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Reply to "Larger diameter wheels. Upgrading wheels and tires. Resizing wheels and tires. Modernizing wheels and tires. Campy clones, etc."

George, I must disagree with a couple of items mentioned in your most recent posting, with regard to tire sizes.

Re: 245 width tires on the front. Very few Pantera owners would ever benefit from the extra traction gained by going to a 245 over a 235. The improved appearance of the shorter tire, combined with reduced rubbing and reduced unsprung weight, make it the better choice. 235/40-17 is an OEM size so tires will always be available. Furthermore, many modern high performance sports cars use this width of tire up front (Porsche 997, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren F1, etc.). Of course, when moving up to 18", you have less selection of 235/35-18's than 245's but they are readily available.

Re: 275 or 285 width tires on the rear. Back when we were all running 15" wheels, these were fine and a 285 width P7 was a much better tire than a 295 or 305 width BFG Radial T/A (or other similar domestic tire); however, now that we're all switching to 17", 18", 19" or even 20" rear wheels, there's no reason to use anything less than a 305 width tire. Even most '05-'12 Porsche 997's come with 305/30-19's (on 19" x 11" wheels) on the rear and that car certainly doesn't have to deal with the kind of torque that a Pantera puts to its rear wheels.

There's also the safety factor to consider. It's simple physics, with mid-engined cars, the heavy end always wants to lead. Manufacturers put wider tires out back to compensate for the greater weight and load on the rear tires but there's another reason as well. If you are in a cornering situation where the rear of the car steps out, for whatever reason, a wider tire will scrub off speed more quickly than a narrower tire, allowing quicker recovery from the spin or slide. Wider rear tires simply make the "tail heavy" Pantera more forgiving and give the driver a larger margin of error. Considering the power we all put to our rear wheels and the clearance available in our rear wheel wells, it makes sense to use a 305, 315, 325 or 335 width tire at the rear. Looks cool too! OK; I admit it: that's the best reason of all!

Re: all-season radials on a Pantera. You're kidding, right? I understand some people who are still running 15" wheels are forced to do this because they have no choice but how many Pantera owners would sacrifice dry road traction, or even wet road traction, so they can drive in mud and snow? Also, if you have to buy all-season tires because you can't afford Z-Rated summer tires, you're driving the wrong car. Personally, I park my Pantera when it's snowing and I try not to take it off road :-)

Here's another little known fact about tires: in general, a tire with a taller sidewall has a more gradual break-away than a tire with a shorter sidewall. That's the reason Gordon Murray specified a 28" tall rear tire (315/45-17) for the McLaren F1. A tall tire will squeal loudly as it approaches its limit of adhesion and will loose grip gradually, as opposed to a super low profile tire that tends to give no warning then break away suddenly.

George, I don't enjoy voicing an opinion contrary to yours on this, or any other topic and I'm not trying to imply that your opinion isn't valid, but I felt it was necessary to show another side to this subject.

As they say: "IMO"!
Last edited by davidnunn