The Rudge Quest

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Adam Wright
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The Rudge Quest

#1 Post by Adam Wright » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:59 pm

Some of you may remember the Fudge Rudges I did a few years ago, that was a fun ride.

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=31118&hilit=fudge

I had often thought of building a set of Rudges but the cost of entry to that party is so high I wasn't pursuing it very hard. But all trees start with a seed. The seed in this case was a gearbox that popped up that had B Rudge Drums on it, and one rough spinner. I picked it up in FL on one of my trips. Not sure what I would do with it but we always use gearboxes and the drums were interesting, if nothing else. In the back of my mind I started thinking of building a set. Several months later I saw an ad in one of the club classifieds for a single Rudge at a decent price, so I bought it. I now had one wheel, two drums, and one spinner, so I had a long way to go. I figured more Rudge stuff would float by...so I waited, and waited and waited some more. No more Rudge stuff was popping up, and I see a fair amount of parts. A friend was going to the lit meet this year and I told him to be on the lookout for any Rudge stuff. He called and said a guy had one Rudge wheel and some misc. pieces, but the price was a little jaw dropping. I had to think. After careful thought I said buy it, after trying to negotiate in vain, I paid close to the seller's asking, and it hurt. I now had two wheels, three hubs, and three spinners for anyone keeping count. In order to keep the momentum going I put out the word to anyone and everyone that I was buying, and now that I better understood the Rudge Market I paid market, which still hurt, but I was getting used to the sticker shock. I was able to pick up a third wheel from a friend and finally secured a 4th through a well known dealer on the West Coast. The plan now is to send all my components to Martin "That Guy In Colorado" Willis and see if he can make chicken salad out of the chicken poop I'm sending him. I'm confident he can make it work, his reputation as a miracle worker is well known.
Also, since my car is by no means a show queen I've decided to keep them un-restored, and I can finally get the fake ones off my car.
Stay tuned.
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Craig Richter
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Re: The Rudge Quest

#2 Post by Craig Richter » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:27 am

Hi Adam,
Jack has a fairly nice and complete set of 5 for sale that came off a '55 he calls "Bernie". Obviously, because the car had an engine fire and burned. The owner now needs to sell the wheels to help finance restoring the car. He's asking like 40k. I post this not as an ad, but to show everyone how much those heavy old clunkers are worth today. That's almost what I paid for Speedy 20 years ago!
 

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Adam Wright
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Re: The Rudge Quest

#3 Post by Adam Wright » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:41 am

Craig Richter wrote:Hi Adam,
Jack has a fairly nice and complete set of 5 for sale that came off a '55 he calls "Bernie". Obviously, because the car had an engine fire and burned. The owner now needs to sell the wheels to help finance restoring the car. He's asking like 40k. I post this not as an ad, but to show everyone how much those heavy old clunkers are worth today. That's almost what I paid for Speedy 20 years ago!

The last set I sold was for around $7000, but that was over 6-7 years ago. It used to be about $20,000-25,000 as a going rate, that has about doubled in the last few years. Had I known I would have bought a few years back, or not sold the set I had. But you can't foresee everything in this business. At least Freddie enjoys the set I sold him.
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Dick Roth
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Re: The Rudge Quest

#4 Post by Dick Roth » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:44 pm

Those are 356B Rudge drums, as you may know..."A" drums do not have those vestigial fins on the circumference. Good luck in your quest,,,

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Re: The Rudge Quest

#5 Post by Edwin Ek » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:52 am

If only they weren't so darn heavy ...
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Adam Wright
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Re: The Rudge Quest

#6 Post by Adam Wright » Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:33 pm

Edwin Ek wrote:If only they weren't so darn heavy ...
You're right Ed, they are really going to slow me down when I'm racing the rice rockets in the quarter mile...

If Rudge's were good enough for Steve McQueen, they're good enough for me.
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Re: The Rudge Quest

#7 Post by Edwin Ek » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:40 pm

More about the cornering ...
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Re: The Rudge Quest

#8 Post by Adam Wright » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:50 pm

Edwin Ek wrote:More about the cornering ...
I'll find out in a few months, I can see if there is a discernible difference, I'll report back.
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Re: The Rudge Quest

#9 Post by Dick Roth » Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:11 pm

If you were seriously racing a vintage 356, you would ideally want Tecnomagnesio wheels for strength and minimal unsprung weight, but for hacking around and road sport driving, the Rudges are fine, although you will immediately feel the greater effort required at the wheel. Personally I was more that satisfied with the tradeoff between that and the unique look of the Rudge setup. That's my black '58 speedster on the opening image flips on the Registry Site, taken on the track at Lime Rock. Careful observers will note the 185x15 XWX's mounted on 5 1/2" rims.
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Re: The Rudge Quest

#10 Post by Dick Roth » Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:23 pm

Just to follow up on the wheels for racing...Alloy/steel factory wheels are great of course, but are old and expensive. They are prone to cracking at the lugs,especially with the added side loads from modern racing rubber compounds available today, even in the vintage patterns.
When I raced my RSK we never used puck type spacers, just a properly machined ring to contact as much of the wheel flat as possible.

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Re: The Rudge Quest

#11 Post by VinceFinaldi » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:44 pm

Adam, stay persistent and you will complete your quest. I also passed on a couple sets a few years ago, and when I sourced my matched set with spare, hubs and spinners this year, I paid double what I could have bought them for then. In my opinion, they will always be worth at least what I bought them for, and more likely than not they will continue to increase in value. I love mine, and although everyone seems to complain about how "heavy" they are, from my experience, I can't tell the difference one bit. In fact, if anything, the slight heavier weight makes it roll just a tad smoother. And a whole lot "cooler" 8)
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Re: The Rudge Quest

#12 Post by Dick Roth » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:34 am

Lovely car, Vince. Makes me want to hop in and take off down that road.

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Adam Wright
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Re: The Rudge Quest

#13 Post by Adam Wright » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:44 am

The circle is now complete, the 4th wheel arrived today.
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Re: The Rudge Quest

#14 Post by Edwin Ek » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:48 am

Dick,

Did you customize the wheels (change outers) to give the 5.5" width?
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Adam Wright
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Re: The Rudge Quest

#15 Post by Adam Wright » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:49 am

If anyone wants some 5.5's Trevor, on this board, has some for sale right now.
I always need stories for my Barn Find column in the magazine, if you have a good story to share, please let me know.

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