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:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Guys, here's my 2 cents - Magster was a wheel company that advertised in Hot Rod Magazine around 1965 through maybe 1968 - the ad was tiny, maybe about an 1 1/2 tall - they pictured two wheels: a five spoke Torque Thrust style and the other, a five spoke wheel with what I would describe as a flet spoke - I was thirteen when my dad brought home a '61 Falcon that someone at work sold him for $50.00 - he assured me it would be mine when I turned sixteen, all I had to do was keep it clean and not let any grass grow around it - boy, did I have fantasies about building my very first hot rod - so, there I am thumbing through a Hot Rod magazine and I spot the Magsters - sadly for me, the damned Falcon had four lug wheels! Hey, I was thirteen... Eleven years ago, when I was forty six, I came across a set of four Magsters up in Wisconsin - still haven't been able to find too much about them, so it's time to cut them loose - eBay for a bigger audience - thanks for the read