Jump to content


Photo

Irritating question...


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 10,936 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 11 May 2022 - 14:03

Up against the clock I am waving a white flag here.  What was the first significant race win for a car using centre-lock detachable wire-spoked wheels?

 

I think it may have been the 1910 Coupe de l'Auto which fell to Hispano-Suiza using Rudge-Whitworth wires - but am I missing an earlier result?  I believe the wheels were used experimentally in competition from around 1908 but the ACF actively banned their use in Grand Prix competition, doubting their safety (and quite believably protecting the interests of 'established detachable rim' rights holders).

 

Any help much appreciated.

 

DCN



Advertisement

#2 68targa

68targa
  • Member

  • 738 posts
  • Joined: October 19

Posted 11 May 2022 - 16:35

Kent Karslake (p137 Racing Voiturettes) mentions that the Sizaire-Naudins in 1908 'appeared' to have bolt-on detachable wire wheels which won the 1908 Coupe de l'Auto.



#3 robert dick

robert dick
  • Member

  • 1,251 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 11 May 2022 - 18:49

Detachable wheels were forbidden before 1909.
René de Knyff in the Paris edition of the New York Herald, January 1908:

knyff08.jpg


In a meeting of the AIACR in Paris, in the last week of October 1908, de Knyff still wanted a ban of all quick changing devices and asked that detachable rims should be forbidden in the 1909 Grand Prix to force tyre manufacturers to improve their products. Of course, this entailed the abandonment of detachable wheels.

However, by the end of 1908, most of the continental crack manufacturers had just signed an agreement no to start in the 1909 Grand Prix. Mervyn O'Gorman of the British club suggested to accept detachable wheels in order to attract British manufacturers. As a consequence, in the AIACR meeting of November 1908, detachable wheels were suddenly tolerated and included in the rules of the 1909 French Grand Prix (the GP de l'ACF open to 130-mm four-cylinders which was to be run on the Circuit de l'Anjou).
Comment in The Automobile/New York/December 1908:
"In next year's international races there will be full liberty to change tires in any way that appeals to the driver. He may pull them over a fixed rim in the old way, he may dismount the rim and tire together, or he may take off the entire wheel, in the manner dear to S. F. Edge, providing, of course, that the wheel bearing is not interfered with. The decision has just been arrived at by the International Association of Recognized Automobile Clubs."

Beginning in 1909, detachable wheels were also allowed in the Coupe de l'Auto pour Voiturettes.
In 1909, the winning Lion-Peugeot still rolled on non-detachable wire wheels.
Then, in 1910, the winning Hispano rolled on detachable Rudge-Whitworth wheels. (The 1910 V4 engined Peugeots/Lion-Peugeots were the first Peugeots using detachable Rudge-Whitworth wheels.)
In the 1910 Prinz Heinrich-Fahrt/Prince Henry tour, the winning Austro-Daimler rolled on detachable Rudge-Whitworth wheels.
 



#4 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 10,936 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 11 May 2022 - 20:01

Thanks 68targa and Robert - much appreciated.  The Prince Henry Trial was in the first week of June 1910, the Coupe de l'Auto race on September 18, 1910 - so counterpart of a modern rally first, the international-level road race second where Rudge-Whitworth detachable wire wheels are concerned.

 

DCN



#5 Dipster

Dipster
  • Member

  • 560 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 11 May 2022 - 20:38

Up against the clock I am waving a white flag here.  What was the first significant race win for a car using centre-lock detachable wire-spoked wheels?

 

I think it may have been the 1910 Coupe de l'Auto which fell to Hispano-Suiza using Rudge-Whitworth wires - but am I missing an earlier result?  I believe the wheels were used experimentally in competition from around 1908 but the ACF actively banned their use in Grand Prix competition, doubting their safety (and quite believably protecting the interests of 'established detachable rim' rights holders).

 

Any help much appreciated.

 

DCN

Interesting. It begs the question quite how this question arose. But it looks as if TNF came up with something, as it so often does.



#6 Porsche718

Porsche718
  • Member

  • 582 posts
  • Joined: August 16

Posted 12 May 2022 - 04:19

DCN, just to clarify because some of the answers are not clear. You are asking about detachable wheel/rim unit by a single centre-lock knock on/off eared nut?

 

Some of the responders mention detachable wheel/rims via bolt on - implying to a hub face.

 

Am I correct or have I misunderstood some answers?



#7 Porsche718

Porsche718
  • Member

  • 582 posts
  • Joined: August 16

Posted 12 May 2022 - 04:47

So, I can answer part of the question.

 

The Rudge-Whitworth QD (for "Quickly Disconnectable") were first patented in 1908. They were quickly adopted by many manufacturers and race cars but were specifically "excluded for use in the 1908 French Grand Prix due to safety concerns" (History of the Motor Car by Marco Matteucci - 1976).

