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Author Topic: Wheels used on Trans-Am Camaros  (Read 28535 times)
Jon Mello
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« on: March 29, 2011, 10:42:34 PM »

How about some 15x8" 5-spoke magnesium American mags direct from GM with the
original box crate they came in? Pretty doggone cool !






Photos: Gary Morgan Collection
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 01:08:53 AM »

That is something I haven't seen before. Surely very telling that they came in a wooden box. they were taking race parts very seriously.

Are thes still NOS ?

Bruce.
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cuda48
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2011, 08:40:47 PM »

Those are really cool to look at, especially in the box with the original labels.  I don't know if I'd want to run on them though. 

Mike
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2011, 10:16:57 PM »

I think Gary used them and they are not NOS but I have asked and will let you know.

Yes, these are truly very cool to look at but magnesium gets brittle with age. I've seen people race with these 40+ year old mags but it might not be the wisest thing to do.
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2011, 10:40:08 PM »

15x8" magnesium version of the American 200-S, sometimes referred to as the "Daisy" mag. This mag first came out in time for the start of the '69 Trans-Am season and was primarily being used by the factory-backed Boss 302 Mustangs but they quickly switched to Minilites. Others who used the 200-S for at least part of the season were Craig Fisher in a '69 Camaro and Bob Tullius in a Javelin.


Photo by Lance Smith
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2011, 01:25:22 PM »

Those are really cool to look at, especially in the box with the original labels.  I don't know if I'd want to run on them though. 
Mike

Mike..........We ran the original magnesium wheels on the SFR SCCA/A Sedan that I crewed on.  Started out with many.  By the time we went to GT1 & needed 10" rims, the Americans were only good for show.

Steve
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2011, 01:47:38 PM »

Can you guys answer a question for me?  I was told that in the name of the wheel American 200S, the S stands for Shelby...is that true? 

Mike Camicia
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2011, 03:51:36 PM »

Mike,

Ask & ye shall find...............or at the least, get an answer.  Follow this link & scroll down the page:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:HgPBnQOIELEJ:www.roadsters.com/wheels/+history+of+American+Racing+Wheels+Daisy+200S&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a&source=www.google.com

Cheers!
Steve
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2011, 04:19:26 PM »

Thanks for the link Steve.
  I thought that it didn't stand for Shelby...heck he would have had his name all over it and sued folks for copying it if it had been his.  Ironically he DID copy it for his own wheel company many years ago. 
The story with the 200-S wheels is that they would break under severe loading on the fronts and this cost Ford a couple of races.  They switched to Minilites and the problem was gone.  If you look around you'll find some photos of the 69' Bud Moore cars with Minilites on the fronts with the 200-S's on the rears.  Later they ran Minilites all around and stuck with them for 1970.  I've heard that Mark Donohue knew that the Minilites were a stronger and proven wheel so he ran them starting in 69'. For 1970 he tried to use only 4 lug nuts on the Javelin (faster pit stops) but the SCCA made him change them back to 5 lug.  Those very wheels are on a bunch of cars out there right now!  You can see where they plugged the lug holes and re-drilled em!

Mike
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cuda48
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2011, 04:24:18 PM »

Like these
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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2011, 05:24:11 PM »

Mike..........I ran across a few of the plugged wheels.  I never knew about them until we took some Minilites to S&T Racing to have the steel inserts put in for the wheel nuts.  Then we heard the story. I don't know about the 200S wheels breaking.  However, we never had any of the "original" magnesium wheels fail.  With that said, I personally don't think that would have survived after we went to the 6 litre motor. 

Steve
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2011, 05:43:48 PM »

I knew about Donohue running the 4-lug pattern for part of the '70 season but had not noticed any of these plugged Minilites being used on current vintage race cars. Cool picture. Thanks for posting it. The Bud Moore Mustangs did run the 200-S wheels on the front at Laguna Seca late in the '69 season so I'm not sure what they were thinking with regard to choosing between them and the Minilites.

As for the S in 200-S standing for Shelby, I never heard that story. However, the "Libre" wheel that was made by American Racing was kind of a junior 200-S but with 4-spokes instead of 5. These were meant for smaller cars like Datsuns, Triumphs, etc. Some of these "Libre" wheels had the name Shelby cast into them but these were Shelby copies of the American Libre wheel. Just taking a wild guess, it could be that some people have seen the Shelby name on these 4-spoke wheels and somehow associated it with the 200-S.


Libre mag wheel
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2011, 07:56:56 PM »

what was the common race wheel for the 67/68 camaros? I was thinking of takeing the redlines off Jon and getting tourqe thrusts for my 67Z.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2011, 10:57:09 PM »

Ron, it is the 5-spoke Torq-Thrust D if you are wanting to replicate the look of the car for the first few years of the Trans-Am series. Not the current wheel that American calls the Torq-Thrust D but the vintage one. The Minilite probably became the more popular wheel by the early '70s. I even think the 200-S looks good on these cars but it was not as popular as the other two. There were some others also and they will get posted eventually. I can help you find a set of authentic Torq-Thrust D's if you want but they are a fairy expensive wheel. PS Engineering also offers a reproduction version.

Getting back to vintage magnesium Torq-Thrusts still in action, here are some that are owned by Ken Epsman and in use on Walt Boeninger's '67 Trans-Am Mustang. These are originals from the Bud Moore Cougar team. Notice the date stamp of 8 67.



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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2011, 10:11:50 AM »

I was gonna say those are Walt's!  It was common for the teams to mark their wheels, like the Cougar team.  Dan Gurney's had AAR and a number for the set # stamped on them.  Then there were some cheater sets.  There were some 9 inch wide wheels that mixed into the bunch.  Remember the rules stated 8 inches as the maximum width. I believe the 9 inchers were were found to be Javelin wheels.  Hmmmm

Mike
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« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2011, 12:49:20 PM »

I'm glad that the photos of the Cougar wheels were posted.  It reminded me that I have some of the extra long wheel nuts tucked away.........like 2 or 3 car sets.  Note to self....find them!

Steve
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« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2011, 05:44:15 PM »

Hello Mike,

I have a set of the cheater 15" X 9" magnesium Torq-Thrust "D" wheels that are on the back of my '66 Shelby B-Production car.  The outside wheel lip looks like a standard 7" or 8" wheel, but the extra width is all on the in-board side.  Since I don't run the car with vintage racing orgs, I've not felt the need to put the car back to a legal wheel width.

My cheater wheels are stamped/dated 6  67  (June '67) on the center cap mounting flange.  The previous owner of my Shelby said that he bought them from Bud Moore, but I have no way to confirm that.

I can take a picture when I get to the car, if others are interested.  They are 4 on 4 1/2" bolt pattern, so perhaps they're not as interesting or appropriate to a first gen Camaro forum.

-Chad
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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2011, 12:48:13 AM »

I believe the best real magnesium wheels being made for early Trans-Am era cars come from Ray Frankin at Vintage Engineering.  Ray's Torq-Thrust and Minilite style wheels are incredibly accurate, and the raw material and casting quality is the best I've seen.

I have an unused set of original magnesium Minilites that have never been without paint, and have never seen rain or moisture.  The casting quality of these original Minilites is nice, but the Vintage Engineering wheels have a much tighter "grain."  I guess others might describe the Vintage Engineering wheels as having much less visible porosity.

I've attached a picture of one of Ray's wheels in bare magnesium, though treated with DOW 7.  I wish I could post a larger image size to this forum, because a higher resolution would better illustrate the quality of the casting.

Vintage Engineering's site, and much of their other efforts with McLaren and Lola castings and parts can be seen here:

  http://vintageeng.com/MagWheelsProduct.html

Ray doesn't feature his Trans-Am style wheels prominently on his site, but I'm sure he can provide you more detailed shots for those interested.

