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Explain this 1930's Motor ad for Wood Steel and Wire wheels


Mark Gregory
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Was this ad directed to the Consumer or the Manufacturer to sell their product.

 

I did not think the Consumer was that sophisticated in 1930 to change their wheels like they do now a days on cars.

 

 

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Might have been both.

 

Franklin started using Motor Wheel demountable wood wheels as an option in 1929 -  either painted or "natural finish". They used the same 7 lug bolt wheels as shown in the top right of that ad for both 29 and 30 years of production. For 31 and 32 they used a deeper hub cover and larger diameter hub cap that hid the lug bolts.  So, they actually decided on that at least as far back as 1928, which means a manufacturer picked those wheels well before that ad came out and continued offering them well into the depression.  

 

First picture is the Franklin 29/30 version. Second pic is the 31, and last is the same wheel used in 32.

 

Paul

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Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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The ad was three fold..........to explain you could run a wood or steel artillery & and wire spoke all from the SAME hub, which was something that was just coming into being at the time.......no need to change spindles or brake drums like you would have to do on earlier cars. It also was rather a new concept for a steel artillery at the time. Third....you could swap wheels among all the cars on the dealership floor, thus making a quick sale if the car didn’t have the desired wheels on it. Many car owners were familiar with the wood artillery wheels, and knew they were often better than the steel wheels that could and often did crack. So the ad was aimed at both the dealer and the retail public. Wooden wheels were still available as late as the 1934 model year on Pierce Arrow, but they were considered old fashioned by then.

 

PS- Steel disk wheels were popular from about 1924 to 1930......and they too went out of fashion. 
 

I know of several cars that had multiple sets of wheels when new.......owners liked to switch between wheel style and white walls back then also. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

The ad was three fold..........to explain you could run a wood or steel artillery & and wire spoke all from the SAME hub, which was something that was just coming into being at the time.......no need to change spindles or brake drums like you would have to do on earlier cars. It also was rather a new concept for a steel artillery at the time. Third....you could swap wheels among all the cars on the dealership floor, thus making a quick sale if the car didn’t have the desired wheels on it. Many car owners were familiar with the wood artillery wheels, and knew they were often better than the steel wheels that could and often did crack. So the ad was aimed at both the dealer and the retail public. Wooden wheels were still available as late as the 1934 model year on Pierce Arrow, but they were considered old fashioned by then.

 

PS- Steel disk wheels were popular from about 1924 to 1930......and they too went out of fashion. 
 

I know of several cars that had multiple sets of wheels when new.......owners liked to switch between wheel style and white walls back then also. 

I believe the 1930 Chrysler CJ6 had both the wire or wood de-mountable wheels to use on the same hub.

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Franklin had three choice of wheels in 29-32,  wood demountable rim were standard on most models. And then standard on the more deluxe models and optional on all,  were Motor Wheels that were interchangeable on the same hubs for either demountable wood, or wire wheels.  

 

I once had two customers in the shop, that as luck would have it, during the restoration of their cars they both wanted different wheels than what was on their car. One swapped his 6 demountable wood wheels for the other's 6 wire wheels.   The car that got the wood wheels is the second picture of mine above. That's after all new spokes were made and installed in Canada. The other car's wire wheels got all new stainless steel spokes.  

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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Looks like an ad from wheel manufacturer Motor Wheel aimed at getting car makers to use their products. The benefit they are emphasizing, is that the car dealer can offer customers a choice of wood, wire or steel disc wheels that all fit the same hub. This is a convenience for the car maker. It might help if you knew where the ad came from - probably a trade publication like MoToR Magazine aimed at auto makers and dealers.

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9 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Does anyone have these interchangeable wood and wire wheels? What does a wood wheel weigh in comparison to the wire wheel? 

 

Bob

I have weighed them during the restoration of that Convertible Coupe in my pictures. One reason why the customer wanted to swap the original wire wheels for wood was to get the lightest wheels available for that model.

 

The 12 spoke wood 19 inch Motor wheels, with hub cover and hub cap are about 5 pounds lighter than the 60 wire spoke 19 inch Motor Wheel, which uses the same hub cap as the wood wheel in 31 & 32. 

 

Paul 

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2 hours ago, PFitz said:

I have weighed them during the restoration of that Convertible Coupe in my pictures. One reason why the customer wanted to swap the original wire wheels for wood was to get the lightest wheels available for that model.

 

The 12 spoke wood 19 inch Motor wheels, with hub cover and hub cap are about 5 pounds lighter than the 60 wire spoke 19 inch Motor Wheel, which uses the same hub cap as the wood wheel in 31 & 32. 

