View Full Version : Steel wheels for my 60 Bird.

Bavaria 30.si
11-22-2014, 07:50 AM
I have not posted on here for a while, but as the title implies i am looking for a set of standard wheels for my car, i wish to use the original wheel covers, on a 14" rim, but despite efforts to acquire such items i am no further forward in my quest.

Most people in the USA seem to find it too difficult, for reasons best known to themselves, to package and post this type of item, they are lucky they are not dealing with such issues in Canada.

However, i digress i have found an auto dismantler in Nebraska who has already sent me several parcels, and is happy to post me a set of wheels.

My question is, are the 59/60 rims identical, are they slotted or perforated in any way, despite searching i have not found any info or pictures, to answer this question.

I have another 60. T.Bird on later 14" rims from a 64 ford, and one odd rim on the car in question, these are all slotted.

Hoping some one can answer this post, maybe with a picture.

Dakota Boy
11-22-2014, 10:13 AM
have you tried ordering new ones?

Here;s a company that has dozens of steel wheels:


11-22-2014, 10:53 AM
The 59/60 wheels are identical. They should be NON-slotted or as we say NON-vented.


11-22-2014, 02:24 PM
Here are some pictures of my 14" rims. It took me a while to find the extra rim when I found one of mine was damaged.

11-23-2014, 02:34 PM
I have a set I took of my 1960 Thunderbird. I converted to Disc brakes last winter. If you are interested call me at 208-699-8512 cell 208-777-2957 Home.

Bavaria 30.si
11-29-2014, 07:51 AM
Thanks for the replies to this question, now well answered, looking at the various responses, i can now proceed in my quest.

Dealing with the issue of replacement with new, if i could find genuine nos items, that would be fine, but i suspect that all new items available from the better know suppliers would be pattern items made outside of the USA, economies i avoid supporting if i can.

New pattern items are approx $120 a piece, plus $100 postage and packing, plus import duty and tax here in the UK, x 5 = approx $1.250 for a set of steel wheels, pricey for something hidden behind a set of wheel covers.

Now we have established what the wheels should look like, ie non vented, i will continue to find a set of used rims, the people in Nebraska, Kosiski Autos, who as previously stated have already sent me items, have a set of rims from a 59 car they are parting out, they will use a wheel balancing machine to check that they run true before shipping, so pretty good there.

The other option is to take up the offer of a fellow Forum member who has a set of rims, if they are ok with the arse ache of packaging and posting this type of item,then that is fine, yet to be contacted, next job.

The reason this issue has arisen is due to a cheap ebay purchase, here in the UK, of a car that looks as if someone had made an attempt of restoration in the USA, it had been partially stripped, painted, new bumpers, (poorly chromed) and never completely reassembled, abandoned for some years, sold and shipped here, someone in So Cal still has several boxes of bits for this car.

The car arrived her in the UK with an odd mixture of wheels and covers, 3x15" steel wheels, 1x16" 5 spoke, 1x 14" vented steel wheel as a spare, presumed early sixties, all not correct, hence my quest.

However i have now acquired all the missing bits, from allover Canada and the USA, including at great expense, in my view, a good original set of the right type and colour interior trim.

So progress is slow but steady, wheels and tyres (tires) next, then onto the brakes, linings are all ok but cylinders are shot, it does not have power brakes or steering, next jobs.

Why am i bothering? because this is an unbelievably rust free car, has never been welded, and does not need welding, a very different story to some of the cars i have read about on this Forum, even my other car, a 60 convertible, that i purchased in 1973, now needs some major restoration, relating to the dreaded rust, anyway that is enough from me.

11-29-2014, 03:49 PM
If you are going to spend that kind of money for a set of rims, you should really consider getting a 14" that is disc compatible or upgrading to the 15" and look for new wheel covers. This would save a lot of future expense if you ever decide to upgrade to disc brakes. I've yet to see anyone here that has done the disc conversion and is not happy with it. I powder coated my original rims, but am somewhat regretful, since they are much more difficult to make work with a disc brake upgrade. Just thought I would again mention this.

11-30-2014, 11:55 AM
I agree. Use modern wheels from a 'disk brake' Ford. They are usually 14" X 6" with vents. The vents mean nothing, especially if you use a full-wheel cover.

Cars from 1960 did NOT have disk brakes so clearance was never an issue. Instead of welding the wheels together, back then, Ford used rivets with inner tubes. Tubeless tires first came out in the 1957 Chevrolet, and Americans did not trust them.

Here is an example of the 14" wheel you want:
Measure from the flange that rests on the drum/rotor (in the rear of the wheel), to the outer edge of the wheel. This one has a back spacing of 3-1/2", which is perfect. Also notice the 'hump' on one side of the rim, for caliper clearance. <--this is important. Here is the caliper clearance picture:
It's just enough.

Modern wheels are spot welded together. eliminating the need for rivets that protrude. Good luck and I hope you don't spend good money after bad. Otherwise, you will soon be in the market for proper wheels. - Dave

Howard Prout
11-30-2014, 01:01 PM
I had a difficult time finding disk brake compatible wheels for my '59 when I was doing the disk brake conversion. I couldn't find any locally so I eventually got Ray Clark to get me three rims from a pull yard near him. The reason I only got three rims is because I wanted two for the front wheels and one for the spare. The spare can be used on either the front or rear axles. Having the rims transported to me from Texas was a major expense. I had the rims powder coated. I wanted to be certain that the rims would work so I took one to Dave Dare's to try it on his '59 Galaxie (which he had already converted to disk brakes using the same Scarebird brackets as I intended to use). It fit, but as Dave says, the clearances are quite small. Dave has used that photograph showing the offset and my hand numerous times so maybe I should consider requesting royalty for permission to use it! The sticker on the rim is from Canada Customs - it signified that I had taken the rim with me when I crossed into the US and therefore didn't have to pay duty on it when I brought it back into Canada.

11-30-2014, 01:50 PM
Yes Howard, it's a beautiful hand, ok? Your other one is just as nice. The big question is, and I was eager to hear you say...

How well do you like your power disk brake system on your Squarebird?

I am elated over mine. My buddies couldn't believe our heavy Fordor Galaxie could stop. They quickly turned into believers when I hit the brakes on Interstate 75 exit ramp, when a small car squirted in front of us at the last moment. There would have been no chance with drum brakes.

Go Detroit Red Wings... game starts at 2p (in about one hour) against Vancouver BC (where Jean Prout hails from). - Dave