 

These photos are from a 1908 Mercedes Simplex 35 HP owned by an Australian Harry Hickling.

 

image-2022-05-12-144353440.png

 

image-2022-05-12-144541528.png

 

As far as first race win? May be a tad harder to nail - but I'll give it a go!



#8 Porsche718

Porsche718
  • Member

  • 582 posts
  • Joined: August 16

Posted 12 May 2022 - 05:43

1910 Prinz Heinrich-Fahrt (Prince Henry Tour) must be it!

 

1910-Austro-Daimler.png



#9 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 10,936 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 12 May 2022 - 07:48

Thanks again, I was asking specifically about the Rudge-Whitworth wheel (and the hub shown above does not match the conical fixing I had in mind) but otherwise yes indeed as above - but the Prinz Heinrich-Fahrt was hardly 'a race'...  

 

This leaves the more specific answer to the question - re speed events of international significance - as being the 1910 Coupe de l'Auto road race on the Boulogne circuit - 12 laps, some 282 miles, completed by winner Zuccarelli's centre lock wire-wheeled Hispano-Suiza in a tad over 5 hours.

 

DCN



#10 robert dick

robert dick
  • Member

  • 1,251 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 12 May 2022 - 09:33

In the 1909 Coupe des Voiturettes, the three Calthorpes were equipped with the latest detachable Rudge-Whitworth wheels.

 

This was the first appearance of detachable wheels in a significant international race.



#11 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 10,936 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 12 May 2022 - 12:32

Thanks again Robert - I knew about the Calthorpe appearance but it was the question of first international race victory that was/is critical.

 

DCN



#12 BRG

BRG
  • Member

  • 23,346 posts
  • Joined: September 99

Posted 12 May 2022 - 18:14

I love that newspaper article.  How did the ACF become so hide-bound in such a short time from the first stirrings of the automobile?.  Wire should never replace wood!  :lol:   Also anyone who thinks the current controversies and disputes in motor racing are a modern day phenomenon should read M.de Knyff's comments.  And of course the added spice of the French decrying perfidious Albion, who might dare to upset their panier de pommes.....


Edited by BRG, 12 May 2022 - 18:14.


#13 Odseybod

Odseybod
  • Member

  • 1,705 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 12 May 2022 - 21:14

Les francais must have experienced a convenient 'volte-face' by the time of the 1912 French Grand Prix, as Pom in his 'Evolution of the Racing Car' suggests the detachable RW wire wheels of Boillot's Peugeot helped it triumph over the rival Fiat with its old-fashioned wooden wheels with detachable rims.

 

Incidentally, the 5.6 litre Peugeot that won the 1913 French Grand Prix (also with Boillot at the helm) is the earliest car in that particular book pictured with twin-eared knock-off hubcaps - not that that proves anything about anything ...  



#14 Porsche718

Porsche718
  • Member

  • 582 posts
  • Joined: August 16

Posted 13 May 2022 - 03:36

Odseybod, it proves there was a pic of a 5.6 Peugeot in "Evolution ..... " 

 

It proves you saw it ... and recounted it ... 

 

And it proves it only took four years for something initially considered safe (the wooden artillery wheel) to be then considered old-fashion. 

 

Imagine what Formula 1 cars will be like when the "halo" is considered old-fashioned?

 

Show to go you ...


Edited by Porsche718, 13 May 2022 - 03:36.


#15 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 7,280 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 13 May 2022 - 08:33

Mathieson tells us that there was a huge row over the banning of detachable wheels for the 1908 Grand Prix, culminating in a charge of libel against a well known British person.  He doesn't say who.  during the row, Edge accused the ACF of imposing the rule for the benefit of French manufacturers.  Mathieson ways that this argument was ridiculous and counter-productive and did a Loy a damage to British reputation for sportsmanship.

 

There is one thing in de Knyff's letter that I don't understand.  He says that detachable wheels are only useful with live-axle automobiles.  He is distinguishing between live-axle, shaft-driven and dead-axle, chain-driven.  No question of independent suspension.  In the 1912 Grand Prix, the Rolland-Pilains were chain-driven and appear to have had wire wheels.  The Lorraine-Dietrichs, also chain-driven, are pictured in Mathieson with both wire and artillery wheels.


Edited by Roger Clark, 13 May 2022 - 08:54.


#16 Charlieman

Charlieman
  • Member

  • 2,315 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 13 May 2022 - 09:10

My understanding from a recent reading of "Power & the Glory", William Court is that the ACF held to the principle that the car finishing the race should be the one which started. This applied to major assemblies including the wheels and presumably rims. Later discussions included whether a detachable wheel might include bearings.

 

I believe the ACF also argued that detachable wheels were impractical for a touring car.



#17 robert dick

robert dick
  • Member

  • 1,251 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 13 May 2022 - 13:11

September 1908 - Four-Inch race/Isle of Man.
The official title as decreed by the RAC was "International 'Four-Inch' Race for the Tourist Trophy".
Watson's winning Hutton (and nearly the complete field) was equipped with the early type of Rudge-Whitworth detachable wire wheel.

