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.


There are a lot of tire choices in various sizes, tread pattern and speed ratings.

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

I need at least a "V" speed rating on Panther since a computer simulation claims around 145mph top speed capability. The wheel mount diameter can be 15", 16" or 17" based upon the wheel choice above; I like the 17", which in 50 aspect ratio means a tire outside diameter of 26.2". Right now, I am favoring the Goodyear Eagle RS-A tire in P225/50R17-V size:

NOTE: This subproject is ongoing...to be continued.

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