The Pantera Place
"Your de Tomaso Connection"

New Tires and Wheels

When replacing the tires on my Pantera I decided that it was safer to take my new wheels to the tire store (rather than driving the car over to the store) and have the tires mounted and balanced.   I do not think most tire stores can be trusted to put a car like the Pantera on a hoist, remove the wheels, reinstall them and torque them without messing-up something.   Having the wheel lug threads stripped or the stud broken would be nasty.  As you know replacing the back wheel lug studs on the Pantera requires removing the axle.  Not a fun deal!  The other plus was I was able to detail both sides of the wheels before reinstalling them. 

My car had BFG Euro T/A HR305/50/15s mounted on 10" rims on the back and BFG Euro T/A HR225/50/15s on the front with 7" rims.  I wanted some new wheels to replace the original Weld wheels that were on the car when I bought it.  After much debate over 15" wheels and 17" wheels I went with Pantera East 17"/11" wheels on the back and 8"/16' on the front.  I decided to use the Dunlop SP Sport 8000 335/35/ZR17 on the back and 245/45/ZR16s on the front.

  New tires 2.jpg (47848 bytes) New tires 3.jpg (72199 bytes) 

Image on the left, view of the Dunlop 335/35/ZR17 (in the foreground) on the old BFG Euro T/A HR305/50/15.  Image on the right, view of the two trends.  The Dunlop is on the right.  The width of the T/A at the widest part is about 12.5" when mounted on the 10" wide rim.  The width of the Dunlop tire is 13.2" at the widest part when mounted on the 11" rim.

New tires 1.jpg (47688 bytes)  New tires 4.jpg (46623 bytes)  New tires 5.jpg (45053 bytes)

Views of the back wheels showing the old and new wheels and tires.  The new tires are one inch shorter than the BFGs.  The front tires are 9/10s taller than the BFGs.

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The back view of the car with the new wheels and tire installed on the right side of the car.  The wheels project inward over the bottom part of the upright lower shaft.  The back space of the Pantera East 17"/11"back wheel is 6.5".  The front wheel, back space is 5.25" the same as the stock 8" wide Campagnolo wheels..  The back space of the 10" wide Weld wheels is 4.5" , it should have been 5.5", but I didn't put them on the car.  

      Mikes Pantera 1126 2.jpg (59931 bytes) Mikes Pantera 1421 1.jpg (59938 bytes)

The before and after views.  The new tires should have raised the front of the car about .5" and lowered the back of the car about .38".  Apparently moving from the old Weld wheel incorrect back space to the correct back space changed the leverage on the A arms and raised the front of the car a total of .75".  The car now has about 1/2" (or about 1/2 degree) of nose down rake when measured at the back edge of the rocker panel lower pinch weld and the front edge of the pinch weld.  It was about 1" with the old tire and wheel combination.  I'm using stock springs with the original style (but new) Koni shocks with the spring spacers removed. 

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View of the 1/2 degree nose down stance.

Ride Height and Wheel Size Information



Stock Arriva tire height  24.75" 26.5"
BFG Euro T/A height 23.8" 26.94"
Dunlop SP Sport 8000 height 24.63" 26.18"
Top of stock bumper to ground (published in 1972 Motor Magazine for a 1971 car) 20" 24.5"
Top of bumper to ground on my car with new wheels and tires..  Stock Koni shocks, without spring spacers.  28lbs of air in each tire. 18.50" 23.25"
Nose down rake, measured  at the bottom of rocker panel edge. 1/2  degree


I am amazed how the driving and handling has improved with the correct wheel back space and the lower profile wider tire.  It is like a completely different car!