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An Early Accessory Lock
The Miller-Chapman Company of Los Angeles was the most significant manufacurer of wheel locks. Patented in 1914, their wheel locks were produced in more than twenty different sizes and configurations, ranging from 3" to 5", for wood spoke wheels, wire wheels, and disk wheels.

The purpose of this lock was not to protect the tire or the wheel, but to prevent (or discourage) theft of the car by preventing "rapid running of the machine due to irregular movement of the wheel." Additionally, it was said that the track of the car could be traced by following the indentations in the road.

Weakness Exploited
The original unit just wrapped around the wheel, as in the photo at right. It didn't take long for thieves to realize they could defeat the lock by deflating the tire, turning the lock sideways, and reinflating the tire. (Because tires of the 1920's did not maintain air pressure well, it was not uncommon for drivers to carry tire pumps - in fact some drivers had them built into the engine.)

Added Protection
To combat this weakness, manufacturers modified their wheel locks by adding the ability to wrap the lock around a spoke, or by adding additional spikes around the perimeter of the lock.

Accessory Locks for Antique Cars

Wheel Locks

wheel lock in place
An e-bay photo showing a wheel lock in place.
different sized wheel locks
The smallest next to a very large wheel lock.
a three inch wheel lock
This 3" wheel lock was for clincher rim, Ford type wood wheel.
a four and a half inch wheel lock
A 4 1/2" for cord tires on wood wheels.
a padlocked wheel lock
A less expensive unit used the owner's padlock.
wheel lock for spike
The Green Lock Company made this unit to wrap around a wooden spoke.
spike wheel lock
A 3 1/2" unit by unknown manufacturer with spikes.
spike wheel lock open
The same unit as at left, showing the ability to wrap around a spoke.
spike wheel lock with balls
This 4" unit with balled spikes was patented on 4/26/21.
roller wheel lock
This unusual roller type wheel lock is an e-bay photo. It was designed to allow limited emergency movement of the parked car.
wheel lock for disc wheel
A ratcheting disk wheel lock.
wheel lock for disc wheel
This is a disk wheel lock, missing its adjustable rod, from e-bay.
noise making wheel lock
Another unusual wheel lock from e-bay. The plunger at right activated the circular noise maker.
wheel lock - rounded end
The rounded endat left was designed to accept a spoke adapter piece.
Tire 1 Tire 2 Tire 3 Tire 4 Tire 5 Nut 1 Nut 2 Padlock 1 Padlock 2 Wheel 1 Ignition 1