= = = =

Concerning de Knyff's chain drive remark, John Pugh of the Rudge-Whitworth Co. commented in January 1908:
"The only other point I will trouble you with is the question of chain drive. We have designed and made wheels for almost every variety of English chain-driven automobiles, included those fitted with gear cases, such as the Daimler and Sunbeam. There is absolutely no difference in the problem from the 'design' point of view, as will be realized when it is remembered that the live axle carries a brakedrum, which is practically the equivalent of the chain wheel that is on a chain-driven machine. It seems that the committee, when they gave the matter such careful attention, did not really understand the thing they were considering."

On the other hand, the detachable wheel could not be used on all chain-driven cars.
The inner hubs of the original Rudge-Whitworth detachable wheel did not harmonize with all types of wheel bearings.
(The original wheel was put on the market in 1908 - try-outs began in the fall of 1905, before the successful use of detachable rims/of the jante amovible in the 1906 Grand Prix.)
The early inner hubs of the Rudge-Whitworth wheel could take most of the standard wheel bearings but not all types.
The wheel bearing had to be pressed into the inner hub of the Rudge-Whitworth wheel.
 



#18 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 6,218 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 13 May 2022 - 13:38

I love that newspaper article.  How did the ACF become so hide-bound in such a short time from the first stirrings of the automobile?.  Wire should never replace wood!  :lol:   Also anyone who thinks the current controversies and disputes in motor racing are a modern day phenomenon should read M.de Knyff's comments.  And of course the added spice of the French decrying perfidious Albion, who might dare to upset their panier de pommes.....

 

It's always dangerous to arrive at conclusions with the benefit of hindsight. In its time, the position of M. de Knyff and the comitté was well understood, if not universally supported (notice the words "... the commitee did not lightly decide..."), while Mr. Edge was generally regarded as highly contentious in Britain, as much as he was on the continent - it was the manner in which he pursued his goals, that drew the ire of many of his contemporaries, regardless of provenance. I struggle to understand your point about "... the French decrying perfidious Albion..." - where in this article can I find anything to support this notion?



#19 Allan Lupton

Allan Lupton
  • Member

  • 4,007 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 13 May 2022 - 14:02

While Doug has specified Rudge-Whitworth, there was also the RAF system which I think is the non-RW arrangement shown in post 7. I can't immediately find a suitable reference (Google seems to think I'm asking about an Air Force!) so can't say when it appeared.

One of the features of the RW is its self-tightening which is remarkably effective.



Advertisement

#20 Porsche718

Porsche718
  • Member

  • 582 posts
  • Joined: August 16

Posted 14 May 2022 - 02:12

While Doug has specified Rudge-Whitworth, there was also the RAF system which I think is the non-RW arrangement shown in post 7. I can't immediately find a suitable reference (Google seems to think I'm asking about an Air Force!) so can't say when it appeared.

One of the features of the RW is its self-tightening which is remarkably effective.

 

Allan, in the article from which I posted the photos in post 7 clearly mentions that when Mr Hickling cleaned up the two locking rings shown on the wheel in the top photo, they were marked "Rudge Whitworth Detachable Rim"

 

On further investigation these hubs in the photo are called a "Type 1"

 

"Type 2" came out in 1910 with the same very course spline but a slightly easier to use retaining nut system.

 

The "Type 1914" was released in ... wait for it ... 1914 with an 80 mm fine spline much more like the type of spline we know and love today.

 

Easier to pick as this later type seems to be the first to include a "locating bell" for the wheel to locate on the inner hub face. Which is why the inner wheel flange is always larger than the outer hub face.

 

Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft offered the Type 1 wheel as an option from 1908, but the RW became more common throughout their range from 1912. The wooden wheel actually became the option from that point on. But I dare say many more wooden wheeled Mercs were sold - probably because of purchasers hesitancy about anything "new-fangled"!

 

The 1908 Tourist Trophy Hutton hub is parallel across the width of the wheel. ie - Inner diameter the same as the outer - therefore showing it to have the Type 1 RW wheel.


Edited by Porsche718, 14 May 2022 - 02:25.


#21 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 10,936 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 14 May 2022 - 06:10

Wonderful!

 

DCN



#22 robert dick

robert dick
  • Member

  • 1,251 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 14 May 2022 - 11:36

From the Motor-Car Journal/London, February 1908.
(Gordon Bennett of 1906 = Grand Prix of 1906, of course)

mocajo1feb08p1072.jpg
 



#23 robert dick

robert dick
  • Member

  • 1,251 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 14 May 2022 - 15:21

The Ariès mentioned above, equipped with Rudge-Whitworth detachable wheels,
in the Critérium de France et Coupe de la Presse, August 1907:

coupress07.jpg