Friday, March 6, 2015

How wheel variations can occur, and some of our faves from the Lamley collection...

It has been a bit too long since we pulled out the wheel variation collection.

It makes sense that every once in awhile the carded variations emerge from their secret bin and see the light of day.  Mainly for me to remember what I have, and to add a couple more to the collection.

It isn't very big.  I like it that way.  Variations used to be an unhealthy obsession, so several years ago I got rid of most of them.  Now, I just try to add the occasional wheel vari on a favorite casting to the mix when I can.  I am especially happy to add them if am lucky to actually find one (which does not happen that often).

But they are cool.  Wheel variations are that little curve ball in the collecting world that can be fun to try and go after.  Some wheel varis are quite common, while others extremely rare.  Ever wonder how wheel variations occur?

We have gotten that question a lot, and while there are million factors to what might cause a wheel variation, there are two main reasons:

  1. A running change.  That means there was a specific reason to change the wheels.  That could come from the designers, who after seeing one wheel, decide to go with another.  But most likely it is due to supplies in the factory.  One wheel is not available, so another is used.  These circumstances tend to create wheel variations that are fairly common.
  2. A stop gap.  Remember this video from last week?  It showed the wheels getting produced.  They are produced in a separate area of the factory, and carted over to the line for assembly.  Occasionally, for whatever reason, the production line might run out of the slated wheel before the model's production is over.  The line never stops, so a different type of wheel that is available will be used as a substitute until the correct wheels arrive.  This could lead to a particular wheel variation being found in one area of the world in not in others.  The stop gap was short, and those few models with the other wheels were packed together.

Of course sometimes a few random wheels get mixed in the proper wheels, or some clever assembly worker decides to have some fun, and little things like that can send the collecting world into a frenzy.  Such fun, eh?

Whatever the cause, we love our variations.

So, since I got mine out, I decided to take a few photos, and share them here.  Some of these will be familiar to many of you, others maybe not.  Some are extremely rare, others just highly sought after, but all are on castings that I really like.  That is why you will see a heavy emphasis on JDM and BMW.

There are other wheel variations in the collection, but either they are loose or in another case.  One of these days I will find those, and add them to the protected collection.

My faves?  Hard to say, but if I had to choose, I would seriously consider the BMW 2002 in white with PR5 wheels, the 10p R32 Skyline, the Toyota 2000GT with PR5, and that ever elusive lace-wheel Cadillac CTS.  But they are all runners-up to the Honda S2000 Super Treasure Hunt with 5-point Real Riders.  It remains the only legit Super TH wheel variation, and looks cool to boot.  That will always be my favorite.

As for the others, can you guess all the variations?


  1. I love the variations and am trying to collect all of them...

  2. I found the Red Rx-7 with OH5 wheel variation last week at a dollar general

  3. I have that honda s2000 with 5-point Real Riders in one axle AND correct wheels in the other, that must be really rare ;-)

  4. only legit STH wheel Variation? How about the Boneshaker and the Brutalistic. To common for an error I think