Help with wheel and tire combo for an '81 with Turbo GT wide body kit?


New member
May 20, 2024
Hey y'all i've had this car for awhile but just now getting aroudn to giving it the TLC it deserves. The current rubber is VERY old, and i'm not comfortable putting a lot of miles on them. Currently on 15" Cragars with 265 50r15 in the front and 295 50r15 in the year. Original tires were either 225 70r15 or 255 60r15, both of which are about 27" tall. The 295 50r15 are 26.8" tall, but the 265 50r15 are only 25.3" tall. I've never had any tire interference issues with the current set up, but it might be of note that a previous owner put spring spacers in the front coils, presumably to lift the car up either because the front tires are only 25" tall or perhaps because of a tire interference issue.

Tire availability in 15's is somewhat limited, especially for the 265s, but i can get BFGoodrich Radial TAs in 295 50r15 and 255 60r15 (which puts the fronts back to 27" tall).

However, not sure i want to spend the $1200 to put new rubber on these old rims, especially when i'm going to end up running stock rubber width in the front--i feel like the entire point of the wide body is to put some beefy tires under the chassis.

I'm thinking stepping up to some 18" rims and slightly wider rubber would provide better tire options as well as improved performance and a nice updated look.

Anyone have experience with similar body kits and want to share what they went with in terms of wheel/tire combos?


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I like 15s. And the body style was running 15s right? Although the 5-Wides are real "special."
I'd be going the 295 15 - 15s on 15x10 Open D wheels. Less than $400 in the rims. That much for a single 18?
I'd be concerned with changes in the handeling with 18s, but could happen with the other rims too.

I have a set of similar rims (Western Cyclones) I keep around to one day get widened. They just look so cool.

Best of luck.

Cheers - Jim
Why not c6 zo6 wheels and tires. Superbuickguy used Grand Sport (same dimensions) I think, but adapters might be required.

You could pick them up with tires fairly reasonably, don’t see them as often lately though.
Can't sayhow accurate this might be - from CF. It might be helpful:

It doesn't list the C3 - 15s, this might get you close:

Cheers - Jim
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Jim and RTJ,
I really appeciate your inputs, sorry it's taken me a few days to respond. I pulled the rear wheels and swapped them to the front and took it for a spin, no rubbing lock to lock, no rubbing over some aggressive bumps, and no rubbing in high speed cornering. So i feel like i can go 295 square on the car, and that makes we feel a bit better about sticking with the 15" rims.

All four rims are 15" by 10", so 295 is a nice wide tire on that rim. I was in a bit of a hurry and did not measure the back spacing. The tires on the rear are from 2007, and those on the front from 2009, and there is some cracking in the sidewalls, so i'm very hesitant to put any more miles than is necessary to get it to the Discount Tire. I ordered 295 50r15 for all four corners in BFGoodrich Radial T/As. I may revisit an 18" wheel again and seeing if i can go wider in the rear in the future, but I'm satisfied i'll get reasonably good performance of these and at least they allow me to get off the really old rubber and not have anxiety about a blow-out on the road.

I'll measure the backspacing and clearance once i get them on the car and have a few miles on them and update the thread then. Thanks again for the input, i appreciate it!

295 50r15 for all four corners in BFGoodrich Radial T/As

Good choice.
If you want to drop the front a bit, there is always the "old Skool" approach of cutting down the stock front springs.

Did you know there are a few Vette Improvement documents in the downloads section? A few that might be interest:

When I first started down the "Vette-Mod" path, one of the first things was to cut down the springs. Then I added 50 series BFGs. Nice. Autocrossed in NC and DC area.
Now, I am on a different course.

Cheers, Jim