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Author Topic: Wheels used on Trans-Am Camaros  (Read 33443 times)
rat pack
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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.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 09:52:20 PM by rat pack » Logged

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cuda48
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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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Jon Mello
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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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rat pack
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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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Jon Mello
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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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Jon Mello
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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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rat pack
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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.



« Last Edit: April 18, 2011, 02:54:34 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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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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Jon Mello
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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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Jon Mello
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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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