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  • Writer's pictureTruespoke Dave

Will Reverse "Deep Dish" Wheels Fit On My Car?

Updated: Jun 7

Answer: Here is our advice.

When it comes to fitting wire wheels onto classic and collector cars, Truespoke® has over 100 years of combined experience. Truespoke® Wire Wheels, as a company by itself, was founded in 1974. As a result of our superior experience, we take credit for knowing a thing or two about chrome wire wheels.

A frequent situation we encounter is when our valued customers would like to put reverse or “deep dish” style wire wheels on their cars. In fact, the most popular size wire wheels we sell, by far, are either 13 X 7 inches or 14 X 7 inches, reverse, deep dish style.

With classic cars such as 1950 – 1980 Chevrolets, as examples, these cars were originally equipped with either 5 or 6-inch wide wheels. They did not come with wheels that were 7 inches wide and never were available in reverse or “deep dish” style. When these cars were originally styled, the designers never dreamed or planned for reverse-type wire wheels.

There are two problems we run into with 13 X 7 and 14 X 7 inch, reverse wire wheels. Number one is that the wheels are actually 8 inches wide! Now, picture this; when we say a wheel is 7 inches wide in the industry, when the wheel is measured from outside to outside, the wheel turns out to be 8 inches in overall width. Few wheel wells of the ’50s through ’80s can accept that wide of a wheel. More challenging, is when the wheel is of a reverse type, this style wheel can stick out from 1 to 2 inches further than a stock wheel would.

Chevrolet Impala Shown With Truespoke 7 Inch Wide Reverse Wire Wheels

The Impala shown above is running 7-inch wide, reverse "deep dish" style Truespoke® Wire Wheels.

Without proper measuring and planning, a 7-inch wide, reverse-style wheel, will often stick out of the body or rub on the body or fender skirt (if your car is so equipped). Knowing this, at Truespoke®, when a customer requests a 7-inch wide, reverse-type wheel, we inquire further to make sure that a 7-inch width and reverse-style wire wheels are actually suitable and going to fit the customer’s car.

The largest class of cars we serve are typically Chevrolet Impalas of the ’60s. The majority of these cars feature fender skirts. Most owners favor the look of the fender skirt and do not wish to give them up so as to better fit a wider wheel, such as a 14 X 7-inch reverse Truespoke® wire wheel. For owners who do not have fender skirts, the likelihood that a 7-inch wide, reverse-style wire wheel might fit is greatly improved.

When an owner has a burning desire to run a wider, reverse-style wire wheel, even when it is clear that it will not fit, there are a few ways to work around this type of fitment and make it work. One approach is to narrow the rear axle. This is a process involving a machine shop or expert fabricator. Sections of the rear axle are removed or "sectioned", in effect, narrowing the width of the rear end. By performing a narrowing of the rear axle, depending upon how much metal is removed, the owner could have the freedom to almost fit any width of a wheel. However, narrowing of the rear axle can be expensive, costing from $1,000 to $3,000 or more.

As an alternative, some of our customers have swapped out their stock rear axle for a narrower one, such as a Chevrolet S-10 unit. This can be very complicated to do. Some customers have reported that it is like "open-heart" surgery!

A second approach is to scale back the desire to use a 7-inch wide wheel and instead, settle for a 6-inch wide model. Unless the two different sizes are positioned next to each other, it is hard to distinguish between a 6-inch and 7-inch width, just by looking at the fronts of the wheels.

An Impala Equiped With Fender Skirts & Our Truespoke 50 Spoke Wire Wheels

The Impala shown above is riding on 7-inch wide, reverse wire wheels but narrower wheels in the rear, mostly concealed by the fender skirts. The style shown is the 50 Spoke Truespoke® model with 3-Bar spinners.

A careful measurement of the size of the car’s wheel wells should be performed prior to purchasing wheels. A useful measuring guide can be found by clicking on this link: What Size Wire Wheel to Get? Truespoke Wire Wheels Measuring Guide.

We have served a great number of customers who are willing to retire their fender skirts and simply run their car without skirts. Even with this situation, measurements should be taken to prevent trading an old clearance problem for a new one. Giving up your fender skirts does not guarantee the wheels and tires will fit.

A few of our customers have purchased “Cruiser” style fender skirts which are installed on the outside of the body of the car, actually increasing the room available for the wheels and tires to fit. Although not a stock or original appearance, these skirts (which can be expensive) have a wonderful look of their own.

1958 Impala Running "Cruiser" Fender Skirts & Our Chevrolet Standard Type Wire Wheels

This 1958 Impala looks outstanding with its "Cruiser" type fender skirts. The wheels shown are our Chevrolet style with 3-blade spinners with Chevrolet bow-tie emblems. These are STANDARD-style wire wheels, not reverse-type.

Finally, if there does not appear to be sufficient room for any reverse style wheel without modifications being made or abandoning your fender skirts, we recommend settling for a standard style wire wheel. The standard wire wheel does not enjoy as deep and luxurious of a “lip” or exposed rim, however, our Truespoke® standard wire wheel is still gorgeous in its own appearance.

Comparison of the 3 Different Styles of Wire Wheels: Lip-Lace, Standard & Reverse "Deep Dish"

Wheel number one is a "lip lace" style wheel. Note how there is no lip or depth of the rim. The spokes are located close to the edge of the rim. Wheel number two is a "STANDARD" style wire wheel. Although the wheel does feature a deeper lip than wheel number 1, it is not as much as shown in wheel number 3, which is a REVERSE or "Deep Dish" style wheel.

A frequent example of where an owner has no choice without narrowing their rear axle, but to purchase standard-style wire wheels is a 1952 Bel Air. Even though a ’52 Bel Air is a larger scale automobile, General Motors simply did not provide sufficient room for clearance in the rear wheelhouses.

1963 Cadillac Sporting Our 60 Spoke Trueray Straight Lace Wire Wheels

This 1963 Cadillac is riding on our Trueray® STANDARD style wire wheels. Please note that the lip of the rim is not as deep as the reverse-style wire wheels. This car and many others, simply do not have enough room for a REVERSE style wire wheel to fit.

We strongly recommend using our measuring guide when selecting the size and style of our wheels. Measure both sides of your car, not just one side. In some cases, over the years, the rear axle may creep towards one side of the car more than the other. We have seen cases where cars had suffered prior damage and the body, frame or skirt were no longer straight. Any of these situations could land the customer with a set of unusable wheels. We hate to see that happen and we will do everything possible to make sure you have the best fit we can offer.

Please, never hesitate to call or email us for expert technical support. We look forward to serving you.

Please insist on the real thing. Accept no substitutes. Truespoke® only since 1974.

Truespoke Wire Wheels, America's Favorite Wire Wheels
America's favorite wire wheels since 1974


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