Project Blank Slate: Forgeline Gets Us Rolling With New Wheels

Like any project car, sometimes a new part here or there is all it takes to get us motivated to working on it again. Our 1969 Camaro that we bought a couple years ago has been no different, and after the tear down to assess what we needed we began to plan the project and decide what we were going to do with it.

Other projects like Swinger, our ’71 Nova, have filled the shop dawgs’ time cards for the past couple of years. But now we have a few new parts for our Camaro, Project Blank Slate, that are really getting this project rolling along. We liked the wheels we installed on Swinger, and looked to Forgeline to hook us up with the right wheel combination for Blank Slate, too.

We went with a 5 inch backspacing for the front wheels, and 5.5 inches for the rear.

The wheels arrived the other day and the first thing you notice about these new wheels is the size. At 18 x 12 inches for the rear and 18 x 9.5 inches for the front, there’s no mistaking that there is going to be some serious rubber wrapped around these things. The lip for the rear wheels is deep, and the concave spoke design of these wheels is the classic musclecar look that we all remember, from a time when front wheel drive wheels weren’t a consideration yet.

The SC3C that we’re running on Blank Slate is made from forged 6061-T6 aluminum. That means they start with a complete block of aluminum and the CNC machines do the work. As with many of Forgeline’s wheels, these are custom built to your specifications in 18″, 19″ or 20″ diameters. You tell them what your needs are for the offset and bolt pattern, and they put those dimensions to work and create the wheel for you. But this is just the beginning for these wheels, because there are a few finishes available for this wheel, too.

The fronts have a smaller lip, but still have that classic deep look that is achieved with Forgeline's concave spoke design.

The silver spokes look great if you want a brighter finish, but we decided to go with transparent smoke for the spokes. We feel this will contrast well with the color we chose for Blank Slate, and this gives the wheel a very unique look. The brushed and machined surface of the wheels are powder coated with a translucent smoked finish that adds a little depth to the finish, as well as a modern, high tech look to the wheel. Then you see the deep, concave arch in the spokes and how it reminds you of the pure musclecar look, and it’s a complete package that’s perfect for classic cars.

ARP fasteners are used to bolt these three-piece wheels together.

These three-piece wheels are put together with hidden, stainless-steel ARP fasteners on the inside of the wheel. That keeps the outside of the spokes looking clean and uncluttered, yet provides the same strength of their other three-piece wheels. The unique rim on these wheels is called a flat reverse-lip design, and it aids in clearing some of the largest calipers on the market.

Many older cars have a zero offset, which means that the hub mating surface for the wheel is in the center between the fender lip and the inner wheel well. Front wheel drive cars have a positive offset, meaning the mating surface is outward towards the fender lip. When the craze began to install plus one, plus two, etc., wheels, many wheel manufacturers only offered plus size wheels in the positive offset and they didn’t fit classic muscle cars. The same holds true for many modern muscle car wheels, the offset doesn’t work for classic cars. Anyone who has been this route knows that spacers and adapters were needed to mount the modern, positive offset wheels.

But thanks to companies like Forgeline, we can now get wheels that will fit our classic cars, just the way it used to be – but we have a lot more choices with modern looks and various finishes. Even if you want negative offset for that true, deep dish look that is very much a muscle car tradition, Forgeline can make those for you too, as they did with our SC3Cs for Blank Slate. Now we’re about ready to get this project rolling!

About the author

Michael Harding

Michael is a Power Automedia contributor and automotive enthusiast who doesn’t discriminate. Although Mopar is in his blood, he loves any car that looks great and drives even faster.
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