What are these wheels?

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    Hi, everyone.

    This photo happens to be for sale on EBAY and I don’t remember seeing this type of wheel before. Does anyone know if they are aftermarket or were available as an option? I’m guessing that the car is a Series 4?




    Hi Bill,

    I’ve never seen those wheels either. Given the lack of cowl lights, and the low hood, I’d say it is a 1919-1920 Series 31. Looks like a bit of a project…missing half the windshield, bashed rear fender…



    Bill, they look like they may have been made by Dayton Wheel. They were the supplier for my 1921 Pierce truck wheels. It could be a “prototype”” steel wheel they made for Pierce. They would be heavy! Karl”


    From the color [shades of gray] difference in the photo, I’m thinking an experimental aluminum wheel from Alcoa. They look like polished aluminum in the photo, as much as I can tell from the Black&White image.

    Interesting wheels, it would be interesting if someone found a set or even a single surviving wheel.

    Greg L.


    Did Budd make wheels that early?



    Budd was making steel disk wheels in the 1920’s. My ’24 Dodge Bros. has Budd wheels and body.

    It is hard to tell how old the picture is. Given the overall condition of the car, my guess is the photo was taken many years after the car was made. The license plate looks like it is probably from the 1920’s…if it is current at the time of the photo. It kind of looks like a “barn find”. photo. I wish I could find a barn like that!

    I agree with Karl, the wheels look like truck wheels. I’ve attached a photo of a Fleet-Arrow with similar wheels.

    The spokes look a little light for truck wheels and look like they might be a little smaller than the standard Pierce wheel, although it is hard to tell with the bashed rear fender. I suspect the wheels were adapted to the car sometime along the way…maybe when the original size tires were hard to come by.



    Ok, now, here comes the other half. This second photo is for sale by the same Ebay seller and it’s the before photo. The other one was after a rollover wreck or something like it. The license plate is 1923.

    Have fun with this!



    The car in the above photo is a Series 31 either 1919 or 1920. I have a photo that I bouhgt through ebay of a car with the same style wheels, however, it is a 1915 Model 66-A-3 four passenger touring. The license plate on the above car is New York 1923 #464-429. The license plate on the 66-A-3 is New York 1923 #464-430. I’ve talked with Bernie Weis and Pat Craig about the wheels. They may be cast aluminum. Manufacturer could be Budd or Alcoa since Pierce-Arrow worked with both companies. It might be a case of the factory trying the wheels on two cars.


    Some years ago similar wheels were shown in a factory photograph of a Pierce-Arrow car (front fenders and wheels only) with striping, no less. Because they are similar to the truck wheels of the ’20s, I have always wondered if they were put on the car as a factory test.


    What appear to be two photos of these wheels taken on the factory grounds near the big crane can be found on page 24 of Arrow 94-3. It may well be the same car, judging from the color on the body. Bernie’s caption identifies them as something called the “Smith Expanded Wheel”. The tires in the photo look very much like those in the photo Bill shows above. They are identified as 33X5 “SYRA-CORD” 135/585 made by the Syracuse (NY) Rubber Co.,Inc. Bernie believes the photos are from about 1919.

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