-Chad
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2011, 01:39:22 AM »

Chad, Thanks for posting the pics of the Vintage Engineering Minilites and the link to the website. They sure look like high quality wheels.
Since you have posted full view pics of the front and back sides already, a similar sized photo zoomed in on a spoke or other suitable area
should give us a good feel for the grain or porosity of the metal. I'd love to see the cheater wheels on your Shelby and I bet others
would too.
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« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2011, 08:07:36 AM »

Those newer wheels look very nice Chad.  I didn't know you had a Shelby too!  That's really cool about the cheater wheels though.  What ever they could get away with at the time is how it went. That's why I love reading hearing the tales from back in the day.  I'm jealous of Robert Barg. That would have been so much fun mixing it up with the big boys!

Camicia
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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2011, 11:14:18 PM »

Hello Mike and Jon,

Here are a couple pictures of my "cheater" 15 X 9 magnesium Torq-Thrust "D" wheels.  These are on the rear of my 1966 Shelby B-Production race car.  I only post these to a Camaro forum because Jon asked for them.

The measurement from the outboard center cap mounting flange to the outer lip is ~1 1/2".  The backspacing on these rims is ~5 1/2". 

The tires are Goodyear Blue Streak Sportscar Specials 6.00-15 that were generally available to vintage racers about 10 years ago.  I point the size of tire out because I'll later post a picture of the front wheels with the same size tire. 

These rear wheels would be illegal to run in west coast HMSA or General Racing events.

-Chad
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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2011, 11:30:14 PM »

Hello Mike and Jon,

Here is a picture of the 15 X 7 magnesium Torq-Thrust "D" wheels on the front of my 1966 Shelby B-Production race car.  Again, I only post these to a Camaro forum because Jon asked for them, and they help show what's cheater about the previously posted 15 X 9 wheels.

The backspacing on this rim is ~3 1/2".  The measurement from the outboard center cap mounting flange to the outer lip is ~1 1/2".   If you compare measurements, you'll see that the outboard wheel "lip" is roughly identical to the cheater 15 X 9 wheels noted and pictured above, but the back spacing is roughly 2" less. 

The tires are Goodyear Blue Streak Sports Car Specials, size 6.00-15.  These tires are the same as what's shown on the cheater 15 X 9 wheels above.  You should be able to see more of a tire sidewall bulge with these tires mounted on this narrower wheel.

-Chad
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« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2011, 12:05:13 AM »

Hello Jon,

On the Vintage Engineering Minilite style magnesium wheel, Ray still makes the casting with "texture" in the spokes (front and back).  If the spokes didn't have this, they just wouldn't look right.

Where you can really see the casting quality difference is in the machined areas.  I'm no metallurgist, but you can visibly see that the grain of the material is much tighter, without the porosity, or small air pocket voids that are visible here and there in both my used and unused original magnesium Minilites.

The picture of the wheel backside on the DOW 7 treated magnesium Minilite style wheels I posted above, specifically the machined hub mounting flange, best shows the casting and material quality I'm trying to point out with the Vintage Engineering wheels. 

Ray Franklin of Vintage Engineering was even careful to copy the slight machining of the outboard casted flats near the wheel lip for me.  Though not all original Minilites were finish machined this way, the original sets I have were, and I wanted these new wheels finished to match.

-Chad
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« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2011, 10:41:26 AM »

You know Chad, I have to laugh because it seems to me that the Tech Inspectors could take a tape measure and easily see that one wheel is an 8 incher and the other a 9, but I guess if you took a quick look and they appeared to be the same you wouldn't notice...except maybe the tire sidewall bulge...but folks were trying different tires all the time so who knows?
I've seen a cheater Javelin Minilite in person, same deal, looked identical from the outside, just wider.

You have to laugh,
Mike Camicia
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« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2011, 05:42:05 PM »

Hello Mike,

I agree with your assessment of how easily these wheels could be noticed by a tech inspector.  Though I know next to nothing of the old SCCA Trans-Am tech inspection process, and I'm not sure these wheels were ever used in competition, perhaps it would have been possible to never let the tech inspectors see them up close.  In other words, stash them in the trailer, and only use the cheater wheels:

  • During qualifying, after you've passed tech... And change them in the hot pits, within the session.  Don't start or finish the qualifying with the cheater wheels.
  • After the first pit stop within the race.  And preferably, get them back off the car before the end of the race.  With ~300 mile races, multiple pit stops were a reality.
 
Here are a couple more pictures of the wheels off the car.  Again, these wheels are both running the exact same tire.

Perhaps Mr. Barg can tell us if he believes they would have been possible to get these by an SCCA Trans-Am tech inspector.

-Chad
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« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2011, 06:14:32 PM »

Chad...The difference between the 7's & 9's is obvious.  Fit that tyre on an 8 inch rim, & it may not look too bad.  When I was involved with A-Sedans, I (much later) found that a couple of the fast drivers ran 9 inch wheels, only at selected events.   Even ran large motors, but that's for another thread.

I can't speak for early SCCA scrutineering, but I can pass on a mid-70's experience.  We were at Laguna Seca for a T/A event, with a car that had been, also, running IMSA.  The SCCA official (whose name escapes me now) went up to the driver, exchanged greetings, etc., then merely pointed to the left rear corner & said, "Just cover up the Camel decals, & you're set." 

Question for anyone, "Any truth to the story that in the early days of T/A (when post race weigh-ins included a spare tyre) Penske tossed in a water filled tyre?"  Robert Barg, where are you ?.....yes, I followed you here from TNF!

Cheers,
Steve
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« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2011, 09:37:34 PM »

Hi Steve,

I don't remember much about "cheater" wheels being used.  We were too busy to look at all the other racer wheels.  Our team used the 8 x 15 wheels, originally steel, then some Torque Thrusts.  The tire guys would have supplied the same size tire to all.

I think Timanus and company were probably too busy trying to find other "cheater" tricks.  He had his hands full with the factory guys, and probably didn't pay much attention to us privateer guys.

I have acquired a set of used Torque Thrusts that measure  15 x 8.5  Has anyone seen these before?  They were to be used on a 67 camaro T/A replica project by a friend of mine.  We have acquired a donor street car and some engine and tranny parts, but he has been taken ill and the project has been stalled, maybe for good.  The idea was to replicate just what I drove, not a fancy "modernized" vintage racer you see today.

Robert Barg
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2011, 09:22:42 AM »

Chad, really great photos and info. Thank you for taking the time and posting that. Does the total height (diameter) of the tire change much between the 7" and 9" wheel?

I saw a race report for the '67 Las Vegas Trans-Am which was very late in the racing season and the Bud Moore Cougars were shredding their tires on the leaf springs and having to make multiple pit stops. They said it was due to running larger rear tires than everybody else but it may have been due to thte usage of these wheels instead or a combination of both.

Steve, I have not heard of Penske doing that but have heard of Bud Moore putting water filled tires on his car for post race inspection. Something about a cement or lead filled helmet tossed in at the last second also.

Robert, the 15 x 8.5" American mags are not hard to find in the aluminum "straight spoke" design. In magnesium or with the original "D-spoke" design, I don't think I have seen or heard of one in that width. I'd love to see you with a replica of your old car someday.
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« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2011, 01:19:53 PM »

Hello Jon,

With 30lbs of air pressure each, and sitting on the ground with the weight of the car, the tire diameter was measured as:

  • 15 X 9 Cheater: 24 1/2" tall
  • 15 X 7: 24 7/8" tall

Again, both wheels using Goodyear Blue Streak Sports Car Specials (vintage race tires).

-Chad
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« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2011, 03:07:17 PM »

Not sure how others on this forum feel about all this modified raceing talk, but THANKS. Trans Am and Cam Am were my main interest in life in late 60's early 70's. You guys are making me remember lots of good stuff. Still have my first edition Chevrolt Racing? and still reread parts from time to time. A truley great time in raceing history, when there was still wiggle room in the rule book for interpretation. Thanks for starting all this!!
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« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2011, 09:54:08 PM »

Chad,
 That is an amazing photo showing the differences when mounting the same size tire on two different size rims! That is really hard to believe. Wow.

