Well not actually new, I am owner number 2. All four of the Falcon wheels have a few loose spokes necessitating each wheel needing to be stripped down, shot blasted, re-spoked and setup by a wheelwright and then painted and shot-blasted. Then the wheels need new tyres, the current ones are at least 35 years old and are re-mould crossplys – possibly the worst combination possible.
A new wheel is circa £400, a new tyre, new rim band and inner tube circa £250 plus fitting and balancing but lets call it £650 a corner. I have 6 wheels – four on the road and two spares which equates to a lot of pennies to splash out. Rebuilding a wheel is around £200 minimum so lets call that £450 a corner – still a couple of thousand hard earned pounds. Or I could wait until someone wants to sell a set of rebuilt wheels with racing tyres which have a few years life left in them.
It is the later option I have had in mind for some time and only recently found. After some negotiation a price was agreed and I now have Four rebuilt 18″ Riley wheels, restored and painted in Riley dark blue fitted with a set of Blockley racing tyres with 5-7mm of tread left. That’ll do and they were duly collected from just outside Silverstone today which is strangely appropriate.
I know they look huge in comparison to the ones on the car but thats just an optical illusion – they are slightly bigger in circumference and width but only slightly.
The picture below has the front one fitted – and I think it fills out the mud shield perfectly – they look really purposeful. There doesn’t need to be much room between tyre and mudshield because they are both fitted to the same brake hub and will rise and fall together when going over uneven ground. This is another of my design features which wasnt hugely common in the 1930’s but it *is* in period.
And below is a picture of one fitted to the spare wheel mounting so you can see what it looks like with the two spares in place
At sometime in the future, both the spares will actually look like the one closest to the body work – the more knobbly tread is better for off-road, muddy hill climbs and realistically the spares are for that purpose. Those ‘trials’ wheels have slightly thicker, stronger spokes which will help when I have willing ‘bouncer’ passengers in the back seat bouncing up and down to try and get the rear tyres to grip in the mud.
Fitted across the rear spare wheel will be a light board carrying the number plate and rear lights. I have designed that but not yet fabricated it. You can also see why I had to be so careful when planning the position of the fuel tank filler – it is angled to be close to the tyres but there is plenty of room to insert the fuel nozzle. Perfect.
Next post will be an update on the instrument panel which is coming along nicely…