Enjoy daily free stories about vintage cars in your email and sign up for free.
From the first automobile to the modern rim
By: Rick Vugts - Wheelpoint
Searching for the suitable rims that fit your classic car, the gigantic range quickly means something like searching for a pin in a haystack. Ultimately, this remains primarily a personal choice and we will certainly not pretend to know better. What we at Wheelpoint can do well is to offer a concise overview of the historical growth, the various options, the differences between them and the added value of the modern wheel on a classic car.
From wheel to the first automobile
It is undeniable that the wheel can be seen as a catalyst for our civilization. Over the course of more than five millennia, the primitive wheel evolved into a myriad of application possibilities. The associated history of the rim, the inside of the wheel on which the tire is lying, also has a long way to go. Mainly since the end of the XNUM Xth century, thanks to technical progress and the first automobile, it developed rapidly. With this first vehicle, three-wheeled and built by Karl Benz in 19, the rear wheels were larger than the front ones. There really wasn't any rims and the wheels were all spoked wheels. A subsequent important turning point came in 1885 thanks to Henry Ford, who, thanks to progressive ideas about efficiency and the use of the assembly line, made the car industry grow explosively and thus quietly disappeared from the day-to-day image.
Development of rims
The use of wire wheels soon turns out to be impractical and unsafe. Bugatti already experimented with light metal in 1924. From the 50 years on, the first all-steel specimens appeared on the market at Ford and Chrysler, among others. At the beginning of the 60, Cromodora and Campagnolo brought the first fully alloy wheels of magnesium - later mainly aluminum - to the market, to be found at Ferrari and the Mini. Thanks to the production of the so-called 'muscle car', halfway through the 60, the research of rims really exploded. Since then, the range has expanded in all sorts of colors and shapes. In the meantime, rims can be roughly divided into two categories, namely light-alloy wheels and steel wheels. In the sections below we take a closer look at the benefits of both types.
These are usually made from an alloy of aluminum, with classic cars you will sometimes find a magnesium alloy back. The lower weight promotes the driving quality and balance of the car, as well as the top speed. You will therefore not be surprised that it was developed primarily from the racing car industry, which is why alloy wheels with their beautiful aesthetically pleasing appearance are also called sport rims. Perhaps the biggest advantage is the optimum heat dissipation of the tires and the braking system. On the website of Wheelpoint rims you can check for your classic whether modern sports rims are available.
Steel rims offer optimum protection against stones and shocks, for example at speed bumps or when approaching a curb. The steel is also better resistant to road salt, making it ideal in combination with winter tires. As you can already hear: with steel rims, practicality takes precedence over appearance. There are various solutions for this thanks to a wide selection of hubcaps.
Which rim do you choose now?
Owners of classic cars often opt for classic and authentic wheels or even the traditional wire wheels, so that the completely classic style is preserved. However, nowadays there are also various options for choosing an eclectic combination of classic and modern. The choice of the right rim for your classic car is a trade-off that makes you personal. We can only recommend that you at least consider a modern rim.
Are you a classic enthusiast and do you like the free articles? Please consider a subscription to Auto Motor Klassiek, the printed magazine. That will land on your doormat every month for a mere annual contribution. Packed with interesting reading material, especially for the classic enthusiast. Enough to keep you off the streets for days. And if that's not enough, you also contribute to the entire platform for and by classic enthusiasts. In addition, such a subscription has even more advantages. Take a look at the link above for more information.