 

Paul 

 

 

Glad I didn't have any money riding on that, never would have thought the wood wheel was lighter, thanks. Bob 

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1 hour ago, 1937hd45 said:

 

 

Glad I didn't have any money riding on that, never would have thought the wood wheel was lighter, thanks. Bob 

 

Yup. Me too. Just adds to my appreciation of hickory. I particularly love the look of a Well-done wood wheel from the early '30s. The short stout spokes with large hubs may be an anachronistic throwback, but in the minds of some, antiquity is the draw. Open fenders and blackwalls really give a special touch to the beauty and elegance of the lucky car which rides on timber. The Franklins that Paul showed us are exquisite. And I am not going to listen to any whimpering that "they should have saved a tree".      🤔😉.     -    CC 

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14 minutes ago, C Carl said:

 

Yup. Me too. Just adds to my appreciation of hickory. I particularly love the look of a Well-done wood wheel from the early '30s. The short stout spokes with large hubs may be an anachronistic throwback, but in the minds of some, antiquity is the draw. Open fenders and blackwalls really give a special touch to the beauty and elegance of the lucky car which rides on timber. The Franklins that Paul showed us are exquisite. And I am not going to listen to any whimpering that "they should have saved a tree".      🤔😉.     -    CC 

 

I agree, the wood wheel with the short spoke of the 1930-35 era is just superb. I am most familiar with the 1931-33 era Franklin for that and they - if painted, not varnished natural wood color, personally to me look better then wire wheels. Easier to clean as well!  Here is an advertisement by Motor wheel in the 1929 souvenir catalog for the Chicago custom body salon ( the first salon for Chicago for 1929, there were two - one in January, the later one in November) note that the wood and wire wheel interchange on one hub comment in the ad.

the 60 page souvenir catalogs from the custom body salons are an amazing source for information and the salons were all focused on the "upper crust' population who had the $ to spend on custom built cars. The general pubic never saw the cars of the salons as you could attend by invitation only . It was not your general auto show .

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Amen on wood wheels being easier to clean !!!!!!!!!

 

I used to like wire wheels,..... until I had to clean in between all 60 spokes of six wheeled cars.

 

About 30 years ago, my older brother worked for me for a month in between teaching jobs. I had him wet sanding primer on those same 60 spoke Motor Wheel wire wheels. After two weeks of that he'd had enough.  To this day, our standing joke is,... anytime he tries to bust my chops, I just threaten to have him sand wire wheels and he shuts right up. :D

 

Paul

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The Motor Wheel wood demountable wheels have very strong spokes. The only drawback is with the rims of the early ones used in 29 & 30. Motor Wheel used an inner and outer rim that could trap water and hide deep rust pits that could cause the rim to split inline with the spoke holes. The 31 and later wheels use a heavy one-piece rim that can't trap water.

 

If you look closely at Mark's Motor Wheel advertisement picture you can see the different thickness of the double and single rim type.

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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Chevrolet offered wood, wire and disc wheels in 1929.  The disc was standard with wood spoke and then later the wire wheels as options.  Wire wheels became standard later in 1930, after disc wheels.

Wood wheels were available up until 1931.  1930 was the last year for disc (de-mountable rim) wheels I believe.

 

Capt. Harley😉

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Graham-Paige used Motor Wheels also, wood, wire and disk. 19, 18, 17 and 15 between 1929 and 1933, wood was done in 1934.  My 19" wire wheels have 6 steel weights attached to the rim, look like at least a pound each?  The disk wheels are not any lighter.  1931 was the first year Graham offered demountable wood wheels but just the design of the fixed wood wheels should have made them lighter?  Graham-Paige used 10 spoke wood wheels for the small sixes the big cars used 12 spoke wheels.

 

What I was going to mention was they may have changed wheels to get popular tire sizes?  Most of the 1933 optional 15 inch Graham wheels were replaced because they could not get 15 tires.

 

Image result for 1933 graham coupe optional 15 inch disk wheels, 1933

Edited by Graham Man (see edit history)
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Keep in mind people were fond of wood wheels "we were still horse and buggy and largely just coming out of such", but a split rim wood wheel was not a user friendly option and people were looking for other solutions. 

 

A parallel would be steam cars - tons of people at the time were very use to steam boilers. 

 

Personally, a split rim wooden wheel is absolutely of no interest to me and I am quick to start hunting to convert them to something else - I refer to them as the things that haunt otherwise cool cars. 

 

 

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You guys are all missing the point.

Forget the wheels.

Marks ebay address took me to a listing for the January 1930 issue of Motor magazine, with a barely clad young red head, and priced at $136.00

The cover alone is worth the price, regardless of what is inside.

Now keep in mind boys, that we are talking now about somebody's great grandmother , but Vargas move over, what a gal !!!

 

Mike in Colorado

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I totally agree with Paul , if you have a proper rim spreader(collapser)  it makes it much easier to sort out when working on. Some of the spreaders are even a lot of work, but once you find the "right" one for you it is a breeze to use.

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Same with the Motor wheel wood and wire, they used different length lug bolts - curving taper under the hex head of the wood wheel type,  and flat washer shape under the hex head wire wheel type. And the wire wheel lug bolts are about half the length of the wood wheel lug bolts.

 

Following a NY State back-roads tour as the breakdown vehicle, as I slowed to make a left turn I saw a glint of sliver in the middle of the road. No traffic so I slowed and pulled up to it. Opened the door and reached down to pick up one of the special long lug bolts of a Motor Wheel demountable wood wheel. Put it in my jeans pocket and forgot about it the rest of the day.

 

At dinner with friends discussing that days tour, the owner of the 30 Club Sedan in my first picture above said he was bummed because he had lost a lug bolt some where on the tour. Without a word I stood up, took the lug bolt out of my pocket and placed it on the table in front of him. Took him a good minute to get the shocked look off his face.

 

God does watch over us fools.

 

Paul  

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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