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On ‎12‎/‎13‎/‎2015 at 9:01 PM, buick5563 said:

Outstanding Al.

The only thing I would like to address is why Buick changed from 53-54. I would say it is probably because the 53 was large series and 54 was small series.

Mike: Thanks for the comments. Comparing the weights, wheelbase dimensions, and track widths of the two different year Skylarks, you're only talking minimal pounds and inches differences. My guess would be that tire size was the main reason but I've never seen any other documentation if other reasons contributed to the change in the wire wheel width dimension.   


On ‎12‎/‎14‎/‎2015 at 7:28 AM, Imperial62 said:


Thanks for taking the time to do such as well constructed post.  That is the gold standard of research to prove authenticity for this issue. 


I only wonder - if 1954 and 1955 regular production cars could be equipped with the optional KH wheels, did Buick make a distinction between large series Supers and Roadmasters and smaller series?  Could a 1954 Roadmaster convertible be equipped with 6.5 wheels because of it's larger size?


Why would WV not want to make a reproduction slightly wider?  Wider equates to better handling and loading? 


Very interesting post, thanks again.

Jake: Also, thanks for the comments. I often questioned when Kelsey-Hayes quit manufacturing their 1953 and 1954 wire wheels and whether 1955 Buicks with the 8.00x15 tire got the wider 6 1/2" wire wheel. Proof might lie in what the size and year is stamped on a wire wheel that came rolling off the assembly line on a 1955 Buick. I've never seen a wire wheel stamped with a '55' designating 1955. Maybe somebody reading this post could chime in if they have or seen one.


As far as WV not offering a reproduction 6 1/2"-wide wire wheel, my only guess would be that they might have not been aware of the two different widths. Certainly, it wouldn't take much to manufacture a rim 1/2" wider and change the fixture positioning a 1/4" for a CNC operation. The inner hubs are the same on either OEM Buick wire wheel width.


Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"



Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)
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  • 3 years later...

I recently purchased a rust-free 1953 Skylark with a set of 5 original KH15x6.5" wire chrome wheels that are badly pitted.  I have on back-order from Jegs a set of five (5) repro wire wheels that are 15x6".   I just realized that the wheels should be 6.5"wide, but there are no repro wire wheels available in that width.  Cost of the 5 wire wheels through Jegs is around $500 each, less two $50 coupons - or around $2300 freight prepaid.


Here are my questions: 

a) When I receive the 15x6" wheels, what is the correct tire size for that wheel, using inner tubes?

b) Does anyone know the valve stem hole size on the repro 15x6" wheel?  I want to be sure it will accommodate an inner tube.

c) Are there new inner tubes available for the above setup and will the inner tube fit the valve stem hole on the repro wheel?

d) I see that radial tires are available with a bias tire look from several suppliers. Are these acceptable for judging?

e) What is the correct whitewall width for  a 1953 Skylark when delivered from the factory?  

f) Which brand and tire pattern is preferable from today's sources?  Who are the sources?

f) I prefer not to have my pitted wheels reconditioned if possible due to cost, lead time, and freight costs both ways, plus I do not know who does this reconditioning. 


Hoping for some help on this.  Thank you.


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  • 3 months later...
On ‎2‎/‎24‎/‎2019 at 11:08 AM, Fred Zwicker said:

. . . Here are my questions . . . what is the correct tire size for that wheel, using inner tubes? . . .   Which brand and tire pattern is preferable from today's sources?   Who are the sources? . . .


You might want to try these guys the next time you're shopping for tires. :D



Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)
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