Wire Wheels Nevertheless
Gentlemen, Gentlemen, Nobody in his right mind (eh Adrian?) would ever think of racing a 2600, let alone a two liter. So the horrible problems everyone posits about that usage on tires for them should be moot (i.e. not a valid question and the argument only fun but pointless, since the answer is purely academic and no longer germain). The British Wire Wheel knock off uses the regular Ford bolt pattern on the adopters for front as well as in rear. The purists agree that the knock off does NOT look like a Borrani. But the adopter was chosen just so the wheels would be knockoffs. And, if you are not a total purist, British will make bolt on wheels with 205x55R16 with out and out Ford bolt pattern. In that event you must recall that two liter and 2600 have left hand threads on left side wheel studs. I would trade all for right hand and use nice shiny chromed acorn nuts. Biggest problem is that the front wheels have the end of steering links right at inner edge of backing plate. Edge of wheels cannot be further inside of that unless wider than the standard 15 1/2 inches (i.e. the 400 mm dimensions).
When I put wire wheels on my favorite spider (AR10204*00126) many years ago I wanted to have the splines on the hub itself as in usual Borrani installation fashion. So I used 1900 front hubs. I found a lathe that could turn the larger diameter two liter front axle stubs down to 1900 dimensions by centering outside end of stub on a pin and driving with a dog arrangement on a 13" swing. I understand others have been able to make the change with different bearings, but I did not think of that solution. And the spiders on rear fit without modification so that I use 165x400 wire wheels. I still do not like the old cookie cutters.
I would also comment that I once had a Pininfarina coupe with 600x16 wire wheels that would not fit over my two liter two liter brake drums. The early 1900 models had a different drum without the neat fins. I suspect those wheels might have gone onto my two liter with the 1900 drums. But John Thorne from Houston drove up and provided me my full set of 1900 Borrani wheels, hubs, spiders and two eared knockoffs as part trade for that car years and years ago. He also is the one who once owned the 105 series two liter sprint now the last running two liter sprint in the US which is still in Katy, Texas. We should all hope to see that car one of these years. I hoped to see it in Tulsa at the National AROC Convention this year, or at least pictures when I could not make it.
As for tubeless tires on wire rims, I would suspect that British Tire Company might have some suggestion and solution such as inner cover over the wire wheel nipples, but I cannot answer that. I use tubes in my wire wheels.
As for price, remember these are NOT Borrani wires, and making them is not all that mysterious. The prices are a great deal less. I protest that they do have a good appearance regardless. Only the knock off might not be as visually appealing. One final comment. 205/55R16 tires are not all that cheap either.
My father was an International Harvester dealer for years. He had a great shop including a lathe that could turn cannon barrels. We did cut out some two liter wheels centers and using the 16 inch IHC wheels wheels originally made for wooden spokes welded together wheels with not as deep a "well" in the center which made tires difficult except for 600x16 using tubes of that era with a "taller" profile. Had trouble clearing wheel wells. New lower profile tires have much stiffer beads. I doubt I could get them to mount on the IHC wheels.
Conclusion: British Wire Wheels can make them the way you would like them. If you don't like the large unaesthetic knock offs, then get some with the ford bolt pattern. Watch out for the inner edge of the tire so that the wheel dare not extend to the interior further than the depth of the drum. Most will be to outside, but not too much or the fender line is a problem. 205/55R16 seems to work okay.
But don't go out and order these wire wheels wildly until I get the full specifications, costs, etc from my friend in Costa Mesa. Another two liter lover friend in Portland and I had worked out the fitting (actually took a car to a dealer and had him measure) but he is the one who bit the bullet and had them made (we were too cheap to follow our own convictions) ordered a set for his totally restored two liter. They look stunning and wonderful, but, unfortunately, I still have his engine and he hasn't been able to drive around on them. I am still practicing law and cannot yet pursue my Alfa hobbies full time in my wonderful ALFA G'RAJ MAHAL while there are so many unfortunates who beg my help in getting out of their predicaments. His engine will be perfect, but without a power plant his vehicle can only look pretty -- as it certainly does with the shiny wire wheels and American size rubber .
[B]JAY NUXOLL [/B][EMAIL="
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"], seriously Alfa diseased and ancient OLD Two Liter Lover, put together Seattle area's Northwest Alfa Romeo Club in 1965, and still feebly tries to tend a teeny sacred flame to his serpent mistress in the [B]ALFA G'RAJ MAHAL[/B], a home garage temple with more Alfa cars and parts than he dare list because of the disapproval of his shamed and chagrined family. (425) 641-2600.
Last edited by twoliterlover; 10-03-2006 at 07:30 AM.