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Spitfire 1500 wheels


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Martin - is it just us here?!  ;D

If you worry about your speedo reading and what changes will affect it, here's a useful tool from James:
Here's a great site for lots of info, and a page where you can compare "looks" if you're a fashionista:
Minilites and Revolutions have always been popular - Cosmics (or U.S. Cosmic look-a-likes at least) seem to have made a comeback lately.

Sizes are probably a slightly  contentious issue, and there are lots of threads here on CT about it; well worth your exploring the search function I think,
My own opinion - and I've had a large range of wheels on my car down the years, including 13 x 8" rims shod with 205's, which barely cleared the front wings and made the ride hard as rock and horrible, through 5.5" Steel wheels to Revolutions on 14 x 6" on 185's - is that the ride starts to get a bit rough and noisy when you go over 175 section, that a 60 profile "modern" tyre looks pretty good, and that 13 or 14" wheels don't make much difference, the arch still looks "full" enough either way.

Opinions vary widely though. I'm now running wire wheels, which probably puts me in a majority of one.....

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There are a few things to consider.
The most important is that the raer suspension has large camber changes. Therefore anything which has a very low profile and stiff sidewalls is going to struggle. therefore try to aviod anything below a 60 profile, 65 or 70 may well be safer.

If using 13" wheels, 175/70 is a brilliant size, go to 14 and 175/65 or 185/60.

I had 205/45 on the rear at one point, came std on the MGF wheels I was using. Didn't really help handling and detrimental in the wet.

However, the car I am building will have CV rotoflex rear suspension, so camber change not a significant issue. Will then use 195/50 15.

If you want to see how sizes affect speedo etc have a peek here


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Clive, it sounds pretty much like we've shared experiences and have similar opinions.
I have to ask though, what were on the front when you had 205's on the back? I had them all round and the effect was 'orrible! (And just as an observation, I wasn't getting much noticeable camber change when running 205's....).

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I love the look of the spit on MGF wheels so that is the route i took.

The smallest MGF alloy is 15" and they wont just fit on a standard spitfire.

You will need larger (stronger) wheel studs (off landrover freelander), original MGF alloy wheel nuts,  stiffer front springs/dampers ( I use 480lb springs and spax fully adj struts front and spax rear dampers set quite stiff) and as mentioned the tyres will rub on the bonnet wheel arch lip and bulkhead.

Then comes tyre choice.... in my opinion the most important decision you have to make as they affect the Spitfires handling by sooo much..currently used 7 brands of tyre, every one handled differently ..! Avoid the very low profile tryes, very skitty and hard on suspension parts. If you go for 16 " or 17" wheels, they will fit but the tyres will have to be like elastic bands so avoid.

I have 205/50/15 rear and just fit under the arches without any modifying and 185/55/15 fronts that needed body mods (wheel arch lip rolled, inner wheel covers trimmed and bulkhead rounded off slightly), all tyres with soft sidewalls to aid suspension. I have tried many various brands of tyre and currently running and happy with Avon ZV3 (rear) and Toyo proxies TR1 (front), nice flexible sidewalls, very grippy in all cond and predictable so no nasty suprises.
I have front and rears at 25psi , any higher they loose traction too easily.

Everyone to their own, just my 2p's worth, hope it helps you Martin.

Pic of my car with 15" MGF wheels:

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It looks gorgeous! Thanks for the in depth reply, very helpful.
The Spitfire I am / thinking of going to buy has I noted on my second look a fair bit of filler around the rear arches going down to the sills. It has just had an mot and had to have a fair bit of welding by the looks underneath. In anyone's opinion £1700 reasonable price or could do better? I think it's prob about right. When I used to have ( 2 in fact ) one I think they both cost around £250.00 ...lol. I remember having to replace the gearbox in one, that was fun.

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4297 wrote:
In anyone's opinion £1700 reasonable price or could do better?  

Thats a million dollar question Martin...

Lots of things to consider, assuming its had bodywork done and painted it will be all nice and shiny so look beyond the paint, filler is ok as long as its not just masking a huge problem, make sure it drives perfectly with no rumbling otherwise you will be doing the gearbox which as you say is...erm...fun.

Desirable points:
Tax exempt IE pre 1972 (could be a mk4 with a 1500 engine like mine)
Good engine the 1500, plenty of low down torque.
Good roof with clear windows
Wide uprated radiator (the 1500 does run hot)
Nice body lines IE doors/bonnet/boot all fit correctly

Bad points:
1500 engine knocking or clattering
Tatty chrome bumpers
Noisy transmission and dif
Overheating engine
Oil leaks (there will be at least 2)
Weak worn suspension/steering
Tatty worn interior and seats
Poor brakes
Patched up exhaust system
Worn drivetrain IE wheel bearings and prop/driveshaft joints

If the bad points are covered that will save you a few quid down the line. BUT you will be tinkering all the time with it and most parts are easily available, the budget you set will decide how far you want to go with it.

Guessing around 5.5K for a mint rust free mechanically sound spitfire, so work backward from that

Best bet is pop down to a local club meeting and have a mooch at the cars and get some advise, non of our cars are perfect as some problems are livable with.
Where are you in the UK?


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