Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Junkyard find: Magster wheel, Halibrand worthy?


A trip to the junkyard may reveal a peak at hot rod history. I ran across this Magster wheel on a recent parts pulling adventure. In the 1950s magnesium alloy rims, a.k.a. mag wheels, hit the  market. They were intended to save weight and help drag racers go faster. Guys without the know-how or cash to make their car fast, still wanted to look fast. The cheapest way to do that – bolt on a set of mag wheels. A trend was born. 

Dozens of mag wheels designs have been launched over the years. Halibrand, Torq-Thrust, Cragar S/S, Slot, and E-T are a few of the brands and types of mags which have reached mass appeal. Fast forward 50 years and quality vintage Halibrands fetch $500 or more, each. I knew the curb appeal of this Magster wheel was lacking. It definitely exuded a 1960s vibe, could it bring Halibrand bucks? I didn’t buy it. I would like to blame the wide whitewall tire for taking a bit of the charm away. 

So, what did I miss out on and where does that leave our lonely Magster? I don’t know anything about the origins or even if the center cap was telling the truth. The wheel was bolted to a 1975 Buick Century. A battered land yacht waiting for the crusher. Should I have saved it? What was it worth? I should have pulled the rim off and photographed the back of the wheel as well. One photo is all I have. If you know anything about these rims, leave a comment or send me an email at junkyardlife.

More junkyard adventure below: