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Help With The "73 Aluminum Wheels Please

7

73STINGRAY

Guest
Would anyone have a pic of these wheels? Would like to see how they look.
 

KOPBET

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
1,355
Location
Tulsey Town
Corvette
'73 Silver LS4 4 speed
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Nut

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 15, 2000
Messages
890
Location
Bowie, MD
Corvette
Vette-less for now
Stingray........ although the aluminum wheels look great, there is just something "right" about the look of the ralley wheels on the early C3's that still had chrome (68-73). I like the look you have now. JHO.

........ nut
 

MikeMc71

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Messages
100
Location
Tucson, Arizona
Corvette
1970 Roadster, 1971 LT-1, 1971 Coupe
Very Very few '73 cars came equipped with the aluminum wheels. It was GMs first time doing those. They actually didn't make a return until '76, when they became an option. I like them, I have a set for my '75 I am rebuilding.
 

Koop

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
545
Location
Kalifornia
Corvette
YELLOW 69 modified GM Crate ZZ383, LS2 TBSS
Stingray........ although the aluminum wheels look great, there is just something "right" about the look of the ralley wheels on the early C3's that still had chrome (68-73). I like the look you have now. JHO.

........ nut

I really liked how the trim rings from my rallye wheels looked as they came off and went sailing into the dirt in a corner. Not to mention how the rings looked after I would walk out in the shoulder of the road, pick it up and put it back on. Yeah, just a little out of round so my Vette would look like a clown car. :W

I miss my Rallye Wheels about as much as I miss my L48. :eyerole

I think that '73 looks great with those Alloys, cool color to!
 

1973yj8owner

Active member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
29
Location
Newport Beach, CA
Corvette
1973 coupe w/ orig yj8's
er
The story goes these four cars with the big wheels installed went to GM in Detroit/Warren and were not sold to the public.

:)

Here we go, again. I have a set of the wheels. See the previous discussion. I believe that there are only two sets in existence. The three on Duntov's car at the Corvette Museum and the complete set of four on my 1973. They came over the counter of the parts department of the Chevrolet Dealer that sponsors the Corvette Club that I have been a member for the last 35 years. My wheels have production dates in October of 1972.

I will be at Corvettes Carlisle Saturday August 25, 2007. I plan to have a T-Shirt made with 1973yj8owner and photos of the wheels on it. I will bring photos of the wheels with 329381, xm and date of manufacture cast in the reverse side and a photo of the box with the GM part number. Ed and Marvin at NCRS have copies of these photos.

I will not bring my car. I live in Pennsylvania 2 1/4 hours away from Carlisle.

I believe that I own a very rare piece of Corvette history. I would love to have my car and wheels in a Corvette publication. It is a garage queen.

I would appreciate chatting with anybody who owns a set of the wheels. In 34 years no such person has ever surfaced.

I would even be open to chat with somebody from American Racing in Torrance CA. I will be in Newport Beach Ca, soon. I love the Balboa Peninsula area. My wheels have had no porosity problem. American Racing did a good job with the wheels.

Where are the build sheets, and the four cars mentioned in the Black Book. I am sure Chevrolet removed the wheels and sold the cars with rally wheels or hubcaps. I do not think they gave the cars new build sheets. I am sure somebody from the factory remembers these cars.

The real porosity problem was with the original equipment Firestone Steel Radial 500's. Original 1973 Corvette owners were given an opportunity to swap the OE tires for a new set. The tires were recalled and deemed unsafe. Anybody recall this?
 

1973yj8owner

Active member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
29
Location
Newport Beach, CA
Corvette
1973 coupe w/ orig yj8's
Very Very few '73 cars came equipped with the aluminum wheels. It was GMs first time doing those. They actually didn't make a return until '76, when they became an option. I like them, I have a set for my '75 I am rebuilding.

Your set was made by Kelsey Hayes. My set of original 1973 yj8's was made by American Racing
 

MikeMc71

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Messages
100
Location
Tucson, Arizona
Corvette
1970 Roadster, 1971 LT-1, 1971 Coupe
I own a set of the wheels. I am in Pennsylvania. Are you in New York or New Jersey? I will be at Corvettes Carlisle with photos.

This is true, mine are Kelsey Hayes. I am sure there were more made, but they didn't come as stock on the cars. I met a gent here in AZ who says he also has a set with the correct date codes, although I didn't see the codes myself.
 

1973yj8owner

Active member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
29
Location
Newport Beach, CA
Corvette
1973 coupe w/ orig yj8's
This is true, mine are Kelsey Hayes. I am sure there were more made, but they didn't come as stock on the cars. I met a gent here in AZ who says he also has a set with the correct date codes, although I didn't see the codes myself.

Was his a Red 1973, 454, purchased at auction with yj8's?
If so, take a good look at the wheels they are from a later model Corvette. The plastic center hubs have the wrong flag set, the lug nut area is polished and not painted black and the lug nuts were wrong. 1973 lug nuts have black center inserts, look the yellow car. It is hard to notice the black inserts but they are there. Original 1973 wheels are a darker metal and do not polish to a very high gloss shine. They were not clear coated.
 

