So you finally bought that C10 That’s been sitting down the street. You’ve been begging the owner to sell it for years, and now it’s decision time. Do you restore it to its original glory or go crazy and modify the heck out of it? If you go the restoration route, there haven’t been too many options for original-style wheels besides scrounging junkyards for a decent set. And, forget about custom offsets unless you fork out a bunch of money for them to be modified. That is until now.
Wheel Vintiques is well-known in street rod and muscle car circles for its wide variety of high-quality steel wheels, but few know that they also offer many options for classic trucks from the ’50s through the ’90s. One of its most popular sellers is the all-new, American-made 42 Series GM Pickup Rallye wheel. The 42 Series O.E. Pickup Rallye wheel is an excellent choice for anyone wanting the factory look. Wheel Vintiques is now offering a newly retooled version of this classic design, which departs from how these wheels were built in the past.
Out With The Old, In With The New
Previously, Wheel Vintiques remanufactured the 42 Series Rallye wheels using a core center section from an original (donor) wheel. Wheel Vintiques would then weld a new hoop onto the center and then powdercoat it. However, as anyone scouring junkyards knows, these cores are getting extremely difficult to find. As cores became more scarce, it meant a longer wait time for customers. On top of that, the process to rebuild a wheel was inefficient, labor-intensive, and expensive.
With the ever-increasing demand for cores, Wheel Vintiques’ National Sales and Marketing Manager Tim Kawasaki decided it was time to develop new in-house tooling to manufacture new wheels on a more regular schedule. Thankfully, customers will no longer have to wait on a new batch of cores to arrive. “The timing was right for us to make the step up to producing these wheels from scratch,” Kawasaki states. “Demand for original-style pickup wheels is definitely outpacing supply, making it more economical for us to manufacture them in-house. The result is a higher quality, more cost-effective wheel.”
We asked Marketing and PR Coordinator, Tommy Lee Byrd, what it means to the company to start manufacturing the Rallye’s at its facility. “From an employee perspective, they are happy to build new wheels instead of reworking old ones, which was extremely labor-intensive and time-consuming,” Byrd says. “From a management perspective, the demand dictated the change. Though it costs us in the short term to create the tooling, it benefits us in the long-run from a quality standpoint and also allows more flexibility with offsets and sizes to offer customers.”
Though it took some time to fabricate new tooling to build the centers in-house, it was worth waiting for improved made-in-the-USA quality. Wheel Vintiques’ uses precise tooling and a 600-ton hydraulic press to stamp the seven-gauge, hot-rolled steel center sections, giving the wheel clean and crisp lines. From there, the center section is robotically welded to the hoop in a precise jig, resulting in a perfectly true wheel made of heavy-gauge steel capable of supporting hefty loads. Once welded, the wheel goes through an automated chemical wash before receiving a silver powdercoat finish.
As of this writing, Wheel Vintiques offers the new 42 Series GM Pickup Rallye product line in three sizes: 15×7, 15×8, and 15×10. More sizes may be available in the future as they ramp up manufacturing. The good news is, all three sizes are available in two different center designs. Customers can choose a 5×5-inch bolt pattern featuring 16 rectangular windows or a 6×5.5-inch bolt pattern with ten larger rectangular windows. The five-lug wheel is a direct fit for any Chevy or GMC half-ton two-wheel-drive truck from 1971 to 1998. Meanwhile, the six-lug version can be used on earlier C10’s as well as K10 four-wheel-drive trucks and K5 Blazers from the 1970s and 1980s.
Off-the-shelf, the 15×7 and 15×8 wheels are stocked in the factory offsets, while the 15×10, 16-window, five-lug wheels are stocked in two backspacing options: 4.5-inches or 5-inches. Meanwhile, the 15×10, 10-window, six-lug wheel is stocked in 4.25-inches of backspacing for a little deeper dish. However, custom backspacing can be specially ordered for those with different needs, such as a lowered or lifted truck for just $25 more per wheel, regardless of wheel width. Of course, this will delay shipping as the wheel has to be made separately from the stock run.
The 42 Series wheels accept the factory caps. Wheel Vintiques does not produce these as yet, but plans are in the works to offer them in the future. Other accessories available for all-wheel widths include chrome trim rings, 7/16-inch chrome lug nuts, and chrome valve stems.
Other Available Options
If the new 42 Series wheel isn’t up your alley or you need a larger size, there are plenty of five-window Rallye-style wheels to choose from on the Wheel Vintiques website. Each has slight differences depending on O.E. bolt patterns and lug configurations. However, you have options from 15-inch up to 18-inch wheels.
If you don’t like truck Rallye-style wheels, Wheel Vintiques also offers Smoothie wheels (10-, 12-, and 13-Series) from 14- to 18-inch sizes for just about any fitment and lug pattern in choices of chrome, primer, or chrome outer with a bare center so you can color-match to your truck. With both standard and reverse construction, these are some of the most versatile wheels on the market today, as you can leave the lugs showing or purchase caps to fit your style.
Artillery wheels (17-, 18-, and 19-Series) simulate the style of an old wooden spoke wheel from the ’20s and ’30s in all-steel construction. They are available in the same finishes as above, in sizes from 15×4- to 17×9-inches in five- or six-lug bolt patterns. These are immensely popular in the hot rod/street rod scene, allowing for your choice of center caps to customize your ride.
If you’re a fan of heavier trucks, there are even some O.E. eight-lug options available. When you’re ready to upgrade the wheels on your classic Chevy truck, be sure to check out the Wheel Vintiques website or give them a call to talk about your truck and fitment needs. Chances are they have something to help your truck stand out from the crowd and look good while doing it.