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MG TD TF 1500 - Bolt-on wire wheels ?

A few days after my Silver Streak Grey question, another item has come up which puzzles me. On Chris Couper's highly informative web-site, I found an interesting photo of a slightly "customized" TD which appears to have bolt-on wire wheels ???!!! I've searched my own archive and this photo comes from an article in the July 1952 issue of "AUTO" magazine under the heading: "Just For You - MG Accessories". So it looks as if bolt-on wire wheels were available as an accessory in the USA during the fifties. Now before someone says they are just rim embellishers or hubcaps: if you enlarge the photo you can clearly see that the spokes are fixed to the centre line of the rim and therefore appear to have more than an ornamental function. So, are these indeed bolt-on accessories or are the wheels adapted 1930's American sedan item's and is the TD a one-off ??
Does someone know if there are still bolt-on wires available foor the TD ?
The reason that I'm asking is that I think they look much better on the TD than centre-lock's, but that's of course a personal opinion... I've searched the BBS-archive but this subject is surrounded by mystery.
The photo is on:
Hope someone can add something.
Thanks, Nick 63 midget/52 TD.
D.G.J. Herwegh

About a week ago a set of four went for $150/ea on eBay. They were in very good shape and I particularly liked the spoke pattern. They were 4 1/2" wide and took the standard hubcap. I'm out of room for an extra set or they would be mine (while I looked for a fifth).
John Redman


Not a mystery.

Until several years ago, Boranni offered a set of bolt-on wire wheels originnaly developed for the 1900 and later the 2000 and the 2600; for several cars - the type 750/101 Alfa and the TD/TF amongst others. I have a type 750 Alfa Spyder and occasionnaly in Europe, one with Borranis could be seen on the streets. And the Borrani wire wheels look quite classy over those great big finned front drums!

A splined adapter hub was fitted over the wheel bolts so that the bolts would be nested (concealed) in the 'dip' of the wheel hub (not the adapter hub). With the adapter with the splines bolted in place, the wire wheel could be slipped on, and secured with the traditionnal knock-on spinner and the appearance would be normal.

I know this because I went to the Borrani factory (just outside Milano) in 1998 and I still have their catalogue. I never bought a set as they were wickedly expensive.

I believe too that Dayton at one time offered this and perhaps even Moss and going back quite a bit further, in America, Runyon(?) and possibly S.H. Arnolt if I recall correctly; although I can find no reference to any continued availability.

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.
Gordon A. Clark


I have a couple of pictures of a car offered at ebay some months ago, with bolt-on chrome wire wheels. The wheels are attached directly to the drums with five visible chrome bolts and they have dummy (I suppose) knock-offs. From a certain distance, they should look exactly as plain wire wheels.

If you want to look at the pictures, just email me.

Jesus Benajes

Here is the auction link from the set John mentioned above.

Evan Ford - TD 27621

Hello Nick

My 52 TD is on wire wheels.
email me at
if you want to know more


Hallo Nick

Mijn '52 TD staat op spaakwielen
email me op
als je meer wil weten.


Erik Erik

In the above there is some confusion about "Bolt On".
There are three ways to add wire wheels to a TD:

1) Use TF wire wheel hubs and brake drums. Some conversion kits do this.

2) Use "bolt on" splined hubs that bolt on the disk wheel drums and use standard splined wire wheels.
Both Dayton and Moss sell this kit.

3) Use a "bolt on" wire wheel that bolts directly to the disk wheel drum with lug nuts.

These are rare and hard to find ( If Borani, expensive beyond belief)

The best choice is 1) for good driving

All are expensive!
Don Harmer

Thank you very much all of you who contributed. In less than 48 hours I know exactly what I wanted to know. This is really a very helpful forum with lots of knowledge !
Indeed Don, I wanted to know if there ever were bolt-on wire wheels available that bolt directly to the brake-drums using the standard lug nuts (your option 3). And indeed (Evan, John) this is the exact type which I meant !!! What's more: though apparently as rare as hen's teeth, they even come up for sale on e-bay !!!
Boranni's are beautifully made and of the highest possible quality but they are unfortunately ruled out because they still look like a knock-off. Since I'm still busy with my 63 Midget, I can look around for them in the next year or two before starting on the TD. This will be the most daunting part of my TD project I think; especially finding them here in Holland(?). Most important is the fact that the car on Chris Couper's web-site, was not a one-off and that such wheels DO exist and occassionally even come up for sale. Again thanks a lot everyone !!!
Cheers, Nick 63 Midget/52 TD.
D.G.J. Herwegh

Here are some more.


Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.
Gordon A. Clark

... sorry. I erred in the URL. It should be:-

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.
Gordon A. Clark

This thread was discussed between 02/02/2005 and 03/02/2005

MG TD TF 1500 index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG TD TF 1500 BBS is active now.