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The Last Night Of The Prams


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#1 BorderReiver

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 17:29

Hello Everyone

I was walking down the road today, shambling on my way to university as usual, when a thought struck me. A pretty boring and nerdy thought admittedly, but a thought none the less. Watching a mother and her babba struggling to get onto a bus with a traditional pram a question occured to me (a question that only a motorsport follower would think of asking).

Just which were the last cars to compete in a Grand Prix, Le Mans or Indy 500 (or indeed any other meaningful race) with the old style "pram" spoked wheels? How about in an international rally?

And conversly, when did the first "modern" hubs come into use in these events?

I thought you boys would be the people to ask, so here it is. I have a feeling that the last Grand Prix car to carry them might be the Tipo 156, but thats only a hunch. Anyone know any better?

Pictures would be fantastic too. I'm hoping something really obscure pops up :)

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#2 BRG

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 17:45

Off the top of my head, the works Austin Healey 3000s on 1966/7 might have been the last serious rally cars to use wire-wheels? Can't think of any other serious rally machinery still using wires at that time.

On the track, it was a fair bit earlier than that...

#3 bill moffat

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 18:28

Well...... the Ferrari 275LM of Rindt and Gregory won Le Mans 65 on a set of wires..was this the last major wire wheel win ? Most of the works MGBs/Austin Healeys of that era seem to have teetered about on spokes also.


I just wonder whether the 1962 Ferrari 156 was the last of the F1 breed..I stand to be corrected !

#4 bill moffat

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 18:48

....Scuderia Filipinetti were still entering "wired" Ferraris at Le Mans in the late 60's, a 250LM in 1968 and a 275GTB/4 the following year.

#5 BorderReiver

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 18:52

Originally posted by bill moffat
....Scuderia Filipinetti were still entering "wired" Ferraris at Le Mans in the late 60's, a 250LM in 1968 and a 275GTB/4 the following year.


Interesting. As late as that?

Does anyone have any idea when wire wheels died out at Indy? Were they part of the Lotus/Clark revolution? Or had they gone earlier?

#6 ReWind

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 21:49

Originally posted by BorderReiver
Does anyone have any idea when wire wheels died out at Indy? Were they part of the Lotus/Clark revolution? Or had they gone earlier?

Judging by the photos in Jack C. Fox's book the last Indy 500 winner on wire wheels was Johnnie Parsons in 1950. Up to 1949 all cars except the 6-wheel-KK-Offys seem to feature wire wheels. In 1950 there seem to be wire wheels on 20 of the 33 starters, in 1951 16 of 33, in 1952 5 of 33 (with further 3 cars with wire wheels only at the front and 1 car - 2nd-placed Jim Rathmann - with wire wheels only at the rear!), in 1953 2 of 33 (Duke Nalon's front drive Kurtis-Novi and Jimmy Bryan's Schroeder-Offy), in 1954 none with wire wheels all around, but 1 of 33 with wire wheels at the front (Andy Linden's Schroeder-Offy).

In 1955 there seems to have been no car with wire wheels on the grid. But surely there were cars with wire wheels during practice. Fox hasn't pics from all non-starters but car # 74 (Elmer George? Roy Neuman?) clearly stands on wire wheels. And the wheels on Maserati # 72 in 1957 (Danny Kladis) are something for the real experts...

#7 WDH74

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 02:26

A quick scan through Menard's book doesn't reveal anything in F1 on wire wheels after the 156, but Ferrari was certainly using them on sports cars for some time thereafter. I think they were the last manufacturer to keep using wire wheels in GPs- Lotus had already gone over to the wobbly web, Cooper had their own Minilite-esque wheels, I think BRM had wobbly web style wheels as well, Porsche had those VW Beetle like things, and I forget what Brabham was using.
-William

#8 Lotus23

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 03:43

Am I correct in recalling that "mag" wheels were used routinely on WWII aircraft?

I can recall writing in my 1949 diary that I thought they'd look good on cars, but that's as far as this 11yo got with that idea...

#9 bill moffat

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 09:43

Originally posted by WDH74
A quick scan through Menard's book doesn't reveal anything in F1 on wire wheels after the 156, but Ferrari was certainly using them on sports cars for some time thereafter. I think they were the last manufacturer to keep using wire wheels in GPs- Lotus had already gone over to the wobbly web, Cooper had their own Minilite-esque wheels, I think BRM had wobbly web style wheels as well, Porsche had those VW Beetle like things, and I forget what Brabham was using.
-William


Vanwall hedged their bets with their own brand of wobblies on the rear and wires on the front. Any ideas why, was it to do with brake-cooling ?

