Big & Little, Tall & Skinny--What's Right for your Hot Rod?
Stance is an important part of building a custom car, whether it's a hot rod, a street machine or a Pro Street build. Some enthusiasts know exactly what they want, and come to us prepared with part numbers in hand. Others may just have a few key measurements and a certain style in mind--either way, we can help figure out the right tires and wheels for your build. Traditional hot rods and gassers typically use bias ply tires to retain the period correct look. In most cases, hot rods built before World War II will use a 16x4.5-inch wheel, as that was a popular size for the era. Using the same size wheel on all four corners, you can mix and match the tire sizing to provide an awesome stance. For instance, a hot rod using 16x4.5-inch Hot Rod Steel wheels can combine a Firestone 5.00/5.25-16 front tire (measures 26.50 inches in diameter and 5.26-inch section width) with a Firestone 7.50-16 rear tire (measures 31.48 inches in diameter and 8.28-inch section width). The difference of approximately five inches in diameter makes for a killer big and little look, and the narrow tread offers the old school tall and skinny profile. We also offer many sizes that split the difference of these two examples if you're looking for something a little less aggressive. For folks running 15-inch wheels, a common size combination is 5.60-15 for the front and 8.20-15 for the rear. Typically, these sizes would only be available in a bias ply tire, but with the introduction of our new American Classic bias look radial, you can get this big and little combination in a radial! We're excited to see hot rods rolling on these tires, because they have the old school, period correct look with the ride quality of a modern radial. When it comes to our standard whitewall radial tires in the BFGoodrich, Coker Classic and American Classic brands, we have lots of options for big and little sizing. Most folks run a 165R15 on the front of a hot rod to get the skinny look. For the rear, we see a lot of 235/75R15, 255/70R15 and 285/70R15 tires, depending on how big of a tire the car can fit. Again, if you don't want a dramatic big and little combination, there are lots of sizing options that fit between the BIGS and the LITTLES.