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Borani wire wheels on Allard


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I have seen pictures and descriptions of an Allard running Borani wire wheels. This surprised me, since it was my understanding that knock-off wire wheels were unable to handle V8 torque, as the splines that the wheel slide onto tend to strip. Perhaps these wire wheels use lug bolts instead of knock-off or spanner nuts.

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Every year at the Fall Festival at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut there at least 6-8 Allards running. Ford flathead, Ardun equiped Ford, Cadillac and Chrysler Hemi. I can't rember if they ran Boranies, but they do run steel rimd Rudge Whitworth. Indy 500 cars ran wire wheels up till 1954. I don't think it is possable to strip the hub splines.

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Borrani wire wheels were standard issue on many Italian exotics including Ferrari, Lambrghini and others. These were high-horsepower cars that regularly saw competition work. <BR>My experience is that the splines are on a tapered hub that mates to a similar tapered, splined receiver on the wheel. The wheel is held on by a large nut. As long as the nut is tight, the wheel is secure and will not rotate on the hub. Over long use, the splines will wear but only gross neglect or inattention will allow sudden failure.

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Thanks for the replies. The reason for my question is that I would like to retain the wire knock-offs on my Sunbeam Alpine that I am converting to Ford 289 V8 power (Tiger semi-clone). In reviewing Mike Taylor's Book "Tiger: The Making of a Sports Car", he indicated that Rootes considered offering the wire wheels on the Tiger, but determined that the arrangement failed under the V8's added power. Based on the comments posted, I am suspecting that the differential/axle/wheel assemblies used in Ferraris and Allards are more heavy duty that those used in MGB's and Sunbeams. I understand that Allard used many Ford components. Were the Allard rear end assemblies from Ford?

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I imagine if failure were to occur on your sunbeam, it would be loosening of the spokes under spirited acceleration and cornering. In any event, I don't think Sunbeam used Borrani wheels on their Alpines. Most likely they were Dunlops. Dayton Wheel in Ohio probably makes a 72 spoke replacement wheel which would be more robust than what you have now. A better choice would be minilite clones. They're available with a knock off center to mate your existing hubs. However, when putting new wheels on old splines, inspect carefully for wear on the hub splines which will cause premature wear on the new wheels.

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I'd sure like to see this tapered hub Bill has refered to. I've never seen one, and I've removed wire wheels from Bugattis, Rolls, Ferrari, Maseratti, MG, etc. None of them have a tapered hub. If Carrol Shelby thought wire wheels were OK for the 289 powered Cobras, they should be alrignt on a Sunbeam.<p>[ 02-26-2002: Message edited by: 1937hd45 ]

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I'm sure there's a lesson here somewhere. I did hear a little alarm bell ring when I wrote about those tapered hubs. As I recall, they were used only on the Russian Neveroff car. It met with little commercial success due in no small part to the difficulty in removing a wheel to change a flat tire. <P>Anyway, it was a good excuse to go out to the barn. The MG trunk (boot) was NOT filled with mice and the spare and presumably all four other wheels had straight splines. The taper was on the back side of the wheel and I guess mates up to a similar taper on the spindle, but I'm not saying for sure, even if I know. <P>Warning to readers: confirm everything you read. Warning to writers: Your mistakes will out, and you are in public. Proclaim at your peril. <P>37HD45~ Let me know me your address & I'll give you a copy of a recent newspaper article having some good sports car photos of the thirties, including an airborne Bug about to be written off.

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