Wheels

Back when I was first hatching this plan of an era correct hot rod Ghia, I was leaning toward five-spoke Empi replicas, but they weren't available in 1960. So I started looking at Porsche 356 wheels. The slotted aftermarket wheels don't have the "correct" slot pattern, but for my needs I'm going to call them close enough. Leave the 356 wheels for the 356 guys.

The next decision was width. 4.5" or 5.5"? My first thought was to go with 5.5". Why? Well... I'm not sure. Because wider is better? But in researching it more, I didn't find any very compelling reasons to go with a 5.5" wheel on a swing-axle car. So... I ordered 4.5" wheels.

What about tires? From what I've heard on the Karmann-Ghia mail list, the popular choice seems to be Michelin 165 SR 15 XZX. These days I think the Michelins are only available from Coker? And for the use my car will see (as in, not much) I decided to go with a wheel/tire package. They came with Kumhos, which may bother some people but I've had Kumho tires on other cars and thought they were fine. In the very few miles I've driven the car since getting these put on, I have no issues. Well, other than while installing the wheels I noticed there were no wheel weights! They were supposed to be balanced - I asked how they balanced them without external weights but haven't gotten an answer yet.

My hopes were the narrower tire with the 165 tire might fit under the hood. Not even close. But to my susrprise when I tried to install one fo the old Bias ply wheel/tires in there it didn't fit either. Looks like the spare tire well is in worse shape than I thought - not a huge surprise really. Maybe I'll get a narrower tire mounted on one of the old rims jst in case I get a flat - not an ideal solution but may keep me from being stranded someday.

 

For hubcaps I thought Wolfsburg badges on 356-style hubcaps would be a nice touch. I ordered them along with the wheels but they were backordered for a while. I dd end up putting htem on the car but I don't think I got any decent pictures of them before I sold it.

Wheel0478s
Wheel0498s