Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Replacement Parts for a Small Hubley Airflow

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Replacement Parts 
for a Small Hubley Airflow

   The last toy that I purchased was a Hubley cast iron Airflow. The original car was made by Chrysler, but wasn't a success. Production only lasted about 3 years. But it was a beautiful car, and if you do a search through my blog, or go on the Net, you will see just how beautiful this car was.  Ironically, almost every one of the major toy manufacturers of the time (e.g. Hubley, Arcade, Kingsbury for example) made these Airflow toys, and the total number of these toys was probably at least a million or more!. Any one of the Airflow toys is one of my favourites just for its elegant design.

  I ordered replacement parts for this Hubley (5"/125mm in length) since it came with the parts missing.

Part I - The Hubley with missing parts

The toy came with 3 hubs and a few white tires, but I decoded to replace everything.
If I didn't, the combination of old and new would look out of place and irregular.  
However, in the end, I kept one old red wooden hub. I'll explain the reason for that at the end.

The above part is the underneath chassis. It was a patented designed past that allowed the wheels to be attached to it. The attachment of the underside chassis with the frame was quite unique. By attaching the rubber tire to the red wooden hub at the rear of the car (the spare tire), the 2 parts stayed together. You'll be able to better understand and see what I'm talking about with the next sequence of photos.

Part II - The ordered missing parts

The left part of the photo is the back of the car. The 2 rims are loose and can fall off. 
However,when they are attached together into the car, the rear fenders that completely cover the tire hold them in place. The reason the rear tires and hubs can fall off is that the axle is not hammered at either end.

The front axle is id different. It is rounded at one end to keep both hubs and tires on the axle. The reason, is because there axles are exposed, so that unless the ends of the axles are carefully hammered with a ball-head hammer, they can fall off.

I had to carefully drill through the hubs to slightly widen the diameter of the holes through their centres. I then used a small amount of ayer to soften the wood, and carefully moved the wooden hubs along the axle. 

To get the rubber (they might be silicone-rubber combinations) tires on to the  wooden red hubs, I warmed them up slightly and used a mild soap to slip them on the axles. I then carefully fired any excess water so that the ere would not be any dripping. However, the wood hubs are painted quite well, and there wasn't any dripping of paint from the water.

The 2 photos above show you how the 2 pieces of the cast iron car fit together.

Once the rubber tire is placed on the metal "hub) at the back of the car, the 2 parts of the car are firmly attached together. The larger diameter white tire acts like a nut to firmly hold the car together.
The idea is so simple, but unique - hence the patent to Hubley for the idea and design.

For now, I'm leaving the well-aged and scratched and rusted toy "as is". You can see what a beautiful toy this was and still is. Hubley made many different sizes of this car, and they all are great. There was even one with a battery and front headlights. That is one of the more expensive and sought after Chrysler Airflows.

If you look at the last photo, that red hub is the original. I left it there because I didn't want to chase breaking one the the replacement wooden hubs by drilling, and then getting then on to the front axle. As it turned out, the work was much simpler.

Of course, an easier way would have been to simply buy a new front axle altogether. 
But then again, I like a small challenge. What fun would there be if I replaced every part on this 80 year old toy?

Thanks for visiting,
and have a great day, 
wherever you may be,

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