Mike
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2011, 08:38:09 AM »

Below are two 15x7" aluminum '60s era "D-spoke" mags. The wheel lips are different. The top one is definitely an American Racing
wheel as it says so on the back side. Who was the manufacturer of the one on the bottom? Were magnesium versions made in
both styles? Chad, from looking at the photos of your wheels, it looks like the 15x7" front wheels have the lip like what I have in
the bottom photo and the cheater 15x9" wheels have the true American-style lip. I don't think I had previously seen that on a real
magnesium D-spoke. I guess I'm wondering if somebody besides American Racing was making a magnesium D-spoke wheel. I have
heard no magnesium wheel has the American Racing script on the back side.


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« Reply #32 on: April 08, 2011, 10:53:06 AM »

Hello Jon,

I don't know the answer to your question.  There will surely be someone that visits this forum that does.

-Chad
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« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2011, 01:24:46 AM »

Hi Steve,

I have acquired a set of used Torque Thrusts that measure  15 x 8.5  Has anyone seen these before?  They were to be used on a 67 camaro T/A replica project by a friend of mine.  We have acquired a donor street car and some engine and tranny parts, but he has been taken ill and the project has been stalled, maybe for good.  The idea was to replicate just what I drove, not a fancy "modernized" vintage racer you see today.

Robert Barg

Robert

Are your wheels aluminum?

The 8.5 wide rims are common in the aluminum version of the Torque Thrusts wheel as well as the 200S version
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« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2011, 09:29:29 PM »

Not aluminum as far as I know - thought they were old style, but I don't have them - they are in storage with the old camaro project in Chehalis WA that we have now listed for sale.

Robert Barg
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« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2011, 05:31:46 PM »

Here's another magnesium wheel made by American Racing in a squared off 6-spoke design.
I think this wheel may have come out in 1971. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong. This wheel
was discontinued rather quickly from what I understand. I believe it may have been too easily
prone to cracking and breaking. If somebody has a better photo of one, please post it. This
particular mag is on a '68 Trans-Am Camaro once raced by Stan Bennett from the Pacific NW.
Stan had purchased it from a guy who had been Trans-Am racing it on the East Coast previously.

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« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2011, 06:43:37 PM »

Hello Jon,

I've had a couple knowledgeable folks refer to these wheels you show on the Stan Bennett Camaro as the American Racing "TA 70" wheel.  Some of the following cars ran/run them (with links to each car where more pictures of the wheels can be seen):


-Chad
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« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2011, 10:15:02 PM »

Another forum member noted that he could not view the link above to the Mike Folsom '70 Boss 302, now owned and run by Craig Conley.  Here is a link that shows multiple pictures of this car running both Minilites and the American Racing 6-spoke "TA 70" wheels.

http://www.historictransam.com/Drivers/CraigConley.htm

-Chad
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« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2011, 10:19:04 AM »

Thanks for those links, Chad. Below is a photo of the Jim Dodd Camaro at the St. Jovite
Trans-Am in July, 1970. This is the same Camaro that was sold to Stan Bennett, seen above.


Photo by Yves St. Jean at www.autocourse.ca
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« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2011, 06:29:34 PM »

Guys,
I thought that style of wheel was made by  the Motor Wheel Company.

Camicia
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« Reply #40 on: April 14, 2011, 08:30:41 PM »

Hello Mike,

The Motor Wheel Company "Spyder" has a similar look, but is definitely different than the American Racing 6-spoke ("TA 70") wheel noted above.  Here are a couple shots of the Motor Wheel Company "Spyder."


-Chad
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« Reply #41 on: April 15, 2011, 07:52:10 AM »

The Motor Wheel Spyder was one I had planned to put up. I'm not sure what year that
first became available but I don't recall seeing them on Trans-Am cars until about 1971.

Here's a super rare wheel, seen on the Vick Campbell Camaro at Sebring in 1967. It was
manufacturered by Creitz, who also made other performance equipment such as intake
manifolds.


Photo by Craig Fisher

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« Reply #42 on: April 15, 2011, 03:00:56 PM »

See...You can learn something new just by reading the comments on this forum.  All these years I thought those wheels were Motor Wheel variants and now I find out they were Americans!  Well I suppose they didn't make too many of em' because I've only seen a handful of cars with them.  I'd worry about them if they had a reputation for breaking.

  The other wheel you have to put up there Jon is the Cragar SS.  They sponsored Ron Grable and were used on Walt's Code Key Shelby...I'm sure some Camaro's too.

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« Reply #43 on: April 15, 2011, 03:43:50 PM »

Hello Mike,

Jon's note about the 6-spoke (TA 70) wheels being somewhat of a flawed design may well and truly be the case... but some folks feel differently:

A note from the BOSS302 forum, back in 2003, regarding the factory supported Mustangs use of wheels:

  • "To answer your original question, 69 teams used the 200S Americans and then the Minilites.  They were 15x8 and they both were Magnesium NOT aluminum.  The 200S had problems pulling the center out and were not used in 1970, just the Minilites.  American came out with a 6-spoke wheel TA-70 and it was much stronger, but they had lost the contract and teams by them, so too late."

But these are all magnesium wheels we're speaking about.  Several factors can lead to their demise.  They're so darn light and trick, so many of us are willing to give them a shot.

-Chad
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« Reply #44 on: April 15, 2011, 05:40:43 PM »

Chad,  You know, I don't know that for a fact about the "TA 70" wheel being prone to breakage. That's what I thought I remembered hearing about them but I may in fact be remembering the problems with the 200-S. Both wheels were made by American so that contributed to me making the declaration in the first place.

Mike,  I do remember the Cragars on the Dart and the Mustang so I agree they did actually get run in the T/A series by a small number of cars.
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« Reply #45 on: April 15, 2011, 05:41:09 PM »

Jon, the other supplier of the "D" spoke wheel was Appliance. It was almost identical to the American TTD except for two areas: the machined lip as you have shown, and the lug nut washer recess. The Appliance wheels were machined deeper than the Americans.  Both of these wheels were only manufactured in two sizes: 15 x 6 and 15 x 7, no 8" D-spokes were made in aluminum originally. Excluding the one wheel shown above I have only seen one other 8-1/2" TTD in magnesium. The American wheels have a backspacing of 3-3/4" for both widths, and the Appliance 6" wheels have a 3-5/8" backspacing whereas the 7" wheels are the same as the Americans...............................RatPack...............

***I corrected my measurements as I had posted front side measurements instead of the backspacing. Thanks to a member on here for pointing that out.
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« Reply #46 on: April 15, 2011, 09:00:36 PM »

Here's a photo of the Dick Hoffman Camaro with a set of Motor Wheel Spyders on it

Camicia
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« Reply #47 on: April 16, 2011, 10:42:01 AM »

Jon, the other supplier of the "D" spoke wheel was Appliance. It was almost identical to the American TTD except for two areas: the machined lip as you have shown, and the lug nut washer recess. The Appliance wheels were machined deeper than the Americans.  Both of these wheels were only manufactured in two sizes: 15 x 6 and 15 x 7, no 8" D-spokes were made in aluminum originally. Excluding the one wheel shown above I have only seen one other 8-1/2" TTD in magnesium. The 6" wheels each had different backspacing: American was 3-1/4" and the Appliance was 3-1/8". The 7" wheels from both manufacturers had 4-1/4" backspacing...............................RatPack...............

