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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2008, 05:56 AM
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Default 15" vs 17" wheels

Does everyone go with the 15" wheels, or do some go to the 17" wheels. What are your opinions of the change in looks vs. real world use.

Ray
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2008, 06:30 AM
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I went with 17", if I did it over I would go with 15". The 17" have that low profile look, so I looked high and low to find 17" tires that were tall and gave me a decent looking side wall. Without checking I think my tires are around 26.5" tall, which is slightly shorter then most 15" but taller then a lot of 17" I think they look good and I am happy with them, but If I ever needed to or get the extra cash laying around I would sell my 17" and go to 15" and run either white letter tires or the Goodyear Cobra billboard tires. This reminds me, another aspect of the 17" wheels, either I cannot find them or they do not make any 17" tires with white letters. Most of the 17" tires have too small of a side wall. If you want the look of white letter tires better stick with 15", if you like the look and handling of the low profile tires go 17" both look good, just different, IMO most of the 17" tires with a low profile look do not appear to fill up the wheel well very well and it looks odd like something is missing. If you go 17" find tires that give you the most side wall as you can. One other caution, make sure you have brake clearance for 15" wheels, I have seen some that don't or are very very close.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Jim
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:47 AM
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Ray,

There are some good choices for 17 inch wheels that can make your car unique and still look good. If you want the 6 pin drive wheels option than you need to go with 15 inch wheels.

My preference is the 15 inch wheel for the looks. Drivability is up to the those who have driven on both.
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:49 AM
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This is a personal preference matter. To ME 15 inch wheels and tires look right on a cobra. 17 inch, lower profile tires, make it look like a ricer street racer. However on a track guys who race say the 17 inch tires do perform better.
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:02 AM
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I believe I saw and add by a wheel manufacture that is offering 17" pin drives, but can't recall which one. I agree on the 17" ricer lor DUB look, but if you get some taller 17" tires they look pretty good. Most 17" tires seem to run a height of around 22" to 24" tall leaving about a 3" side wall, mine having a height of around 26.5" this leaves a side wall of a little over 4.5". May not sound like much but makes a big visual difference. If I am ever forced into a shorter 17" tire then what I am running now I will switch to 15" wheels.

Just 2 more cents...thats 4 total now....

Jim
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:57 AM
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Smile Vintage Wheels pin drive

Hi Ray
we supply 15 and 17 inch wheels in both 5 pin with adapters and 6 pin , wheels look identical on the outside ,have a look www.vintagewheelsus.com
Bob Vintage Wheels
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:36 AM
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Default tire selection

RAO-3,


Note: TIRES ARE EVEN MORE OF A FACTOR THESE DAYS than ever before in making this decision. Seems that many of the remaining/decent mainstream 15" tires are disappearing. Finding 265/50-15s is another one that just dropped for those who run those instead of the 245/60s. I have a few friends who are now caving in and selling their 15s to go wit 17s just because of tire selection and availability and price. If you don't mind spending the extra money there are a few nice/more expensive "specialty" 15" tires out there, but not much of the cheaper radials left like it was two years ago in the lower cost range. Just something to be aware of. Long live the 15" diehards!
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:14 AM
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Tire Rack recently had has a supply of 295/50x15 (due to be available 06/12/08) and 235/60x15 (now fewer than 3 in stock) in Goodyear Eagle GTII.
I find the GTII to be a pretty decent tire all around.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2008, 01:57 PM
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15" wheels were more esthetically pleasing and more original-looking to me, so I went with them. I also went with the Goodyear Eagle GT II tires (nearly all original Cobras came with Goodyear tires for reasons already well-known!), although I've read lately that certain Firestones may actually handle and ride better. Speaking of ride, you'll get a better ride with a taller sidewall (15" wheels) than with a shorter one (17" wheels). With regard to handling, you won't miss much in the way of handling with the 15" wheels unless you spend all of your time on the racetrack or continuously drive 10/10ths on the street. Tires for 15" wheels also tend to be less expensive.
Just my own thoughts and biases!
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Old 06-11-2008, 05:08 AM
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Hey, you guys are supposed to make my decision easier, not harder!

I do appreciate everyone's comments and experiences; I hadn't thought about the diminishing availability of the 15" tires.

I really do like the looks of the 15" wheels/tires, so likely will go with them even with the risk.

