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Different widths of grey 9x24 wheels

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Different widths of grey 9x24 wheels

Postby ChFalkensteiner » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:15 pm

I am not sure if this has been mentioned before, but as I have finally made a comprehensive survey of this topic, I have decided to start a new thread for it.

For quite a while I have been aware that grey 9x24 wheels come in two different widths, which are clearly distinguishable if viewed side by side. Now at last I have reached the point where I can no longer resist cataloguing these, as I have some models in my collection already which differ only by these wheel widths.

Of the following five models I have examples which have either only narrow or only wide wheels:

22b Vauxhall Cresta:

23c Bluebird Dauphine:

33b Ford Zephyr:

39b Pontiac Convertible:

74a Mobile Canteen:

But it is not a big surprise that there are more complicated cases too:

These two 10c Foden Sugar Container Trucks feature combinations of 9x20 and narrow 9x24 wheels and of narrow and wide 9x24 wheels, respectively:

One of these 27c Cadillacs has one single narrow wheel combined with three wide wheels, while the other has four wide wheels:

One of these 40b Royal Tiger Coaches has narrow wheels on the front and wide wheels on the rear axle, the other has four narrow wheels:

The maroon 53b Mercedes 220 SE in this picture has combinations of narrow and wide wheels on both axles, while the dark red one has four wide wheels:

These two 75a Thunderbirds each have different wheels between their front and rear axles - one wide front, narrow rear, the other narrow front, wide rear:

It is not very easy to see in the pictures, but the narrow wheels on the 27c and 75a (not on the other models) have also slightly smaller diameters than the wider ones. After a hard decision-making process I have decided to distinguish these as well and to call them "GPW 8.5x24".

For the 9x24 wheels I have introduced a third figure denoting the wheel width, so I now call them "GPW 9x24x2.5" and "GPW 9x24x3", respectively, although these measurements are only approximate. In my own catalogue listings I have introduced this for all models which come with these wheels, and there are no fewer than 27 of them.

Here is a list of these 27 models with the widths of GPW 9x24 (or 8.5x24) which I have in my own collection:

07b Ford Anglia: narrow
10c Foden Sugar Container Truck: mixed
21c Commer Bottle Float: narrow
22b Vauxhall Cresta: narrow and wide
23c Bluebird Dauphine: narrow and wide
25b Volkswagen 1200: none
27c Cadillac Sixty Special: wide and mixed
29b Austin Cambridge: wide
30b Magirus-Deutz Crane: wide
31b Ford Station Wagon: wide
33b Ford Zephyr: narrow and wide
38b Vauxhall Victor Estate: narrow
39b Pontiac Convertible: narrow and wide
40b Leyland Royal Tiger Coach: narrow and mixed
41b Jaguar D Type: narrow
44b Rolls-Royce Phantom V: wide
45a Vauxhall Victor: narrow
46b Guy Removal Van: none
50a Commer Pickup: narrow
53b Mercedes 220 SE: wide and mixed
55b Ford Fairlane Police Car: none
57b Chevrolet Impala: narrow
59b Ford Fairlane Fire Chief Car: wide
60a Morris Pickup: none
70a Ford Thames Estate: narrow
74a Mobile Canteen: narrow and wide
75a Ford Thunderbird: mixed

The fact that on most of these models grey wheels are less common than either silver or black wheels does not help with arriving at a meaningful list.

This inevitably leads to the followup question whether similar width differences exist on other wheels too. I have had a look at silver and black 9x24 wheels, and also at 9x20 wheels of all three colours and have not noticed any significant differences; they all seem to be on the narrow side. However I have not made a comprehensive, exhaustive survey of those, and it is still possible that there are more differences which I have not noticed.

By the way, it is noteworthy that Stannard (and consequently Nick Jones too) lists black 8.5x24 wheels on one model only, this being the 46b Guy Removal Van. I have never noticed such smaller black wheels and until now doubted their existence. But as I have now positively identified grey 8.5x24 wheels, I suppose black ones may well exist too, but if they do, then probably on more than just the one model. Any further insight on this (particularly a comparison picture of 8.5x24 and 9x24 wheels) would be very welcome!

Finally, I now think it would be a good idea to generally record wheel widths for absolutely all regular wheel models, just as we do for Superfast models (on which the width differences are much more obvious though). However, that would be a major task, and I am not sure if I will ever find the time for it.
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Re: Different widths of grey 9x24 wheels

Postby Idris » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:43 pm

Thank you for starting this topic, Christian, and for getting it off to a flying start with such an excellent set of illustrative photographs.
Different wheel widths have cropped up occasionally in model discussions on the Forum (and I'm pretty sure that BPW were mentioned in this context) but, up until now, no one has seen fit to run with the subject.
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Re: Different widths of grey 9x24 wheels

Postby MatchboxFreak » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:59 am

Thank you Christian for raising this topic.

I’ve noticed thick and thinner grey wheels before but have not made comprehensive notes in the the past. I will have to make a survey of my collection and share the data.

Is it possible that Lesney occasionally outsourced wheels from outside vendors who used different mounds?
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Re: Different widths of grey 9x24 wheels

Postby ChFalkensteiner » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:14 am

MatchboxFreak wrote:Is it possible that Lesney occasionally outsourced wheels from outside vendors who used different mounds?

I am not aware of any such occurrence, and it seems unlikely to me.

Besides I have noticed that, while all of those models with grey 9x24 wheels were made in 1963 and 1964, those with narrow wheels tend to be slightly earlier variations than those with wide wheels.

For example the maroon 53b has partly narrow wheels while the dark red 53b has all wide wheels, the 74a with narrow wheels has a rounded tow hitch foot while the 74a with wide wheels has a square tow hitch foot, the 44b which was only introduced in 1964 and is therefore the most recent of all models mentioned here has wide wheels, and so on.

This seems to indicate that at some point in the production process, the narrow wheels gave way to the wide wheels, similar to solid Superfast wheels giving way to hollow Superfast wheels about six years later: there was some overlap of wheel type usage, but still a sort of timeline is noticeable.
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Re: Different widths of grey 9x24 wheels

Postby kwakers » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:39 am

The 38 Vauxhall Wagon is commonly found with a mixture of both narrow and wide GPW wheels on it also Christian. I found a Mint example with that mix in our stores in the 60s, and also bought a second about 10 years ago from a U.K. Forum member who had it listed and pictured on E Bay. I tried to get that Seller/Forum member to send that second one to Nick Jones to feature in his OOPS pages, but he refused and sent it all the way to me in upstate NY instead. You may want to add a note (on your very detailed listing of wheel types) that the GPW wider wheels were available on that one also. Cheers! Kwakers
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Re: Different widths of grey 9x24 wheels

Postby matchbox_n_molars » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:31 am

Here is a link to a short thread I started back in September of 2016 with reference to different widths on 9x20 GPW and SPW on assorted 57B Impala models.

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Re: Different widths of grey 9x24 wheels

Postby GHOSTHUNTER » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:59 pm

#44a, Silver Cloud also exists with Two recordable Grey plastic wheel widths, but never brought this to the forum as finding the Three shades of Grey plastic wheels seemed enough to worry about at the time I posted a picture... :D

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