Thanks for the info, Troy. I will look for the backspace and machining differences on my pile of mags. I know for sure that they made an 8" wide magnesium D-spoke wheel as I owned one with a '67 or '68 date stamp on it and made the measurements personally. I had such a hard time finding even one more that I ended up selling the wheel to Chad. Hey Chad, do you still own that wheel?
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« Reply #48 on: April 16, 2011, 10:50:47 AM »

Here's a photo of the Dick Hoffman Camaro with a set of Motor Wheel Spyders on it

Camicia

Mike, besides the Milt Minter Firebird, the Hoffman Camaro was the other one I had remembered using the Spyder wheels. Others may have used them but those are two cars I remember using them for sure.
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« Reply #49 on: April 16, 2011, 11:30:08 AM »

Jon, yeah they made the 8-1/2" D in magnesium but never in aluminum, and the picture of the wheel above is only the second 8-1/2" D that I have ever seen. They are rare as hens teeth..... As for the Motor Wheel Spyder, that wheel first appeared in 1969 and was made through 1972, but I have seen an NOS set with 1974 dates on the boxes. The magnesium version wasn't advertised except a couple times and I believe it was in either SS & DI or similar drag racing based magazine. Those were the only one-piece Spyders as the aluminum/steel versions were two piece. I went back through my vintage magazine ads and only found a slight reference to them being used outside of the drag race world and that was in 1970 which is when I believe the magnesium version was first produced. The ad shows a "road race" type of car but it mentions street or strip use in the text. Here are four different ads for the wheels from 69-72, and there is one more that I couldn't locate which had "Miss Muffet" with Roy Hill in it.....................RatPack....................

***Thanks everyone for posting up the many pics and "tricks" these SCCA guys used back in the day!!! Loving this section more and more.....









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« Reply #50 on: April 17, 2011, 11:05:39 AM »

Troy,  Great stuff on the Motor Wheel Spyders. Thanks for posting that. The Torq-Thrusts were made in aluminum in 8 1/2" width. The SCCA, which ran the Trans-Am series was not allowing wheels wider than 8" in the years prior to 1973, even though we have shown a cheater version in a 9" width. A legal wheel had to be manufactured in 8" width or less and they definitely did make them in 8". An 8 1/2" D-spoke American in magnesium... I've never heard or seen such an animal. I'll have to get some photos of a real 8" one and post them.
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« Reply #51 on: April 17, 2011, 07:20:07 PM »

Hello Jon,

I still have the 15 X 8 magnesium Torq-Thrust you sold me.  I'll take a pic early next week, and get some measurements as well.

-Chad
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« Reply #52 on: April 18, 2011, 11:49:10 AM »

Jon, yes the regular Torq Thrusts were made in aluminum in the 8-1/2" widths (no such thing as an 8" Torq Thrust in aluminum), but the Torq Thrust "D" was never made in any width wider than 7" in aluminum.  The magnesium versions were offered in more widths, but only in 15" & 16" diameters. The regular Torq Thrust wheels would not clear disc brakes calipers on the Corvette w/o the use of a spacer so in 1965 American came out with the "D" (disc brakes) just for those applications. Then that wheel was sold to anyone with a 67-68 GM car that had disc brakes, along with any Mopar having them also. What is funny is that the modern version of the Torq Thrust "D" that came out in 1988 will not clear the GM 4-piston caliper disc brakes like the original wheel did................RatPack..................
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« Reply #53 on: April 18, 2011, 12:10:07 PM »

Troy,  Thanks for the clarification. I agree that American never made the '60's era D-spoke in aluminum that were wider than 7". I've never seen or heard of any. Phil Schmidt of PS Engineering can make new copies of them in aluminum in widths wider than 7". Here is one of a pair I had Phil make me in a 15 x 8" size. There are many guys using these in Historic Trans-Am racing. Phil also makes these in a 2-piece style, which is not authentic to the era but the look is similar and they don't cost quite as much.



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« Reply #54 on: April 19, 2011, 10:34:08 PM »

This little blurb from an issue of Competition Press/Autoweek covering the May 29, 1972 Bryar Trans-Am
discusses an underlying reason for the Milt Minter Firebird running the Motor Wheel Spyder wheels.

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« Reply #55 on: April 22, 2011, 04:51:33 PM »

Hello Jon,

Here are some pics of the 15 X 8 Torq-Thrust "D" magnesium wheel that I acquired from you.  I also took measurements, for those that care:

  • Diameter - 15"
  • Bead width - 8"
  • Bolt Spacing - 5 on 5"
  • Backspace - 4.25"
  • Hub Mounting Flange Thickness - .066-.070"
  • Lug Washer Recess - .031-.050"

More pics in the next post.

-Chad
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« Reply #56 on: April 22, 2011, 04:53:37 PM »

Two more pictures of the 15 X 8 Torq-Thrust "D" magnesium wheel noted in my previous post.

-Chad
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« Reply #57 on: April 28, 2011, 12:30:24 PM »

I asked a Ford and Mercury Trans-Am racing expert to comment on the 15" X 8", 5 on 5" American Racing Torq-Thrust "D" wheels posted above.  Here is the applicable feedback:

(In reference to them being used on the factory Mustangs) "Yes, they were used exclusively on the 1968 Trans-Am cars, on the front only.   The thinking was that the 5x5 bolt pattern would put less stress on the lug bolts during cornering.   The 5x5 also made it easy for the Ford teams to use the heavy duty Lincoln brake rotor for their front brake setups. 
 
This system and wheel were also used for the later races in 1967, and for pre-season testing in 1969.   The wheel was also used by the 1967 Cougar team and I have seen a few of these that actually have the word "Cougar" stamped on the hub. "


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« Reply #58 on: April 28, 2011, 02:33:14 PM »

Chad, Thanks for taking the initiative and finding out more history on that 5 on 5" wheel. You found out some great information that I hadn't previously known and now thanks to this forum others are being educated as well. Great job!
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« Reply #59 on: May 05, 2011, 08:51:49 PM »

I did not have any luck finding a Trans-Am Camaro with Cragars on it but here are a couple of photos of Ron Grable's
Dart, which did use them. Also, the Bob Barker '67 Mustang used them.



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« Reply #60 on: May 06, 2011, 08:34:25 AM »

Here's a photo of the Dick Hoffman Camaro with a set of Motor Wheel Spyders on it

Camicia

Mike, besides the Milt Minter Firebird, the Hoffman Camaro was the other one I had remembered using the Spyder wheels. Others may have used them but those are two cars I remember using them for sure.

I believe the early 70s orange with green numbers Camaro driven by Walter Parkins and later David Jungerman had this type of wheel too.
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« Reply #61 on: May 22, 2011, 12:45:46 AM »

Another photo of some magnesium 6-spoke Americans along with some special captive Trans-Am lugnuts.


Photo by Frank Dihartce
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« Reply #62 on: May 22, 2011, 11:06:31 AM »

Hello Jon,

Those photos of Frank DiHartce's lugs remind me of a set of Minilites and lug nuts that Neil Karolek had/has.  He was kind enough to provide me a few up close images of these lug nuts in 2004.

-Chad
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« Reply #63 on: May 22, 2011, 11:08:22 AM »

And one more shot of the lug nut and insert alone.

-Chad
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« Reply #64 on: June 15, 2011, 12:01:58 PM »

Short contrast of '69 Minilite w/raised outer rim lip detail to '70 and later wheels that seem to shed same.  


...Jerry Titus, perhaps MIS, '69 then.


...George Follmer, St. Jovite, '70 then.

Thanks

M.K.
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« Reply #65 on: June 16, 2011, 10:25:57 AM »

Here's a Minilite I saw on a '69 Javelin Trans-Am car up at the Sonoma Historics. Does anyone know what the stamped numbers on the circular pad mean?



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« Reply #66 on: June 18, 2011, 02:37:57 PM »

Greetings,

A (probably not too far off the mark) guess to offer up.  Foundry identifiers, key personnel hallmarks concerning the manufacturing process seen perhaps? Batch lot for the magnesium alloy, and who and whom oversaw or participated in the manufacture of the wheel?  My 1974-dated wheels bear year and month identification on another pad, whereas this is the best I can surmise concerning what is on view.  I'd have to look, but offset and dimensional information is also stamped upon this other pad of which I speak - hence what appears here seems cryptic by way of contrast.  Others would know for certain.  Thanks...

Mike K.
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« Reply #67 on: June 18, 2011, 06:19:38 PM »

Perhaps the C4 is a date code, the 15 114 could represent 15 " diameter and the 114 is PCD (pitch circle diameter) in millimetres which is the same as 4.5"
That is assuming that the Javelin is 4.5" PCD.
BSM, perhaps a British Standard reference, as was/is used as identifying manufacturing standards in certain industries.