Ray
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Old 06-11-2008, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAO-3 View Post
I hadn't thought about the diminishing availability of the 15" tires.
I wouldn't worry about that -- and I'd go with the 15's. The Yoko Avids were discontinued, unfortunately. That's what I have on my car and they give a tremendous "bang for the buck." I'll replace them with the Avons and, frankly, I'm looking forward to comparing the stickiness. A set of four Avons will set you back about a grand more than a set of Yokos would, but you'll soon get used to that -- this is not a cheap hobby.
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Old 06-11-2008, 06:25 AM
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Default Buy 2 sets, 1 set 17" and 1 set 15"

RAO-3 Ray IMO there is no tire on a cobra better looking than the 15" billboards from GY with the large letters. For messing around at the track, IMO the 17" wheels handle better for most drivers. If your car can power slide through corners, this is where the 15" wheels are fun. Dick Smith ran only 15" wheels and tires. His driving style was better with 15". It's alot harder to drift and control sliding on a 17" wheel combo. If you look in some of the mags other even here on CC there are pictures of the GY billboards on cars, they are sharp. The 15" are better on the street and give the car a taller height to clear those wonderful roads in your area. Your car will come ready to accept both 15" and 17" wheels. For the pin drive wheels, get the stainless steel spinners and don't forget the safety wire them. IMO Dunlop GT Qualifiers drive and handle better than BFG tires. I think they are also cheaper and come in the same sizes. Are you having FUN yet??? 2 different size wheels, about a dozen different style of tires, Pin drive or no pin drive, and about 4 different style of wheel looks. Let the adventure begin. Rick L.
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Old 06-11-2008, 06:45 AM
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Hi Jim, I think my instinct to look at the 17" wheels mostly comes from having "newer" vehicles and thus always opting to go with the larger diameter wheels. I just have to think "1960's, 1960's, 1960's..."

Hey Rick, taking it a part at a time...I guess by the time I cover all the parts, my car should be done at ERA!

Ray
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:17 AM
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Ray, be sure to keep in touch with Peter. He likes to be reminded that you want your car. Also send food - meatball subs, salami, good fruit. Say hello to Peter for me - I owe him a fruit shipment!! (my company is a specialty produce grower & importer - he got some really good melons last year - but we don't have them right now). Rickd
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
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Ray, be sure to keep in touch with Peter.
I found the best way to deal with Peter was to talk everything through with him over the phone and then, about an hour after you hang up, send him a confirming fax that details everything you just talked over. Remember, he's juggling a lot of cars and he can, occasionally, get his wires crossed. Don't be surprised if he gets your car confused with someone else's. He has the ability to recover nicely and then get back up to speed very quickly -- kind of like driving.
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAO-3 View Post
Hi Jim, I think my instinct to look at the 17" wheels mostly comes from having "newer" vehicles and thus always opting to go with the larger diameter wheels. I just have to think "1960's, 1960's, 1960's..."

Hey Rick, taking it a part at a time...I guess by the time I cover all the parts, my car should be done at ERA!

Ray
meh... buy what you like. My car already had the 15's on it when I bought, & I dearly wish it had the 17s. I MUCH prefer the resto-mod look of the 17s, & I could care less about looking original. Don't get me wrong, I like the look of the Halibrand's... but just prefer the updated appearance of the larger size. Am springing for a set of 17s as soon as I can force myself to part with the cash- though with gas prices these days, my wallet seems to have sprung a leak.
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:55 AM
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R Smith,

I thought about going the other way, cash is always the issue for most of us, may be could trade, my 17"s for your 15"'s.........

Jim
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Old 06-11-2008, 09:44 AM
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Rickd & patrickt -

I spoke to Peter yesterday for a bit to go over what I wanted, and I could tell that he was taking notes. Really a terrific guy. I'm going up there over the weekend to deliver my deposit personally; I think he plans to provide a tour as he suggested I wear "old clothes". Needless to say, the rest of this week will drag for me.

Ray
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:15 AM
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Ray, you bet there will be a tour. His office & Bob Putnam's are both in the final assembly shop where there are generally 10 - 12 painted cars in various stages of assembly. Really a nice visit!! You will see the shop where they do the glass work, build the chassis, and do the initial assembly work (bond bodies to chassis, aluminum interior panels, etc). Check out the cars up on lifts in final assembly. The undercarriage of these cars is a work of art. Some beautiful pieces. Enjoy. I used my frequent flyer miles for 3 trips. Rick
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:50 AM
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Ask him if you can see the development shop.

Have fun in lovely New Britain. Their shop is in the heart of one of the finest neighborhoods.

Definitely don't dress up for the occassion.
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