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Is there a lot of early wheels for sale lately?


Dwight Romberger
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I think it's because of the economic climate. The politicians we have put in power for the past 60 years have destroyed America's economy. People don't have disposable income for expensive hobbies like old cars. I'm 75 and still working so I can have things like an old car. I have a few projects that I'll never have the money to finish like a Model A hot rod I have had since 1964 and a 1954 Austin Healey I have had since 1972.

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"Rat" rodders are crazy about the look of vintage artillery wheels. Suddenly those extra wheels that folks have had laying around the shed, garage or behind the barn are worth real money. What role our nation's leaders played in this is yet to be established. Watch your local news for updates!

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At the last few car club meetings I have attended. I look around the room and see OLD PEOPLE --- Anyone under 60 STANDS OUT--- Now, looking at these folks around the room, I ask myself, HOW MANY of these folks are ACTIVE Old Car DRIVERS? --------  Not many-- Annual Luncheons bring out 40 or more people.. We always encourage them to drive their old cars.... Average old cars that show up-- 6. Yep-- SIX--- Owners are too frail to drive them, they don't start, are not kept in running order, no one knows how to fix them and the OWNERS DONT WANT ANYONE TO TOUCH THEM Unless that have some real STRONG background in the particular old car...

 

SO-- the cars are dead in the garage.. Until they are sold as NON running cars--- AND then there is a very small market usually made up of MORE old guys that already HAVE old cars and just add more to the shed out back.... MORE non running cars...

 

I would like to see every chapter set out to make it a WORK DAY for MEMBERS that can still WALK and know SOMETHING about keeping an old car running to get out and open up some garage doors and get the cars GOING..

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IMO... the issue with the economy is not so much the people 75 years old as it is with the people of 35 years old.  Demographics have changed. No longer are the working class able to be involved with the "hobby". Folks who entered the "job market " in about 1950 - 1965 stayed as employees  with a company for long periods of time, in most cases until retirement. So those folks remained residents in the same general location for decades. Not so today. Employees, whether professional or technical, may be required to move  to far away residences, maybe even in another nation, to obtain employment or promotions.  Later  boomers, gen X , Y or millennials , need to be more like bedouins for work opportunities.  They don't buy residences that can accommodate old cars, nor wish to have to sell 'em when it is time to move on. Old cars are an anchor. There is also a slow migration to the cities for many reasons. There are other reasons young folks(buyers) are not entering the hobby, but let's save that for another site. Some older folks want to down size collections for  reasons... health being a large one, and the buyers are not there. They were never born to make up for the Baby Boomers. That is a Real problem in Europe. It is a serious problem for present owners from a financial point. But, as a hobbyist, I am less interested in profit than enjoying my pleasures. I too, just parted with a car for way less then  I thought it was worth. But, I am happy it went to a good home, as I owned it for over 21 years. If our cars become an investment, then we also must realize that not all investments make money. Enjoy the ride!

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No companies like Dicastal the largest wheel manufacturing company in the world and yes Chinese is now coming to the Mich. to make wheels here with their rules. Remember Mich. changed the rules not long ago against the unions. Breaking the unions will bring work but not the wages. No wages no money for old cars.  As for tires you had better look on your tire and see where it is made. I bought Goodyear for my car trailer and it says made in China. This is turning political so I had better stop.

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I would guess it's a combination of things. Remember every car came with 5 wheels. When you restore a car you might look for a better wheel, but you keep the old wheels. Hot rodders remove the wheels and put on custom wheels. Sometimes you change from 14" to 15"and keep the old ones. As we get older and downsize we clean out the garage and the wheels are the first to go. They made about 5 million Model A Fords, each came with 5 wheels, thats 25 million wheels not counting dealership stock. I think every vendor at Hershey has at least one wheel for sale. I have three wheels in my garage as we speak, one '34 Chevy and 2 Model A's. Just a suggestion.

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Dwight,

 

 

You are correct, old wheels are getting more attention.  We drive our 80+ year old cars a lot and people come up and tell us they have wire wheels like mine (All Ford wire wheels 1925-1935)  Next question is would I be interested in buying them?

I would go to their home and find wheels half rusted away, or bent or welded into a mailbox post (By their great grandfather)

Then they tell me $50.00 each!  !#$%&^(*   They see American Pickers and local car shows and think that anything old is valuable and that people with antique cars are all rich or stupid.  The ones with Internet then advertise their junk at inflated prices which give other readers the idea that it's all valuable because of the high asking prices.

No doubt a good antique car wheel may be desirable or valuable, but knowing the difference is not common knowledge.

 

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Dwight:

I agree with you. I have seen much more selection as far as wood wheels on e-bay. When I put in my search for 1925 Buick or 1920s Buick there has been quite a selection. Unfortunately most were not for Buicks or they were of a condition that their only value was in BTUs. I had an opportunity to buy a 1917 Buick D-44 Roadster that also had an assortment of extra parts. Among the parts were a set of 22" Buick wheels. I tried to buy just the wheels. Problem was that all was in California as a package. The 22" size is what belongs on my 1925 standard as some one in the past changed it to 21". (more tire availability) Once I offered on 2 wheels that only the spokes and hubs were left just so I could get the brake drums. My $40.00 bid was accepted but the shipping cost was to be over $275

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Shipping is becoming a major part of old car expense. I don't know how the guy's in Oz. and Europe do it. All of us average people are being priced out.

 

Greg in Canada

I have stopped buying on EBay as the dollar exchange is over 30% now. EBay has now also  become a middle man in the shipping business jacking up the shipping cost to make a higher profit. All EBay does is send it to the USPS for you and charging a fee for it so why are venders using them is beyond me. If I do buy it will have to be a real bargain.   I also put that in feedback on my last perches and EBay removed it without telling me. When I complained they apologized and said it was not possible to put it back.

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
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Have the seller put a tag on the wheel and take it to the Greyhound Bus Station.   Cheap and fast shipping for bulky items.

Paul, I know that I should be asking Greyhound this question, but instead I'll ask you -- will Greyhound take things that aren't wrapped? Fenders, wheels, etc? Just put a label on it, and that's good enough?

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That's interesting, Dwight. I've often thought that I would like to use Greyhound as an option for large items like fenders and such. I called once some time ago to ask about a fender and was told that I'd have to wrap it. I thought about the effort and cost of wrapping a large '30s fender in bubble wrap or cardboard and decided that it just too much trouble. Maybe I'll call again

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"Wrapped" is a pretty broad term.  A roll of shrink wrap is cheap at Home Depot or Lowes. A couple of minutes to "wrap" a fender or a wheel, slap a label on it and off it goes.

 

I shrink wrapped a bunch of 1922 Buick body parts together to make sure nothing got away during a 500 mile trip on my trailer.

Edited by Dwight Romberger (see edit history)
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I don't know about wheels, but I for one am trying to lighten up all of the stuff in the garage that I will never use.  And I do have a couple of Oakland wood wheels from the teens that I am going to sell this summer. 

 

I have gotten to the point where there is so much miscellaneous stuff around the garage that I can not find what I know I have plus like everyone else that is still above room temperature, we are all getting older.

 

As for the vehicles, drive them all if possible.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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