With a penchant for different wheels almost as strong as his love for Mk1 Cortinas, Gavin decides to put the two together for your benefit — here’s his guide to choosing classic Ford wheels.
I’ve often heard it said that the choice of wheels can make or break a car, so I find it quite strange what a limited palate we use in the classic Ford scene. I wonder if it’s something to do with the racing heritage that we have which means that there are firm favourites which have been with us for years. But also a big restriction is the number of cars which carry the same PCD as Ford. There are so many brands which use a 4×100 PCD that the choice is huge. Compare this with the number with a 4×108 — the mainstream cars being some Peugeot, Citroen and a tiny number of Audis — means there is a much smaller range of wheels to choose from.
These days we are exposed to a large array of wheel deigns, but still very few are suitable for our classic Fords, which I find a little frustrating. I’d like to see what’s out there and how they suit Mk1 Cortinas, so I’m on a bit of a mission to try out as many as I can. I know there’s a lot of people out there who think 13 inches is the best size, and we all know what Lotus steels or Minilights look like on a Cortina, but I’ve also seen people ask ‘what else is about?’. With this in mind, I have amassed a small collection of wheels and thought it would be good to compare them all together to show different styles but also sizes. Initially, I planned doing this on my modified saloon but thought it would be better to keep it a little more real and bolt them to a standard car. So here’s a selection of wheels bolted to a totally standard estate just dragged out of a barn! It may look as though it’s been lowered, but that was done with a little cheat — by replacing the seats with concrete blocks! Wheels always look better when combined with a little lowering!
One of the few cars out there which uses the Ford PCD is a Caterham and I thought it would be worth trying out their Prisoner wheels. I think they really suit the Cortina.
The Compomotive CX is a classic wheel from the ’70s, and it’s surprising how many come up for sale, and in quite a range of widths and offsets, too.
The Hayashi Streets you’ve seen before in these pages, fitted to my two-door. Here I’ve bolted on the 7x15s on the front and rear. They have a 13 ET which is actually too much at the front.
These are Image Wheels’ version of the classic RS four-spoke. The beauty with Image wheels is that you can spec the size and offset you want — these are 7×16 with a 0 ET.
These are a bit of a curve ball. You don’t really see many wheels fitted with wheel adapters in the classic Ford scene, but I wanted to give it a go since I thought these 15 inch BRMs might suit the Cortina, and I think they do!
The BRM wheels needed adaptors to fit.
JA Pearce wheels seem very popular now, but are sadly very rare. This is the only set I’ve seen for a Ford at this width.
The guide to choosing classic Ford wheels first appeared in the August 2018 issue
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