- Automotive Aftermarket Parts & Modifications
Texan Wire Wheels: Why They’re Popular And How To Maintain Your Investment
Wire Wheels are wheels on cars or trucks that include wire spokes. These
spokes work to connect the wheel to the hub and help the rims maintain their
signature circular shape. Texan Wire Wheels are typically made of chrome metal
or magnesium but can be made of other materials.
These wheels are largely used as status symbols among residents across the United States. They became popular on automobiles in the 1960s and are perhaps just as popular today as they were then. Drivers who wanted to dress up their vehicles in the 1960s did so by removing the manufacturer’s wheels from their vehicles and installing a set of Texan Wire Wheels. They could then roll through their neighborhoods showing off their wire wheels to anyone who wanted to take a look.
History Of Texan Wire Wheels
Texan Wire Wheels are descendents of the wheels of bicycles or motorcycles. These wheels were created to assist with early-wheeled transportation to haul things from one point to another. The wire wheels could be used to haul bags of rice and other crops from the fields to larger wagons or to the local markets.
An engineer named George Cayley invented the wire wheel in the early 1800s. Cayley wanted a wheel that would support heavy loads and yet keep the rim and tire perfectly round. He learned that placing a series of metal spokes inside the wheel allowed him to keep the tire perfectly round at all times. He also discovered that using these metal spokes inside the wheel would properly connect the inner hub of the wheel to the rim. All the while, the spokes are able to carry heavy loads without fear that the wheel would collapse.
Another inventor named James Starley was the one who first used these wire wheels on bicycles.
Starley determined that the wire wheels that had been used to haul things could
also be used to support the weight of people on two-wheeled traveling machines.
When the wire wheels were first used on a bicycle, Starley had no idea that he
was shaping the face of bicycles for generations.
The wire wheel is still used on bicycles and motorcycles
today. Many children enjoy the wire spokes on wheels so much that they decorate
their spokes with crepe paper, stickers and ribbons. Crepe paper and stickers
can be woven in and out of the spokes on a young person’s bicycle to offer
quite an illusionary decoration to a bicycle wheel that spins round and round.
Early automobile manufacturers also used variations on the wire wheel concept. They utilized several wire spokes on car wheels to maintain the circular shapes of the rims and tires. In the 1940s and 1950s many sports cars and racing cars were made with wire wheels for effect and decoration. By the 1960s, wire wheels made out of magnesium became popular. Drivers in the 1960s for the first time could purchase wire wheels, take the manufacturer’s wheels off their cars and insert the magnesium wire wheels onto the cars instead.
The popularity of wire wheels really started to take off in the 1960s. Because the sports cars of previous years utilized the wire wheels, by the time the mid 1960s rolled around, many teenagers and young adults wanted the wire wheels on their cars as a symbol of status. Wire wheels today are typically only issued on custom-built cars and as custom rims and wheels for vehicles.
What Makes Texan Wire Wheels Different
Texan Wire Wheels have a rather distinctive style and grace about them. Perhaps the most popular Texan Wire Wheels are the ‘83s and ‘84s 30-spoke Elbow Texan Wire Wheels. These wire wheels have 30 spokes and a steep elbow hub that hold the spokes in place.
Texan Wire Wheels have a steeper hub than other brands and types of wire wheels. The hubs in the centers of the Texan Wire Wheels come out away from the vehicles at a steep angle, drawing each spoke away from the vehicle itself in order to meet in the center of the wheel’s hub.
The style of a Texan Wire Wheel is completely Texan and is rich in tradition.
Texan Wire Wheels are popular among two very different cultural groups. One
such group is wealthy ranchers who purchase Texan Wire Wheels to show off their
prized extravagant automobiles. These ranchers or “rancher wannabes” dress up
their Cadillacs with wire wheels. Texan Wire Wheels are also extremely popular
in urban communities across the country. Younger men in urban neighborhoods
purchase wire wheels for their cars as a status symbol to show others that they
have money and can afford such luxuries as Texan Wire Wheels.
Installing And Fitting Texan Wire Wheels
When you’ve finally made the decision to purchase a set of
Texan Wire Wheels for your vehicle, installing them is fairly easy. With your
vehicle in Park and your engine turned off, place a jack under the points on
your car’s frame that allow you to lift it off the ground. It’s best if you
lift one tire at a time while you install your wheels. Once your tire is off
the ground, use the lug wrench that comes with your car (usually found in your
trunk with the spare tire) and insert the lug wrench around each of your
wheel’s lugs. Remove each lug from the wheel. Then remove the wheel from your
Put your first new Texan Wire Wheel on your car. Use a centering ring on the
wheel, if one came with your wheel set. Bolt your lugs down on your wheel hub.
Then turn on your car and shift it into Neutral. You should be able to turn the
tire freely, and it shouldn’t brush up against the brake caliper. Then, tighten
all your lug nuts and lower your wheel back to the ground.
Repeat these steps for each of the four wheels on your vehicle in order to install
and fit your Texan Wire Wheels. Make sure all your lug nuts are tightened and
that your wheels are securely attached. You are now ready to enjoy your Texan
Wire Wheels, so take your vehicle for a test drive!
Caring For Texan Wire Wheels
Caring for Texan Wire Wheels is actually fairly simple. You
can quickly and easily keep your wire wheels in sparkling condition. But you
need to actually remember to check and clean them on a regular basis in order
to maintain that shine.
There are some very specific things you need to know about caring for wire
wheels. For instance, don’t take your vehicle with Texan Wire Wheels to a car
wash. The equipment and brushes many car washes utilize can damage the wheels
by scratching and scraping them. Also, be sure not to use any harsh chemicals
or wire bristles on your wheels. These items can also cause permanent damage to
your prized possession.
When you care for your Texan Wire Wheels, the main thing to keep in mind is that you want to try to keep dirt and grime away from the wheels as often as possible. We all live busy lives, and caring for our wheels sometimes slips by the wayside. However, it’s important you keep your Texan Wire Wheels clean in order for them to maintain their shine. If dirt and grime stays on the wheels too long, the sun can bake the dirt right onto the surfaces of the wheels. The dirt you didn’t clean off then becomes a permanent fixture on your wheels.
Check your wheels each week or on alternating weeks for dirt. When you wash
your car, be sure to also hand wash your wheels. Use a sponge and a mild
cleanser to rub out any grime you see on your wheels. Use the sponge to clean
all parts of the wheels, including the rims and spokes. Once you have
eliminated all the dirt, spray the wheels down with clean water. Then dry the
wheels with a clean, soft towel. If you make sure you have completely dried
your wheels by hand, you can eliminate any water spots on them. You may also
add a coating of a gentle waxing agent, if you wish, to protect your wheels from
If you are considering purchasing Texan Wire Wheels for your automobile, know that you will be joining a club of wire wheel owners who understand the value and status that these unique wheels offer. Once your vehicle is measured for wire wheels, it’s simply up to you as to which style of Texan Wire Wheels you purchase. Each style of wire wheel has the same basic principle with spokes connecting the hub and rim. But each style of wire wheel also has a different story. It’s your job to determine which wire wheel story you want your vehicle to tell when you’re rolling through your neighborhood.