Wow, this last month of the build has been full of ups, downs, and more than a few long days, to say the least, so let's dive right in! It was great to tie up a few of the important loose ends, like the beautiful American Racing AR 500 wheels that were literally still warm when I picked them up. If you didn't figure it out yet, the AR 500s are based on the original Magnum 500 wheels from the '60s, which American will offer in affordable 15-, 17-, and 18-inch cast versions. For the rubber, I chose Toyo Tires' Proxes ST tires-a good all-around, all-season performance radial designed for trucks, SUVs, and crossovers that's great in wet or dry conditions, has a decent tread life, and is rated to 149 mph. To make things even better, when I was talking to artist Jimmy Smith, who did my truck's rendering, I said I wished someone made bigger-diameter redline tires, because that would look perfect with the late-'60s theme. Much to my surprise, he told me Diamond Back Classics in South Carolina did just that. After discussing the project with the folks at Diamond Back, I shipped my new Toyo tires to them, and they actually put the redlines on them, but mainly they just sell redlines, whitewalls, whitelines, goldlines, bluelines, and many more variations in most tire sizes straight to each customer.
Unfortunately, my enthusiasm was somewhat squelched after I found out that being a novice when it comes to larger-diameter tires meant I needed to buy a taller tire in the back than what I had to help fill up the wheelwell-d'oh! Originally, I thought with the truck sitting low with 18s on it, the same would look cool, but switching to a 255/55R18 in the back made all the difference, so not only did I have to buy two more tires, but I needed to send them back to Diamond Back for the redlines once I was sure they were the right size. When it comes to learning things the hard way, sometimes it's hardest on the wallet.
Talk about hot off the press! My new AR 500s from American Racing were still warm when I g
And for those diehards who still scoff at "big" wheels, how about this! While out at Ameri