RMS73

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2001
Messages
64
Location
Chester, Va
Corvette
73 Dark Blue L-82
The Firestone 500 tire recall was for the steel belt separation from the tread and/or inner liner. I found some information about the recalled on the internet. Firestone redesigned the stell belt attachment method and called the new tires the 721 I believe.
My father was a tire engineer for Goodyear and when he heard what Firestone did in their design he could not believe it. He said Goodyear knew better and he was sure Firestone engineers did too, but some bean counters probably entered the picture and gave the public a 'sorry' product. I don't believe Firestone every recovered finicially or ever regained the public confidence. That is why Bridgestone was able to buy them.

Roger
 
T

thesurvivor

Guest
My '73 was ordered with the aluminum wheels, but they were not delivered. The Firestone 500 recall was in 1978. I got half price on the 721's.
 

minifridge1138

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
908
Location
USA
Corvette
1982 Black Fastback
Ok, I have to ask.

What is the big deal about these wheels?

It seems that they are not correct for a 1973, because they did not come on any car. They are just a set of after market rims. Even 1973yj8owner admitted he bought them over the counter from a parts store. (I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that. I think C3's look amazing with these wheels. My 1982 came with them). It also seems from his description, a lot of what makes them rare is the lug nuts and center cap. Arguably, those are not even part of the wheel at all.

Even if it is rare to have a 1972 date code on them, they are still wrong for the car.

I understand going for a completely stock car and matching numbers.

Perhaps I just need an explanation about the wheels.
 

1973yj8owner

Active member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
29
Location
Newport Beach, CA
Corvette
1973 coupe w/ orig yj8's
My '73 was ordered with the aluminum wheels, but they were not delivered. The Firestone 500 recall was in 1978. I got half price on the 721's.

My 1973 was ordered with the cast aluminum wheels on 10/15/72 at Matt Slap Chevrolet in Philadelphia Pa. The car was built in February 1973. I was advised the car would not be delivered with the wheels. I took delivery 3/7/73.

The wheels are correct for the car. They were not purchased at a parts store. They were purchased through the parts department of an authorized Chevrolet Dealer during the 1973 model year. This Chevrolet Dealer is still in business. It was and still is the sponsor of the Corvette Club that I have been a member for 35 years. All four of my wheels were manufactured by American Racing in October 1972, the dates are cast in the reverse side of the wheels. My wheels are identical to the wheels on the yellow Corvette in the photos preceding this post. If you take a magnifying glass you can see the lug nuts have the black center inserts, the same as my wheels and the same as the 1975 Cosworth Vega.

I believe that the only other set in existence is the set of three on Duntov's 1974 at the Corvette Museum. Chevrolet probably owned the white Corvette's used in the TV show The Magician (actor Bill Bixby drove the car). I believe a white 73 than a white 74 had the wheels in early episodes. A national magazine in December 1972 featured four Corvettes with the wheels. Is it possible these were the four cars that left the factory with the wheels, then later were switched over to Rally Wheels before GM sold the cars. I doubt GM destroyed the cars, possibly the wheels.

The wheel is GM part number 329381, the center cap is 329382 and the lug nut is 329383. I have an original General Motors Box for the wheel and a lug nut. The wheel box has a black stamp shipped from American Racing to General Motors. This is a big deal because nobody else has a set of the wheels or the box. I guess the point is that if you want something be persistant. If you cannot get it delivered on the car step over to the parts department and order what you want. The wheels came did not come from the Chevrolet dealer where I ordered my car. They came from the dealer that sponsored the Corvette Club that I joined after ordering my car. This Chevrolet dealer employed many Corvette Club members who were really into Corvettes and rare and difficult parts etc. At the time, I was 21 years old They were in their 30's and 40's. One of these fellows told me the wheels were going to be rare and to keep one of the boxes as documentation.
 

BruceBed

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2003
Messages
398
Location
Southeast Pa.
Corvette
1973 White Roadster 2- top highly optioned
The Firestone 500 tire recall was for the steel belt separation from the tread and/or inner liner. I found some information about the recalled on the internet. Firestone redesigned the stell belt attachment method and called the new tires the 721 I believe.
My father was a tire engineer for Goodyear and when he heard what Firestone did in their design he could not believe it. He said Goodyear knew better and he was sure Firestone engineers did too, but some bean counters probably entered the picture and gave the public a 'sorry' product. I don't believe Firestone every recovered finicially or ever regained the public confidence. That is why Bridgestone was able to buy them.

Roger

I got a free set of tires out of that blunder. That was the second set of tires I ever put on my 73. I'm on my 3rd set of tires(15 years old). No they aren't dry rotted, I always check them. They are RWL Goodyear GT's. The worst part was this is the only set of tires I ever had to purchase besides the car itself.
 

Greekman

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2002
Messages
152
Location
Parker, Colorado
Corvette
'67 327/350-'73 LS4-'76 L48-'79 L82
I like them too...

I couldn't decide which wheel I like better so I went with the best of both worlds.I use the aluminum wheels with the modern day P-metric size Goodyear Eage GTII tire for my driving tires and wheels, they make me feel safer.Then I go with the correct ralley wheels with correct Firestone Radial 500s for NCRS judging, but I won't drive on them very much because of the recall in the late '70s.So I guess I don't have to choose. I wish everything on my Corvette was as easy as the tires and wheels.Of course both sets of tires are raised white letters.
 

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