When it comes to tire and wheel fitment on a car with stock suspension and stock brakes, these applications are a little more predictable. But with street rods, like the 1954 Buick that we’re measuring, certain modifications may help or hinder the tire and wheel fitment options. (We even included a couple of shots showing Project Shop Truck. See what happens when you measure your ride for new wheels and tires and how it impacts its looks. Coker steelies with spider caps and thin strip whitewall bias-looking tires yields a fresh and noticeable different look.) In this case, the late-model 10-bolt rearend is narrower than the original housing, and the Mustang II front suspension is nearly the same track width as the original setup. This allows us to use moderate front tire and wheel combination, and then step it up a few sizes to give the car a great rubber rake. Our general rule of thumb for a car with moderate-sized wheels and “fat” tires is to stagger the overall diameter by 2 inches.
After obtaining our measurements on all four corners, we called the folks at Coker Tire Company to provide our measurements and see what works the best for this application. We let them know our maximum backspacing allowance, and our overall measurements and they helped us put together a tire and wheel package that really fits the bill. We wanted something traditional that would give the 1954 Buick a mild custom look, which will go perfectly with the car’s lowered stance. Our measurements showed us that we had lots of leeway on the front wheel backspacing, but we weren’t in the market for an extremely large front tire and wheel combination.
Out back, the spacious wheelwells allow for off-the-shelf wheel fitment and a tall tire. The most important measurement that we took at the rear of the car was for maximum backspacing allowance, which was 4.5 inches. The folks at Coker Tire provided an excellent combo for this car, and it consists of BFGoodrich Silvertown radial tires, sized at 215/70R15 up front and 255/70R15 out back. This provides a 2.25-inch rubber rake, while our 15×6 and 15×8 Smoothie wheels complement the big-and-little look. We were able to use off-the-shelf wheels with standard backspacing, but some applications may require custom backspacing for the perfect fitment. There are several factors that hinder tire and wheel fitment, but don’t let that keep you from dialing in your combination. Take a look at how we measured this 1954 Buick and use the same techniques on your street rod.