Bruce 
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« Reply #68 on: June 20, 2011, 01:31:24 AM »

Thank you both for your thoughts. Yes, the Javelin uses the 4.5" bolt circle.
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« Reply #69 on: July 01, 2011, 08:53:27 AM »

Hello all,

I am new to this forum, and was sent here by a Ford buddy, also with a huge T/A racing habit.  Personally, I'm into the AMC aspect of it, but I grew up around Chevrolets, and currently my brother has an old CenDiv 69 Camaro.  I have a little input on the  wheel topic, as I currently have a set of the American six spokes (also heard them referred to as TA-70) currently sitting on my Javelin streetcar!  They've been in my family since 1985, and were originally 5 x4.75 but were "opened up" for the Ford pattern way back before we knew better.  I have NEVER been able to find a marking on these wheels anywhere, but they sure spark interest to folks with an eye for detail.  I'll try to add pics later.  Oh, one of the last pictures above shows a Minilite with the "plugs" in it....more than likely from a 70 Penske Javelin.

Craig
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« Reply #70 on: July 01, 2011, 11:50:58 AM »

Thanks for signing up Craig and welcome to our forum. Post some pics of your wheels when you get a chance.
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« Reply #71 on: July 01, 2011, 04:14:29 PM »

Thank you, Jon, will do.  I also have a 70's T/A car that has an "odd" glass seat in it as well....pretty sure its a Racemark, considering some of the other stuff on my car.

Craig


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« Reply #72 on: July 20, 2011, 05:37:06 PM »

I've attached two pictures that are courtesy of Steve Francis.  Steve notes that these wheels are 15" X 9.5", and have a GM, 5 on 4 3/4" bolt pattern.  The wheels have a stamp of TPI, which is most likely Troy Promotions Inc., and perhaps were used on a Tony DeLorenzo or Jerry Thompson Corvette (Owens Corning sponsorship). 

Per Steve: "It just showed up one day with UPS without a note or name. Kind of weird but appreciated at the same time. I've had it a while as a conversation piece for the office."

Steve Francis has found, documented and restored a number of old race cars, with a particular fondness and capability with Mustangs run during the early years of Trans-Am.
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« Reply #73 on: July 20, 2011, 05:39:14 PM »

I've attached one more picture, again courtesy of Steve Francis, that shows the hub mounting surface of the above noted Minilite.

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« Reply #74 on: July 20, 2011, 11:33:57 PM »

Oh, one of the last pictures above shows a Minilite with the "plugs" in it....more than likely from a 70 Penske Javelin.

Craig
Welcome Craig.
Those Minilite wheels don't really have plugs in them. The mold had an insert so they could be cast as 4 lug or 5 lug by swapping out the insert.
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« Reply #75 on: August 15, 2011, 02:23:58 PM »

Hello,

Not certain if the following might be of aid to anyone, but two scans of Minilite lug and nut specifications as prepared and sent to me by TPR, Inc. of Indianapolis, IN in January of 1999.  Then it was understood that this firm had purchased an inventory of NOS Minilite lugs and nuts at a bankruptcy auction, although it would require the input of others to more clearly illuminate matters.  I responded to an advertisement found within the classifieds of Grassroots Motorsports, and the sheets found below were what was sent along to me. Good will towards the community...

Mike K.

Nuts: 1/2
Head style: Trans Am
A: 7/8"
B: 2.1
C: 0.95
D: 0.7

M.K.
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« Reply #76 on: August 15, 2011, 03:28:11 PM »

Thank you, Mike. I think those documents are quite useful.

Contact info for TPR, Inc can be found at http://www.tpr-inc.com/contact.asp
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« Reply #77 on: September 06, 2011, 04:21:10 PM »

Stampings on the circular pad by the valvestem...
Saw this on a recent post by Jon.
Penske Wheel with something stamped...

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« Reply #78 on: September 06, 2011, 05:03:37 PM »

CA 10114 894
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« Reply #79 on: September 06, 2011, 08:56:38 PM »

Guess I should have said: I blew up the original until I could read the stamping for you
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« Reply #80 on: September 07, 2011, 11:47:08 AM »

Hello all,

I am new to this forum, and was sent here by a Ford buddy, also with a huge T/A racing habit.  Personally, I'm into the AMC aspect of it, but I grew up around Chevrolets, and currently my brother has an old CenDiv 69 Camaro.  I have a little input on the  wheel topic, as I currently have a set of the American six spokes (also heard them referred to as TA-70) currently sitting on my Javelin streetcar!  They've been in my family since 1985, and were originally 5 x4.75 but were "opened up" for the Ford pattern way back before we knew better.  I have NEVER been able to find a marking on these wheels anywhere, but they sure spark interest to folks with an eye for detail.  I'll try to add pics later.  Oh, one of the last pictures above shows a Minilite with the "plugs" in it....more than likely from a 70 Penske Javelin.

Craig


Craig,

Just curious...who's "old CenDiv 69 Camaro" does your brother have?

Scott
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« Reply #81 on: September 08, 2011, 08:04:30 AM »

Ron and I looked at that Penske wheel image a little more and it does seem like it probably does say the same thing ["C4 15114 BSM" on the small circular pad] as the one I took at the Sonoma Historics earlier this year (seen below).



I guess I will have to look at more Minilites as I run across them to see if it might be a standard stamping regardless of wheel diameter, bolt pattern diameter, etc.
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« Reply #82 on: September 08, 2011, 08:58:39 AM »

Gee, your image is clearer than my 42-year-old B&W image LOL ... but you were probably taking a picture of the stamping and I was focused the left over signs of the wheel bearing failuire that day in 1969. I am reminded that the vintage racing vehicles of today are in much better condition than the vehicles were in their oriiginal racing days.
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« Reply #83 on: September 08, 2011, 10:02:22 PM »

Scott,  my brother's car was built and raced by Dick Fischer, out of Milwaukee.  I think it was Cen-Div champion in 1976.
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« Reply #85 on: January 31, 2012, 01:35:10 AM »

I have two sets of magnesium American Racing Wheels which were previously ran on Robert Christiansen's '69 Z28 in TransAm and IMSA GT races.   One set are the 5 spokes (one of which has a cracked spoke), and the other set are the AR 6 spokes, in great shape.    Both sets of wheels are 15 x 8.   The 6 spokes have 4 inch backspace, and the 5 spokes have 4-3/4 backspace.   Robert (Bob) who ran a gray/black '69 Z28 under the R.A.C.E banner for *(Robert A Christiansen Enterprises) ran the 'dry weather tires on the 5 spokes and rain tires on the 6 spokes...

My understanding is the when Trans Am began, AR had the 5 spokes, but esveral teams experienced cracking.   AR began working on a stronger wheel, ultimately coming out with the 6 spokes, but by the time they were introduced, Minilite had gathered most of the market!   The six spokes are considerably heavier than the 5 spokes, and are visably stronger.

I've got good front and back photos of both sheels, and Somewhere I've got an ad ran by AR for the TA70 wheels, if anyone is intersted in seeing them.

Gary
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« Reply #86 on: January 31, 2012, 11:31:10 AM »

Thanks for the input, Gary. We'd enjoy seeing whatever you're willing to share with us.
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« Reply #87 on: January 31, 2012, 06:01:52 PM »

My car originally ran 15x8" steelies, 4.5" backspace (guessing on the backspace). Is there a good source for these? I know they're heavy... but I'd like a second set of wheels for the car, which is running Minilites now.
Thanks,
Alex
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« Reply #88 on: January 31, 2012, 09:21:57 PM »

I think you are talking 15x8 Corvette rally wheels, right? Those are not too hard to come by but you may want to do a better job of welding the center section to the rim.
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« Reply #89 on: January 31, 2012, 11:05:17 PM »

Gary, are your six spoke ARs GM pattern or Ford?  Are they for sale or trade?

