Because of how customized classic trucks are used-whether as day-in, day-out daily-drivers, or as trendsetting show-stoppers-they require special wheels and tires to fit the bill. Unlike their stock brethren, the demands of ultra-high-performance drivetrains, suspensions, and braking systems adapted to classic trucks demand a rolling combination capable of delivering function and style without compromise.
In this guide we've assembled a sampling of time-honored classic designs paired with the latest in modern technology. In next month's edition of CCT we will follow up with a firsthand look at how radically different the same truck can appear with different wheel and tire treatments.
Diamond Back Classics
Diamond Back Classics is a fourth-generation family operated tire business that was originally founded as Chapman Tire in 1915 by G.D. Abercrombie. His son, Tom Chapman, took it over in 1936. Bill Chapman, Tom's son (and current owner), took the company over in 1980. Bill put the company into the whitewall tire business in 1992. In 1998 Bill moved the company, renamed Diamond Back Classics, into its present 18,000-square-foot facility in Conway, SC. Today, Bill Chapman's two sons and daughter (Tab, Clif, and Cooper) are all part of the family business.
Diamond Back Classics purchases trailer loads of current-production radial tires directly from the world's largest tire makers. These tires are converted in its plant to redline and whitewall tires of every description through a proprietary process developed by Bill Chapman. Through this process, the company manufactures the only speed-rated, nostalgic-style tires. They are made in 13- to 20-inch sizes in a range of series. All Diamond Back tires are custom-made to order and every tire is finished entirely by hand.
Mickey Thompson Wheels
The HR-1 wheels from Mickey Thompson are made for today's hot rod trucks. These one-piece, rotary-forged aluminum wheels are mirror-polished for the best in appearance. The HR-1 is available in sizes up to an incredible 20x16 and are the perfect wheel to pair with the Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/R radial.
Billet Specialties has been building high-quality billet aluminum wheels and accessories since 1985. Located in La Grange, Illinois, the 100,000-square-foot facility contains the entire manufacturing and sales operation under one roof. Billet Specialties take great pride in outstanding delivery time of custom-made billet wheels and their diverse accessory product line. Never stagnant, Billet Specialties is always coming up with new wheel designs and innovative products each year.