something a little different. Some people refer to the tri-fives as belly-button cars ("everybody has 'em") and the TT & Cragars are sort of belly-button wheels that show up on them (and many others) alot. Since my car is a 25yo cheap restoration, it would be easy to give it a humble 60's vibe working with what I have. So, this is my interest in the Raders/Radirs. Still not sure how to outfit with tires yet (bw? ww? colored-wall?). Then there is the polished vs unpolished wheel center choice. That's why I started the thread...

    Gotta56forme/Scott
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  26. KUSTOM 50
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 248

    KUSTOM 50
    Member

    radar.jpg Mine will be used as a front runner for my street strip car
     
  27. hrm2k
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 3,620

    hrm2k
    Member

    Steve, those are the same as the ones on my T

    [​IMG]
     
  28. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,200

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    [
    I was thinking the exact same thing when I read " Räder", as like "wheels" in German
     
  29. ffr1222k
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 1,061

    ffr1222k
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That is the way it was in the Charlotte area too HRP
     

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