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About the Author: RareCars

41 Comments

  1. 70s/80s cars with low-torque engines needed smaller wheels, right? Expensive cars with huge low profile wheels these days have overpowered engines and are basically built to farm speeding tickets.

    1. First part not really, sidewall design just wasn’t that well developed yet for strength. If you look at the McLaren f1, those tires had decently wide sidewalls for a performance car and same for the countach. Also wide sidewalls are a more comfortable ride

  2. No joke, this is a serious problem. My 2012 Toyota Yaris has 15″ tires, which was very average for early 2000’s, but now tire selection in that size is getting sparse if I’m going to stick to the factory size.

    1. I have the same problem with my 2016 Smart Fortwo. It has 15″ rims with two different widths, and I have to special order tires for the narrower front rims. I’m only aware of one brand still making that uncommon size now.

    2. On the flipside; Tire costs always worried me buying my 2014 Legacy Sport, the only trim with gorgeous 18″ wheels. But now in 2023, that size tire is the least expensive. Nice!

  3. Doug is the type of guy that kneels behind the car because he’s not wearing pants!!! 🙄

  4. It’s not small wheels it’s regular wheels. Many parts of the car industry get more and more insane every year, wheel & tires & associated costs is but a part of it. Unsprung weight is bad for comfort and fuel economy. Bigger wheels bring you absolutely no positives if we aren’t talking about a race car that needs the space to physically fit bigger brake systems.

    1. It’s because the belt line of cars has got so much higher (due to crash protection) that small wheels would look ridiculous. Have a look at an early BMW E90 3-series. The 16″ wheels look very silly.

  5. I wish you could find a late 80’s Chevy Sprint Turbo to review. I had one and the “performance package” had 12” rally inspired wheels standard 😂. Talk about doughnuts!

  6. Formula 1 had 13 inches on till about 2 years ago. And they sre the top level of motor racing with extremely powerful motors.

    1. Lol no. Sidewall has a marginal impact on ride quality. All the engineering in the suspension and body control make the difference.

  7. I miss my first car it was a 1986 Honda Civic with 13 inch wheels I drove that thing forever when I got it the thing had over 200,000 miles on it

  8. I remember when 16″ wheels on the 1984 Vette was a huge deal.
    I have 13″ wheels on my Triumph Spitfire and GT6. Finding decent tires is not easy these days.

  9. Smaller wheel = bigger sidewall = smoother, more comfortable ride. Back when not everything pretended like it was a top of the line sports car

  10. I liked the 12’s on my ’88 Festiva. You could get Sears Roadhandlers in that size for $19.99!

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