Craig
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« Reply #90 on: January 31, 2012, 11:15:51 PM »

they are 15x8 for Chevy pattern.  No, not for sale at this time  (i've been offered a new set of AL Minilites for them, which was probably a fair offer, but decided I should hold onto them).   I would sell the 5 spokes (one of which has a cracked spoke) for a fair offer.
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« Reply #91 on: January 31, 2012, 11:33:51 PM »

Hopefully I've successfully posted images of the front and back of the TA70 six spokes AR wheels below...



[imghttp://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp60/gdwylie/Wheels/6-spokewidth.jpg][/img]
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« Reply #92 on: January 31, 2012, 11:38:32 PM »

Shown here are the width of the 15x8 Camaro pattern six spokes.. and the TA70 ad from 1970 (AMerican RAcing Ad)..

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« Reply #93 on: January 31, 2012, 11:43:57 PM »

And here is a period photo of the Univ of Pittsburgh car running the TA70's,


and a photo of them on the restored car (taken a couple of years ago).

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« Reply #94 on: January 31, 2012, 11:50:38 PM »

These are photos of one of the 5-spoke AR magnesium wheels I have (this is the one with the crack in one of the spokes).   These are 15x8" also, Chevy pattern, with 4-3/4" backspace.


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« Reply #95 on: January 31, 2012, 11:52:47 PM »

Bob Christiansen's personal mark (R.A.C.E.) is stamped into each of these wheels, and they were ran in TransAm and IMSA FT racing in the late sixties and early-mid 70's.. by him.

Gary
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« Reply #96 on: February 01, 2012, 11:42:22 AM »

I have a 200s wheel on my garage wall and it serves me well  -  for the garden hose
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« Reply #97 on: February 01, 2012, 01:06:02 PM »

The five spoke AR wheels I have are not the 200S design I don't think, but I'm not sure what the exact model was called...
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« Reply #98 on: February 01, 2012, 06:18:30 PM »

Thanks for posting your pictures. Those 5-spokes are not the 200-S design. They are a magnesium Torq-Thrust "D", not to be confused with what American currently sells as an aluminum Torq-Thrust "D" or Torq-Thrust II. I have not seen the 4 3/4" backspacing like that before. They have an offset that makes them look like a 15x7 from the front side. Do you have any photos of Christiansen's car with the mags on it (either set)?
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« Reply #99 on: March 19, 2012, 06:15:57 PM »

One of my TA-70s that goes on my Javelin.....originally a GM pattern wheel, but "opened up" in the mid 80s to fit the smaller Ford patter.  Sitting beside it one of the Racemark seats removed from Buzz Dyer's mid 70s AMC T/A cars, a Concord.

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« Reply #100 on: March 28, 2012, 04:08:45 PM »

Like these

Hello all. I'm new here and a TA and SCCA racer fan. I thought that photo looked familiar. i took it in September 2007 at Coronado.

S A
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« Reply #101 on: March 29, 2012, 07:40:03 AM »


This isn't the full pic I took back at the time but it is the one I have in my account shrunk down to specifically show the outlines of the original 4 lug system. In between the two bottom lugs you can see a complete slug filling the original lug hole.
S A
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« Reply #102 on: March 29, 2012, 09:03:29 AM »

Are you sure those are slugs filling holes that used to be there? Below is a photo of a Minilite wheel used on one
of the Penske cars in '69. The photo was taken at Mid-Ohio in 1969. You can see the circular casting lines of a
4-bolt pattern besides the 5-bolt holes that have actually been drilled out. I wonder if the circular lines you see
in your photo are simply casting lines which are part of the mold for the wheel. Because the Minilites are 8-spoke
wheels, a 4-bolt pattern lends itself more readily to the design but, of course, the American pony cars were all
5-bolt pattern (in stock configuration). I'm not sure how AMC was able to get away with running a 4-bolt hub
and wheel as they were not stock that way. Since they were able to do it, I don't see why the others couldn't.
Since you are an AMC enthusiast, can you shed some light on that?


Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #103 on: March 29, 2012, 12:01:17 PM »

 First reason I concluded those 4 spots are filled is 1)http://www.greenwoodcorvettes.com/BFG50.html- read about the wheels as the Greenwood team got them from Penske.
Second reason is 2) the size and number of the spot circles as well as their equal displacement  which falls into the same diameter as the machined lug holes. In the photo you provided just above you'll note the diameter of the casting pads compared to the diameter of the lug holes and reliefs. The casting bunges are considerably smaller in diameter which would be indicative of a facory hole location without consideration for the type and size of lug and corresponding relief.
If you look closely at the photo of the Donohue wheel from Coronado the circles appear to be the same diameter as the five lug holes machined into the wheel. Upon closer inspection you'll also see that when the edge of the recess is nicked the edge of the circle is not erased, indicating that the circle goes deeper than the surface. A casting pick-up point would have a shallow depth that could be sanded or machined off.

  Regarding your second question I can't comment, other than my comment would only be conjecture about how P E N S K E pulled that off rather than AMC and though I have talked to Walt Czarnecki before I didn't talk about this subject and I'm not certain he'd have any knowledge about this as he had moved on from AMC by this time and would have been in charge of pr and sales at Penske.

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« Reply #104 on: March 29, 2012, 02:04:21 PM »

Couple things I can  point out. Here's acolorized photo of the wheels in 4 lug configuration:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/smuckatelli/2942498572/ .
 KLVN8R on here has mentioned earlier an interesting point from memory: that the '70 SCCA rules were as written in the beginning of the season open on hubs. The rules printed here for '70 Camaros would be representative and are easy to check.

S A
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« Reply #105 on: March 29, 2012, 04:55:25 PM »

1970 Rules in Section 6.4- Authorized Modifications: Paragraph C -Wheels, Tires, Wheels, Suspension- subsections 1 and 3 address wheels and spindles with no stated restriction in terms of 4 lug vs 5 lug. That being the case, the next thing is it's been passed down that the SCCA nixed the 4 luggers during '70 or that Penske volunteered to switch; is that proven? Looking at later photos in the '70 season might tell the tale for certain....they were 5 lug for '71, that is not in question and 5 lug wheels are specifically mentioned in the equivalent section of the rulebook for '71.

S A
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« Reply #106 on: March 30, 2012, 08:12:20 AM »

By the way, particularly in writing, my people skills might appear to be a bit.....uhhhhh....primitive. I like to cut to the center of the chase and in my zest and shortcut attitude sometimes things get left out, like how I got to there from here and to include considering other people's feelings and qualifications. It occurs that some of the answers I have presented, if that is what they are, may be to questions not asked or may appear to be bulldozing over someone else's theory or knowledge. That is not my intent. If I have assumed a line of questioning that wasn't  what anyone else was asking please correct me. I am only seeking the truth and my ideas and conclusions don't have any more validity than other ones. I strongly feel most have been pursuing this area of interest far longer and more in depth than I have. I am quite thankful I found this place. I don't want to mess that up.

S A
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« Reply #107 on: March 30, 2012, 09:55:43 AM »

No offense taken. Sorry for my late reply. I had looked at those GCRs yesterday and could have sworn I saw 5-lug mandatory for 1970 but after your subsequent posts, I went back and reviewed it and apparently I must have really been down in the '71 section and not realized it. Kind of easy to do with the way I have got it all posted. I don't know anything about Penske volunteering to switch. I suspect he wouldn't do that. Why others didn't follow suit is what's interesting to me.
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« Reply #108 on: March 30, 2012, 12:37:23 PM »

   I've wondered as well why they didn't move in that direction.  Penske's choices over the years revealed an inventive mind that thought along lines others apparently didn't consider.  In this instance it's right there, you can see it when you ordered the wheels, the wheels came cast for 4 lugs.  Penske and Donohue came from racing platforms that used wheels held on either by knockoffs, pins, or probably 4 lugs, so the concept wouldn't have been a huge leap.
   It is safe to say the overall trend of original ideas he and his team developed were often so simple that in retrospect I can imagine the faint echoes of a collective "DUHHHHHH" ebbing through the cosmos.  A short list of looking at what the rulebook doesn't say would include: the wide filler neck and long fill tube for the TA Camaro to increase the fuel capacity without breaking the letter of the rulebook, the tall gravity feed fuel tower for fuel stops, the original 4 lug incarnation of Minilites in '70, using non-floater rear axles on '69 Camaro and relying on super strong axle shafts and repetitive teardowns and inspection, using 917 like brakes front and rear on the roundy-round Matador in '71, elliptical rear springs on the '69 Cams and '70-'71 Javs, horizontal traction shocks on the '69's- similar to AMC's articulated though rigid "torque link" system, the vinyl roof on the Camaros, and so on.
   In looking at the team's approach to building a car balance comes to mind first and then details aimed at saving time for events that are considered down time are as much a part of a competitive edge by saving a few seconds in the pits with 4 lug wheels as would having a powerful mill and complex rear suspension a la` Mustang, and thus would have been 1970's "Unfair Advantage" for Penske.

