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Discussion Starter #1
I have been hunting around online for vintage wheels for my car. I have had a good conversation with a member from the site and have made a couple personal decisions as to the direction I might go when money let's me.

One thing I have found is there doesn't seem to be many wheels that would fit my 66 Nova that I can find. Most of them it's in the backspacing. I don't have real technical knowledge of tire fitting but I do know what fit's mine now and nothing I have looked at would come close.

In my search I have found several different brands and styles which I have found interesting. So what I would like to know from some of the vintage members is what would of been a big seller for Nova drivers back in the day.

Some cool pics would be a bonus!

Brian
 

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Original after market wheels...

Well mostly I was looking for insight on when a young hotrod guy picked up that early Chevy II/Nova what wheels were popular for them? Did they leave the stock hubcaps on? and never put on any cool wheels? I know from talking to my father and my father-in-law that money was tight for youngsters that raced around town. They always managed to find a deal from someone for something that would make there car stand out from the rest. So what wheels were the Nova guys seeking? Unfortunately my family is a Corvette family and my Father-in-law is into Chevelle's and El Caminos or wagons. So I don't got a lot of Nova info!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Original after market wheels...

I don't think anyone is getting this thread,

I am looking to see if anyone besides the people I have talked to about wheels has an opinion on what would have been put on a Chevy II/Nova back in the era they were born? Today you can see a lot of guys going with the new Torq Thrust and more modern 17" plus rims with the low profile tires. But back in the sixties and seventies there were different rims and companies available as seen in the ads I posted.

This isn't a technical question on how to get wheels to fit, it's an originality question although about aftermarket wheels I am still looking for original to the era. I am not positive on this but I have a hard time believing that people were buying 20" Chip Foose wheels with tires barely 2 inches thick on them back in the 60's and 70's?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Alright...

Alright we got Cragar's and I know another Cragar fan from this site as well.
 

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Fleeter,

Any wheels with the correct offset will probably be narrower wheels in the 14" size. I don't recall that backspace was spoken of in that era. It seemed like most people jacked up their cars, or cut open the wheel wells.

There were a lot of different brands in aluminum and steel. If you had larger money you could buy magnesium wheels. The wheels you seek are rare, and usually expensive. The guys that have them know what they are worth. Wheels of that era would include Cragar, Ansen, American Racing Torq Thrust, the Motor Wheel Spyder and Fly, Rocket Wheels, Halibrand, E.T. Wheels, etc.

An Internet search for mag wheels of the 1960's will produce many webites discussing the older rims.

Good luck in your search.
 

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60's would have probably been dish mags,Americans (old school) or Cragers
I never saw ant GM's with Motor wheels.Popular with Ford and Dodge guys
 

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Awesome!

Awesome this is what I am looking for, I like the modern wheels and upgrades but I spend a lot of time in a garage with men in there late sixties and even seventies. It's always funny when I say something and they look at me and say "We didn't have that then, this the way it was!" and it makes me more curious and drives me to take my car back to those days. And as old as they are there isn't much about cars they've forgotten...sometimes where they put the keys or tools or parts...:eek:
 

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So what wheels were the Nova guys seeking? Unfortunately my family is a Corvette family.... So I don't got a lot of Nova info!
Nothing wrong with being from a Corvette family...:cool:;)

I've seen alot of 14" Torq Thrust 'D' wheels. They seem to have that period correct look.

Another thought is chrome plated stock steel wheels-like on the American Grafitti cars.
 

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I don't think anyone is getting this thread...

This isn't a technical question on how to get wheels to fit, it's an originality question although about aftermarket wheels I am still looking for original to the era.
I think I understand your question. Since I'm an old guy and actually lived back then...

First, the chrome reverse and the Cragar SS were probably the two most common aftermarket wheels in the '60s. I'm assuming you know what those look like. If not, just say so and I'll find pics.

Some other popular wheels were:

Chrome slotted steel wheels, generically called 'Astros' because many were produced by a wheel company with that name. They were inexpensive and shiny. The one shown below is a deep reverse model, but they were available in standard offset, too.



Cragar also sold a model called the GT. It was a one-piece alloy wheel with a dark, textured center. I bought a set of these for a '66 back in '68. I thought they looked great and the 6" ones fit the Nova without rubbing. The only problem was that they were difficult to balance.



Keystone Klassic wheels were popular, too; but you didn't see them on Novas very often. I don't know how well they fit. I think that most Nova owners thought that they were a bit 'much' for the style of the Nova. That, and it was VERY easy to break the cast centers.



Last but not least was the Hurst wheel. You generally saw these on GTOs, but their offset was perfect for Novas. They were extremely strong and relatively easy to care for. Their one downside was that they were very expensive new and are even worse now! (To see how they look on a Nova, click on the 'My '66 SS' link in my signature!)



There were quite a few others, but these were the most common.
 

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In the midwest where I lived, Ansen aluminum slots and Cragar SS wheels were the Top 2 most popular wheels, with Keystone Klassic's on a lot of cars too.

And, as Dave B. stated above, the Chrome Reverse and the Chrome Steel Slot were also very popular because they were the lowest cost wheels you could buy at the time.

Seeing a street performance car back then with stock steel wheels or even factory wheels was only because they hadn't either saved enough money yet or they were waiting for the wheels that they had ordered from there local tire and wheel retailer, or if you were lucky enough to live in a town that actually had a Speed Shop, to arrive and be mounted and put on.

For those of us that drove our cars year round, we only put on our factory wheels when the snow was really bad. During the winter, when it would all of a sudden warm up for some crazy reason, and the streets dried up, off came the stock wheels and on went the Mags.....even if for only a day or two.

And that's the way it was.
 

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60's would have probably been dish mags,Americans (old school) or Cragers
I never saw ant GM's with Motor wheels.Popular with Ford and Dodge guys
You're probably correct that you didn't see them on Chevys frequently. They were probably more popular where I was living in the late 60's/early 70's, East Lansing, MI. The manufacturing plant was in Lansing, MI. Supposedly the wheels had problems with cracking. I haven't seen a set mounted on a car, of any make, for many, many years.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Original after market wheels...

Thanks for all the responses,

It was definitely interesting and thanks for the pictures! I really appreciate information. I spent most of the night reading and looking at wheels. I like the Keystone's. I saw a pair of Hurst's for sale for almost $4000.00, that's wild!

It's nice to take a trip back in time since I was born in the late 70's I am not quite as knowledgeable as to what people wanted on there cars in my car's time. When I was old enough to drive, everyone wanted American Racing 5 star rims on Honda's mind you I was driving a 75 Camaro with a Cyclone style wheel on it but after I totaled that I got a 68 firebird that I always wanted to put Cragars on.

Now I have restored the Nova and with all the new wheels out there I still want to dress it up with a classic style.

Thanks to everyone I now have something to search for!
 

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Back in the day it was popular to have chrome reverse in the rear & 5 spoke Cragars or Americans in the front. Also chromes with baby moons.
 
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