Wire Wheels 101

Wire wheels were an option for many makes and models, such as the Ford Thunderbird, Cadillac Eldorado and Buick Skylark, but if you look deeper into the history of automobiles, you’ll find wire-spoke wheels were the direct replacement for wooden-spoke wheels of the early days. As time went on, wheel diameters decreased and wheel widths increased, as auto manufacturers figured out how to make its cars handle better. Compared to modern wheels, the very skinny wire wheels found on a Ford Model A seem way too fragile for everyday use, but the design was actually quite strong, even for the rough roads of the 1920’s and 1930’s.

These days, wire wheels are generally used on classic car restorations, lowriders, and hot rods. For classic car restorations, you’re likely to see a chrome-plated finish, with some sort of decorative center cap that helped identify the car. Generally this style of wire wheel has anywhere from 48 to 56 spokes, depending on the model. Ford T-Bird wire wheels had a lip-laced spoke design, while others, such as the Packard and Chrysler designs feature center-laced spoke in a double cross pattern. Roadster Wire Wheels specializes in authentic wire wheels for collector car restorations. This mainly applies to American cars, which use the four standard lug bolt patterns, rather than European cars that utilize a knock-off hub system.

While Roadster Wire Wheels does not offer any wheels for lowriders, these types of wheels are quickly identified by a large quantity of spokes and a distinct wheel offset that provides the deep-dish look. Many lowrider-style wire wheels are manufactured with a knock-off hub, rather than the conventional lug-mounting configuration. Wheels of this nature could have as many as 150 spokes and often have custom plating options.

Wire wheels for hot rods are another distinct design that stands out from the other wire wheels on the market. Roadster Wire Wheels manufactures Hot Rod Wire wheels, which are available in many sizes, from 14-inch diameters all the way up to 20-inch diameters and widths from 4-1/2 inches to 10 inches. This wide variety of sizes provides street rod builders with plenty of options when it comes to dialing in the stance and matching them with the appropriate tires. Roadster’s Hot Rod Wires are available with four lug bolt patterns (5×4.5, 5×4.75, 5×5 an 5×5.5 inches) and can be treated to powder coating with 12 color options.

Whether you’re looking for authentic wire wheels for your classic car restoration, or the perfect setup for your hot rod, Roadster Wire Wheels has a quality product that is made in the USA. Stainless steel spokes, model-specific hubs and a four-layer chrome plated finish make them the best on the market, and a great warranty backs it up.