S A
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« Reply #109 on: March 30, 2012, 01:29:39 PM »

The question of whether Penske would have traded the 4 luggers, during the '70 season, that is, is answered by the b&w photo on the page of this link: http://hooniverse.com/2011/08/19/morning-qualifying-brave-captain/. This is from the Riverside race, the last of the '70 racing season.

S A
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« Reply #110 on: March 30, 2012, 04:00:23 PM »

I'm sory, SA.. but I didn't follow the 'vinyl roof' comment on the '69's in your above post.. . Care to explain?
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« Reply #111 on: March 30, 2012, 04:16:25 PM »

The vinyl tops Penske put on the '69 Camaros. I said roofs, which is misleading. They used the optional vinyl roof covering on the Camaro in the early meets of the season but the other temas successfully lobbied the SCCA to get Penske's team to stop covering the roof in vinyl somewhere in the early season.

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« Reply #112 on: March 30, 2012, 06:11:12 PM »

Just a quick observation, but here is my PERSONAL take on the lug controversy.  If they recognized that "hubs were open", they probably considered going to a knock-off or something similar.  I also recall reading/hearing (not saying its factual!) that when Bud Moore saw it, he threatened to go to THREE LUG wheels, but apparently didn't make good on it.  Pretty sure SCCA didn't want wheels flying off into the crowd!

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« Reply #113 on: March 31, 2012, 01:12:46 AM »

The question of whether Penske would have traded the 4 luggers, during the '70 season, that is, is answered by the b&w photo on the page of this link: http://hooniverse.com/2011/08/19/morning-qualifying-brave-captain/. This is from the Riverside race, the last of the '70 racing season.

S A

The decal placement, the side gas filler and the vegetation tells me this is Laguna Seca at the start of the '70 season, not Riverside at the end of the season.
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« Reply #114 on: March 31, 2012, 12:15:09 PM »

At 1:40 and after you can see the 4 lug wheels in the pits at Kent SIR, the next to last race of the season:http://www.motorsportretro.com/2010/02/documenatry-trans-am-1970/. You are very likely completely correct about the shot I attributed to Riverside. Embarrassed The take-away is that consistently throughout the '70 season, in any shot of the #6 car where you can make out a side shot of the wheels they are 4 lug. Wink

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« Reply #115 on: March 31, 2012, 12:32:10 PM »


Just a quick observation, but here is my PERSONAL take on the lug controversy.  If they recognized that "hubs were open", they probably considered going to a knock-off or something similar.  I also recall reading/hearing (not saying its factual!) that when Bud Moore saw it, he threatened to go to THREE LUG wheels, but apparently didn't make good on it.  Pretty sure SCCA didn't want wheels flying off into the crowd!

klvn8r


Interesting point. The thing with their open wheel background  is they would have looked at a rule where you could substitute another hub for the stock one and saw what the Minilites were designed for, European cars, with the vast preponderance of them being 4 lug designs. As the team used the design through at least the ninth race of the season out of ten races it is evident they met the rules as they were stated in the book. If anyone lodged a complaint it didn't change the fact that Donohue ran the car with 4 lug wheels.
   Uhhhh yeah, 3 lug wheels? They had to have a good laugh on that one! Sounds like sour grapes when they saw Penske's simple interpretation of the rules. Grin
S A
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« Reply #116 on: March 31, 2012, 01:13:03 PM »

I fail to see where a 'vinyl roof' would be an advantage in racing (or any other venue).... so I'm still at a loss.  The vinyl roof covering would be additional drag (in an aerodynamic sense)..
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« Reply #117 on: March 31, 2012, 02:06:46 PM »

I fail to see where a 'vinyl roof' would be an advantage in racing (or any other venue).... so I'm still at a loss.  The vinyl roof covering would be additional drag (in an aerodynamic sense)..

Penske or Donohue claim various things when explaining why they used the vinyl top. Penske claimed it made it easier to identify the team's cars from the rest of the field. Donohue skirts around the issue of acid dipping and wrinkled sheetmetal. Since Penske never was docked for any cheating whatsoever through this time the answer still is out there. The advantage wouldn't be from an aerodynamic sense, true, unless the vinyl "breathed" as one of the authors from that time mentions. But in making a car recognizable to the team manager and pit crew, yes, that would be an advantage. If the sheetmetal was wrinkled from too much "liquid machining" then covering the fact up would serve a purpose and the advantage would be the weight savings and handling benefit of lowering the overall center of gravity. The true answer? I don't know. Someone might. Penske felt it served a purpose.
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« Reply #118 on: March 31, 2012, 09:39:42 PM »

I would guess that the vinyl would weigh more than whatever metal weight might be removed by acid dipping, but the 'recognition factor might be a slight advantage. . but they could have *paiinted* their roof flat black and achieved the same goal if that was it..
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« Reply #119 on: March 31, 2012, 11:40:43 PM »

Guys, this thread is for "Wheels used on Trans-Am Camaros" and we have been veering off topic with prolonged vinyl top discussion. The general consensus is the vinyl tops were put on the Penske cars because the cars were acid dipped too long and the roofs were wavy. The other competitors were very suspicious of why the tops were on the cars and Penske was forced to remove them in mid-season. It is believed that new steel roofs were put on the cars at that time to correct the wavyness. If you would like to talk more about the vinyl tops, please post something in the "69 Penske vinyl roof" thread. Thanks for your understanding.
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« Reply #120 on: July 24, 2012, 07:39:40 AM »

American Racing wheels catalog for magnesium wheels, courtesy of Robert Lodewyk.























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« Reply #121 on: July 24, 2012, 01:14:14 PM »

Robert,

Thanks for sharing that with Jon for us!
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« Reply #122 on: April 12, 2013, 12:00:41 AM »

Looks like somebody has some real 15x7 and 15x8 magnesium Americans they would like to sell...

http://www.yenko.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/525003/Old_Magnesium_Wheels#Post525003
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« Reply #123 on: May 20, 2013, 12:26:51 PM »

I know I'm new and don't know much, and it is possible you fellas have no interest in wheels used in the late 70's or 80's, but I had a question and thought someone here ought to know.

I really find these wheels interesting but can't figure out what they are. From this page: http://www.racingsportscars.com/photo/1980/Trois-Rivieres-1980-08-24t-010.jpg



I was wondering who made them?
What are they?
What's their composition?
Would they be safe to use on the street and/or track now?

Thank you very much
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« Reply #124 on: May 20, 2013, 03:05:36 PM »

Jongbloed Racing Wheels.
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« Reply #125 on: May 20, 2013, 03:56:09 PM »

Thank you so much, that's definitely them. Surprised at how hard it is to find them see how many cars used them from vintage racing photos.

Thanks again!
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« Reply #126 on: May 20, 2013, 04:45:38 PM »

I think the best looking wheel of the late 70's early 80's era.
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« Reply #127 on: May 21, 2013, 12:12:34 AM »

This website I am citing is great for some really awesome photos(second to this site, of course!)

Here's another quick great shot of these wheels on what I consider a late model: http://www.racingsportscars.com/photo/1982/Portland-1982-06-13-080a.jpg

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« Reply #128 on: June 04, 2013, 12:09:15 AM »

Minilite wheel ad from 1970, as seen in Competition Press & Autoweek. (Jon Mello Collection)
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« Reply #129 on: January 27, 2014, 11:53:30 AM »

I managed to save one of the 200-S wheels off of Craig Fishers car. John Todds kept the cracked wheels because they just look so good. Minilite wheels are stronger than 200-S but not as attractive in my opinion.

