Piston Slap: A Hot-Rod wheel for a stock Model A?
I have a stock 1930 model A, nicely restored. I love the wire wheels, but when I want to show it as a hot rod, nobody can tell me if there is any Mag or chrome style wheel that will bolt right up. Looks like an easy five-hole swap to me. So many confusing answers out there. None have really helped. What’s your take on it?
It is indeed an easy swap, as the Model A uses the 5-on-5.5-inch bolt pattern shared with a several generations of the Ford F-series and older Jeeps. The only confusing part of this answer is the sheer volume of wheels available at your disposal. Because of the Model A’s simplistic body/brakes/suspension, most any narrow-width Ford truck wheel (7-inch wide or less) in any offset should both work fine and not visually drown out the Model A’s modest dimensions. A tape measure for offset calculations never hurts, but there’s a lot of wiggle room on a Model A.
One last notion remains, and that’s the matter of taste: if you’re gonna take in another “confusing answer” from the Internet, may I recommend the 15×7-inch alloy wheels from a 1992 Ford Econoline? Of course, I’m kidding … even though I’d roll in a Model A “Chateau” to a car show harder than a Time Out Doll rocks their denim overalls.
Fact is, you don’t take the advice from a 1980–90s Ford Collector (with his own advice column) very seriously. Luckily a far more rational member of my team owns a Model A, and he recommended getting Jeep GPW wheels. In his words:
“Personally, we had a few sets of Jeep steel wheels from GPW-era stuff that looked pretty cool, and they’re ‘period correct’ hot-rod style. It’s just a basic steel wheel though … but GPWs are also 5 x 5.5-inches.” — Kyle Smith
Kyle is definitely on to something. I would do 16-inch GPW steel wheels, paint-to-match the body, add chrome beauty rings, and finish it off with a beefy set of chrome lug nuts. That’d be sweet—a perfect blend of hot-rod style in my book. Clearly, Kyle did a better job than yours truly, but what’s your take on this question, Hagerty Community?
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