1956 Packard Panther Project

Panther "Restomod" Projects

Wheels & Tires Subproject


There were only two wheel choices for the 1955-56 Packard: stamped steel or chromed true wire wheels. In my opinion, neither is appropriate for a "beast" like the Panther.

The 1955-56 Clippers were equipped with 5x4½ stamped steel wheels. Because this size is very common (Ford Mustang for example), there are literally thousands of wheel style choices. These choices usually come in aluminum and sometimes magnesium ("Mag"). The spoke and rim shape can be almost anything since even CNC'd wheels are available for a price. One of my personal favorites is the American Racing "Torque Thrust" wheel, which is more or less "period correct" (1963+):

These wheels are available in 15"x7" or 17"x8" size, 5x4½ bolt pattern with the appropriate backspacing for the Panther. These wheels are modern reproductions by the original manufacturer that also clear disc brake calipers in these sizes. Here's an example of a 1967 GTO with those wheels:


There are a lot of tire choices in various sizes, tread pattern and speed ratings. One consideration is the code for speed ratings:

    Speed Rating (code, maximum sustained speed):
  • S - 112mph
  • T - 118mph
  • H - 130mph
  • V - 149mph
  • W - 168mph
  • Y - 186mph

In theory I need a "V" speed rated tire because the computer simulation claims a top speed of over 145mph for Panther, as a practical matter, I'm never going to be driving it anywhere near that fast. I am sure that a "T" (118mph) speed rated tire will be more than adequate.

Since Panther will be a cruiser, my requirement is a long tread life, smooth riding tire. I chose Hankook Optimo H724 in P225/70-15 size. It has a 70,000 mile warranty and is load/speed rated 100T.

A picture of the American Racing "Torque Thrust" wheel with Hankook Optimo tire mounted on Panther

This concludes the Wheels & Tires subproject.

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