#10 D-Type

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 09:59

Originally posted by bill moffat


Vanwall hedged their bets with their own brand of wobblies on the rear and wires on the front. Any ideas why, was it to do with brake-cooling ?

Off the top of my head, I think it was related to the slight flexing of the wheels giving a better feel. But I'm sure that brake cooling also came into it.

I'll have a look when I get home tonight, but my Vanwall info is a bit sparse - Ian Bamsey's book plus a couple of magazine articles.

#11 bill moffat

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 10:01

Originally posted by WDH74
A quick scan through Menard's book doesn't reveal anything in F1 on wire wheels after the 156, but Ferrari was certainly using them on sports cars for some time thereafter. I think they were the last manufacturer to keep using wire wheels in GPs- Lotus had already gone over to the wobbly web, Cooper had their own Minilite-esque wheels, I think BRM had wobbly web style wheels as well, Porsche had those VW Beetle like things, and I forget what Brabham was using.
-William


Vanwall hedged their bets with their own brand of wobblies on the rear and wires on the front. Any ideas why, was it to do with brake-cooling ?

#12 bill moffat

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 12:00

somewhere in the attic I have a wonderful copy of an original Brockbank cartoon.

A young lad critically views a type 35 Bugatti and comments to his friend "fancy spoiling a great old car like that with a set of grotty alloy wheels". :)

#13 dolomite

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 18:35

Originally posted by Lotus23
Am I correct in recalling that "mag" wheels were used routinely on WWII aircraft?

I can recall writing in my 1949 diary that I thought they'd look good on cars, but that's as far as this 11yo got with that idea...


Cast magnesium wheels were common on aircraft from the 1930s up until the 1950s/60s when forged aluminium wheels became the standard for new designs. Today magnesium wheels are not allowed for fire safety reasons.

#14 chofar

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 21:08

The last Le Mans car to run with wire wheels was the Filipinetti Ferrari 275 GTB of Haldi-? (forgot the name i read 10 minutes ago :blush: ) in 1969.
But since 1967, Those Filipinetti cars (LM and GTB) were the only ones to wear those wheels

#15 Lotus23

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Posted 19 December 2003 - 01:41

Had an acquaintance once. He put -- at some expense -- a set of wire wheels on a 356 Porsche.

First time I laid eyes on it, I nearly lost my lunch!

#16 dbw

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Posted 19 December 2003 - 06:25

interesting topic....today i had the occasion to view the wheels[pram style] of a 1929 austin 7 and a 1959 lotus elite ; and the alloy from a t-51 bugatti and a oem honda s2000 wheel....aside from a disparity in width and diameter remarkably similar items....[actually the lotus is only marginally wider than the austin..]

#17 Racers Edge

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Posted 19 December 2003 - 10:28

Speaking of "Wire Wheels" does anyone know the current status of the BORRANI wire wheel, mfg. in Italy...I understand they had some legal problems, and stoped making this famous alloy wire wheel, and a company in England http://www.wirewheel....uk/turrino.htm are making a replacement called the "Turrino" wire wheel. excepted by the F.I.A. as a replacement...Did Carlo BORRANI ever start production again?

I found this on the internet:
___________________________________________________________

Borrani Wire Wheels

Borrani is now owned/run, etc. by a larger Italian concern named Costruzioni
Meccaniche Rho, which is based in Milan.

They can't sell directly to U.S. retail customers but do all sales through
an agent. Said agent is Ted Weibel, who lives in Denver. His number in
Denver is 303-984-9999.

As for contacting Borrani directly, their info is:
Costruzioni Meccaniche Rho S.p.A.
Via E. Mattei, 13 - 20017 Rho (Mi) - Italia
Tel. +39 0293265.1 - Fax +39 0293500328 -
e-mail:cmrborrani@cmrborrani.it ( e-mail: N/G bounces back)
__________________________________________________________
http://www.tawvehicle.com/borrani.htm ( USA Agent)

#18 WDH74

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 03:04

Several years ago CAR magazine (I think) did an article about wheels, and showed about half a dozen different "significant" wheel styles. A Bugatti alloy featured, as did a wobbly web, a split rim BBS, and for some reason the wheel off an Audi test car. Interesting reading, and now I wish I'd kept the darn thing.
-William