New Shoes for the Chevelle
Usually, the first thing I do when I drag home a new project is wheels and tires. So much so, I make room for an old Coats 40-40 post-style tire machine in my cramped suburban garage.
Before the ’67 Chevelle project ballooned into a major overhaul, complete with total body, drivetrain and chassis rebuilds, it was going to be a simple dolled up driver. That was when I bought a set of Firestone Wide-Oval Redlines to class up my fresh kill.
My plan was a much needed up-size from the outdated & wimpy 14”x7” sawblade aluminum wheels it came with. I opted to run a 15”x8” steel wheel on all four corners. Unsure of whether or not that particular size and offset combination was going to work out, I resorted to my secret weapon. The WheelRite. This little measuring tool has helped me stuff fenderwells with confidence for years.
Even with the confidence of the wheelrite data I only bought 2 - 15x8” wheels to start with. I was sure of the fit on the rear of the car so a pair of 8” rims would for sure get used. What I still had reservations about was the clearance up front with the bigger wheel and tire combo. Again, the F70-15 is the smallest 15” Wide-Oval you can get.
This car has always had an extremely low ride height in the cards, so this clearance was going to come more into play as the project progressed.
Armed with the knowledge that I’d use the tires and wheels somewhere for sure, I mounted the pair of 8”s one with a G70 and one with an F70. The result was just as desired.
The combination of the tread, section and rim width all worked together perfectly. Even with the ride height reduced by 4” the tire was able to tuck up into the fender lip at full-lock.
But then when the “might as wells” get hold of a project and you end up with a big block and opt for a little narrower 9” Ford rear-end to deal with the added torque and traction needed...plans can change.