Terry Bond

Custom Wheels in the early 1900s

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Came across this interesting photo - obviously custom wheels are not a recent creation!  Assume this is circa 1903-5 era and probably European, but would love to know what car and more about those strange wheels.

Terry

Strange wheels.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Looks like some kind of built in springs in the wheels. The tires themselves are solid rubber. Probably an attempt to make a puncture proof tire/wheel that rode as well as a pneumatic tire. There were quite a few patent wheels and tires in the early days, some quit bizarre. Just a week ago in a local junk yard I saw a pair of pre 1920 Dayton Airless white rubber tires on rims. They were stuffed with segments of foam rubber encased in a woven wrapping. Punctures and tire wear were a big problem back then, if you went 50 miles without a flat tire you were lucky and tire life was 5000 miles or less. If that car is still around the solid rubber tires are probably still on it, and still good after 100+ years.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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Reminds me of the Glidden Napier with rail road conversion wheels. Bob 

fewgw.JPG

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My grandparents lived next to the Gisborne to Motu railway line. Grandma joked for years about a dream she had of driving the car home from town (about 10 miles) on the rails, with no tires! I remember the line being pulled up, perhaps in the '60s.

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A few years ago on one of the Ford Forum areas, there was a thread about very similar wheels that were made as aftermarket accessories for a Model T. The guy had a pair of these and wanted the other two. He was able to find patent drawings online so they knew who made them at the time, but finding the thread would be a challenge....

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