                                                   Ken
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« Reply #130 on: January 27, 2014, 12:08:21 PM »

I managed to save one of the 200-S wheels off of Craig Fishers car. John Todds kept the cracked wheels because they just look so good. Minilite wheels are stronger than 200-S but not as attractive in my opinion.
Ken

I've always loved the Minilite look.. perhaps because 'nothing says TransAm' like Minilite..  Smiley
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« Reply #131 on: January 27, 2014, 12:39:43 PM »

How about if I were to say I think Minilite is "2nd best" looking TransAm wheel?
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« Reply #132 on: January 27, 2014, 01:22:01 PM »

How about if I were to say I think Minilite is "2nd best" looking TransAm wheel?
I suppose that's a personal opinion thing.. Smiley
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« Reply #133 on: January 27, 2014, 02:18:45 PM »

Minilite's only #3 to me after the American 5-spoke "D" and the 200-S.
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« Reply #134 on: January 27, 2014, 02:44:41 PM »

Minilite's only #3 to me after the American 5-spoke "D" and the 200-S.

John,

I still have a set of the original magnesium 15x8 5-spoke 'D' American Racing wheels (one has a crack in one spoke) that I'd trade for an equivalent set of Minilites..  if you come across a set and would like?  Smiley
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« Reply #135 on: January 27, 2014, 04:05:47 PM »

I had 15"x7" American Torq-Thrust wheels on my street car with E and G Goodyears. I think "American" still makes  some of the best looking wheels today. Rich simplicity.

 
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« Reply #136 on: January 28, 2014, 12:13:46 AM »

I had 15"x7" American Torq-Thrust wheels on my street car with E and G Goodyears. I think "American" still makes  some of the best looking wheels today. Rich simplicity.

Ken, I generally agree with you on that. I think the original Americans are better looking but the new ones are still a classic design. The shape and color of the spokes plus their texture is slightly off on the new ones. That's why I prefer the old ones.
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« Reply #137 on: January 28, 2014, 12:23:25 AM »

John,
I still have a set of the original magnesium 15x8 5-spoke 'D' American Racing wheels (one has a crack in one spoke) that I'd trade for an equivalent set of Minilites..  if you come across a set and would like?  Smiley

Gary, thanks for the offer but I think I will pass. I'm not going to collect the original magnesium wheels even though they are very cool pieces. Maybe someone else here is interested?
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« Reply #138 on: March 21, 2014, 07:53:33 PM »

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-1969-Magnesium-american-racing-wheels-set-of-4/331157801430?_trksid=p2045573.c100034.m2102&_trkparms=aid%3D555012%26algo%3DPW.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20263%26meid%3D5653191681656869871%26pid%3D100034%26prg%3D9059%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D8%26sd%3D281291429857
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« Reply #139 on: March 21, 2014, 11:19:40 PM »

Did anyone see anything on 'size' of those wheels on ebay??
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90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
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« Reply #140 on: March 22, 2014, 12:08:51 AM »

Gary, it says they are 15 x 8 in Chevy bolt pattern. Those are some good looking wheels.
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« Reply #141 on: March 22, 2014, 09:25:09 AM »

               If my memory served me correctly the Mustangs were running America Mags in 69 and that probably ended up costing Ford the championship when George Follmer broke a wheel  and hit the wall in at the final race at Riverside. We were working with Ford in that race and I can still remember Fumbler (as Penske used to call him) came storming back to the pits and reamed out the Ford brass for making him use those #### wheels

AL
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« Reply #142 on: March 22, 2014, 10:19:38 PM »

Al, the championship was already won for Penske/Donohue in '69 before they ran the last race at Riverside but you are right that the American 200-S mags were prone to breaking. American replaced those with a six spoke design the next year but they never caught on and the majority seemed to go with the Minilites.
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« Reply #143 on: March 23, 2014, 07:06:57 PM »

Those are some good looking wheels.
Yes, I have to agree!  Do these wheels have any clearance issues with disc brakes, especially the Corvette brakes on a 1st generation?
Thanks,
Robert
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« Reply #144 on: March 23, 2014, 09:07:56 PM »

Here are some pictures of the 200s wheels I restored for my street T/A Mustang.


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« Reply #145 on: March 23, 2014, 09:10:24 PM »

WOW RWHP!!  you made those wheels look better than new...   How about a send you a few sets??  Smiley
and yes, they do fit over Corvette disk brakes..  Smiley 

Gary
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe (2), 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55 Nomad, '57 Nomad, '57 B/A Sedan
1109RWHP
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« Reply #146 on: March 23, 2014, 09:46:14 PM »

I sent them to this place and had the lips CNC machined after I glass beaded them. Used Eastwood wheel paint for the center.

http://www.wheelcollision.com/

And NO the hot chick does not polish your nuts while they polish your wheels so don't ask.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #147 on: March 24, 2014, 08:36:26 AM »

The 200-S wheels look great on your Mustang. What's the Eastwood paint color on the spokes? It looks like it is something other than black (possibly).

It looks like wheelcollision.com is in Pennsylvania. For people on the West Coast who would rather not send their wheels so far
I have used Paradise Wheels, 1413 Linda Vista Drive, Suite D, San Marcos, CA 92078. The phone number is (760) 744-2400.
This business is owned by Craig Conley from the Historic Trans-Am group. He can also CNC machine the lips so they look like new.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #148 on: March 24, 2014, 06:37:09 PM »

This is the paint I used.  http://www.eastwood.com/charcoal-gray-wheel-paint-set.html
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BULLITT65
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« Reply #149 on: March 24, 2014, 09:30:46 PM »

I am planning on running those wheels on my 55 bel air. I thought they only came 15 x 7 , and 15 x 8.5 though. the 8.5 is a bit to much unfortunately. Anybody else aware of the sizes?
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1969 garnet red Z/28 46k mile unrestored X77
Looking for 3192477 (front) spiral shocks 3192851 (rear) please
Looking for an original LOF soft ray windshield
Looking for original Delco side post negative battery cable part # 6297651AV
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« Reply #150 on: March 24, 2014, 10:10:24 PM »

15X7, 15X8.5, 15X10 and I think 15X12 but not sure on that. I had the front 15x7 widened to 15x8. The back ones are 15x8.5. The 10&12 are deeeep dish.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #151 on: March 24, 2014, 10:26:57 PM »


Thanks! Look pretty good.
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« Reply #152 on: March 24, 2014, 10:31:07 PM »

so even though it says 15 x 8 it is probably 15 x 8.5? I wasn't sure if they made different sizes for the magnesium wheels
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1969 garnet red Z/28 46k mile unrestored X77
Looking for 3192477 (front) spiral shocks 3192851 (rear) please
Looking for an original LOF soft ray windshield
Looking for original Delco side post negative battery cable part # 6297651AV
Jon Mello
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« Reply #153 on: March 24, 2014, 10:41:31 PM »

They did make the magnesium ones in a 15 x 8 size because that was specified by the SCCA as the max legal size, although we know they made cheater sizes (slightly larger). They did not make 15 x 8 200-S Americans in aluminum.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #154 on: March 24, 2014, 10:46:16 PM »

I did have a set of 15x8 magnesium wheels. They had a 5x5 bolt pattern for the Lincoln brakes that Ford ran on the front. The rears had the normal 5x4.5 Ford pattern.
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1109RWHP
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« Reply #155 on: March 24, 2014, 10:48:49 PM »

The aluminum ones are actually 15x6 3/4 not a full 15x7.
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yenkomark
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« Reply #156 on: April 07, 2014, 04:56:01 PM »

Happened to see an earlier question on the vinyl roof on a Penske Camaro... Petty did it first on a Nascar Plymouth, probably to cover a little aero mod to the windshield and front edge of the roofline.
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