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Old 07-23-2008, 01:23 AM   #1
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Current wheel & design,just an observation

Being related to the Automotive industry for the past 25 years and being a witness to the changes in design,technology,etc,their is one specefic area of the Automotive world that has changed within the last 15 years that has brought to me somewhat of a disapointment,and that is the design of the wheels & tires of our modernday passenger car.With the only option for tires being "blackwalls"What happened to the option of "white lettered tires"? Seldom seen anymore,with the exception of some American made SUV's and 4x4 trucks.Back in the day a set of white-lettered tires really improved the looks of a car,along with tires was the set of wheels they were mounted to.Currently we have lower profile tires,bigger rim sizes.Which is fine by me,I just can't understand why the tire manufacturers have neglected to bring back the "white-lettered" tire in a modern day version.Considering the new Camaro,Challenger,Mustang taking their styling cues from the 60's and 70's muscle car era,which offered the "WLT"on these models back then.

I for one would love to see it brought back for the sake of us Muscle car guys.The issue i have with the way wheels are designed today,is that they no longer have the "deep-dish" look to them.Most of them nowadays are designed as what i refer to as "flat-face",where the face(surface)of the wheel is in accordance with the depth of the outer rim.Some have been said that this improves aerodynamics of the car...pardom me,who cares???What's more important?,the way the wheel looks,or the possible fact that the car the wheels are mounted to may get an additional 00.1th better fuel economy.One issue i have found with the "flat-face designed wheel,is the probability of surface damage to the wheel,in most cases results in a non-repairable wheel which in turn requires a replacement.

I am a Condition report writer for manheim auto auction,and my job is to inspect all types of vehicles,Ford,GM,Chrysler,etc.I use a Mitchell manual which lists parts,prices,repair time,etc.If a wheel on any given car/truck has to be replaced,i can tell you first hand that most of these alloy wheels cost on avarage $250-$1,400 a piece to replace.Example a 20" crome alloy wheel for a Dodge ram 1500 is $790 for one wheel.This wheel has the "flat-face" design,and is more probable of getting damaged than a wheel which has a deep-dish design.

Why did i bring this up?After looking at the camaro's wheel designs i couldn't help but notice that every wheel is designed this way,and i guess i just have a personal dis-taste for the way modern wheels are designed today,which in my opinion is less attractive in my eyes compared to a wheel that has that deep-dish look.Along with that knowing the probabilty of these modern wheels on my new camaro being damaged because i parked to close to a curb or whatever may happen.Basically i just want to see better designs incorporated with more depth(deep-dish)look to them maybe my only option to satisfy my personal taste is to purchase aftermarket wheels?Well i will if i have to,besides most aftermarket wheels look way better than most "stock"wheels anyway IMHO.

What do you think???
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:35 AM   #2

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Personally I hate white lettering on tires. It's much more attractive to see a solid black ring around the wheels, rather than ugly lettering drawing the eye away from the nice wheels.

I remember purchasing tires for my '91 Camaro. The ones I got had either the white lettering or a white ring around the tire. So they were put on 'inside out' so the ugly white wasn't seen.

White lettering is very old fashioned looking and detracts from the sleek look of modern wheels and cars.
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:45 PM   #3
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I like deep rims, too. I'm indifferent to white letters. Both of these are very good observations, though.
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Old 07-24-2008, 02:27 AM   #4
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I love white-letter tires. When you think musclecar, you think small rims on some meaty-ass WRL tires. Problem is, they don't work for today's cars since tires are so low profile. You need thickness to accomodate WRLs and unfortunately making them too thick makes the wheel smaller thus very unpleasant looking on today's big, extreme-angled cars.
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:00 PM   #5
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I like white-letter tires. I like the old tires with the red lines on the outside. I still like whitewalls for some cars.

Deep dish wheels look like total shit. I'd take fullsize chrome smoothie wheel covers over those things.
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Old 07-25-2008, 12:33 PM   #6
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How things look is always a matter of personal's your money buy whatever you want.

How things work is not opinion. Do you see any deep dish wheels on the racing Vettes or any cars in the ALMS series....NO !! Do you see deep dish wheels on any high dollar performance car.......NO !! Do you see deep dish wheels on any Formula or open wheel race cars......NO !! All these examples are not cost related, nor appearance related. They are that way because it's mechanically better. Deep dish style wheels have to be heavier, not as strong, offer less brake clearance, and are less aerodynamic etc.

Deep dish wheels are only an aftermarket driven preference. I believe the majority of people do prefer how they look however. The aftermarket is there to let people personalize their car. Every Lambo comes with the same OE wheels, so it's OK to make your's look different. Just don't think that you're improving anything mechanically.

I've owned and raced a lot of Camaro's so style-wise I know what the commentators are saying.
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