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History 15x4 American Racing Le Mans?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Dangler, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. Dangler
    Joined: Jan 14, 2008
    Posts: 207

    Dangler
    Member

    Hey guys, hoping for some clarity on some wheels I just picked up.
    Are these magnesium American Racing Le Mans or Torq Thrusts.
    They are 15X4 with Firestone Deluxe Champions 5.60-15s.
    5x4.5 bolt pattern
    What are these things worth nowadays?

    Any help would be great :) IMG_0174b.jpg
     
  2. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,327

    porknbeaner
    Member

    What do they look like from the backside? All cast or steel rim? If I recall there some aluminum rims ( maybe westerns or fentons) made in the early '70s or later '60s that resembled the Americans.

    The sure look to me magnesium from here though. Some of the guys dribble vinegar on them to see, I think it foams or something.

    Oh if they are magnesium and in good shape they are worth a pretty penny.
     
  3. Dangler
    Joined: Jan 14, 2008
    Posts: 207

    Dangler
    Member

    These are all cast, no steel
    IMG_0178c.jpg IMG_0179b.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
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  4. Black Panther
    Joined: Jan 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,487

    Black Panther
    Member
    from SoCal

    Flat spoke wheels are LeMans wheels...
     
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  5. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,327

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Well then they are not copies. :D Probably not worth much I'll trade you an old rusty pair of Chevy truck wheels for 'em. :D :D :D

    If you look in the class ads here usually a pair of magnesium front runners will run in a 1000 dollar range. Judging by color alone I would say that they are magnesium.
     
  6. Black Panther
    Joined: Jan 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,487

    Black Panther
    Member
    from SoCal

    They look magnesium from here...I think most guys wanting front runner wheels look for the rounded spoke style....but the LeMans are rarer....they should be worth at least as much as a round spoke mag wheel..possibly more..
     
  7. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,327

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Nice thing about them is that you can have brakes. :D They were a popular wheel at one time.
     
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  8. Black Panther
    Joined: Jan 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,487

    Black Panther
    Member
    from SoCal

    A friend of mine machined the back of his spindle mount wheels for Wilwood disc brakes....pretty trick setup...but he is a machinist so that kind of stuff is easy for him. I agree that bolt on wheels are the way to go..
     
  9. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,327

    porknbeaner
    Member

    I ran American spindle mounts on both ends of my Harley for a while in the '70s. Brakes and sprockets and I didn't buy them that way. I am not sure I would trust the flange on a heavy car but a light vehicle would work for me setup that way.

    I think that the American Le Mans wheels were patterned for a heavier car.
     
  10. They are the Lemans. Not sure why they called them that or why they made them though. I ran them on the front of my 40 for a few years back in the 80's. Got tired of polishing the magnesium all the time and sold them. I can't remember exactly how much I got for them, but the guy who bought them got a deal!
    av3.jpg boys@cumberland.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
  11. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,327

    porknbeaner
    Member

    LOL they made them to swell and they named them a flashy racy name to help with that endeavor. :D
     
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  12. Dangler
    Joined: Jan 14, 2008
    Posts: 207

    Dangler
    Member

    No guess-timates on value?
     
  13. Phillips
    Joined: Oct 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,282

    Phillips
    Member

    Flat spoke wheels are definitely LeMans, and magnesium. I don't think the LeMans was even available in aluminum, although I'm curious what the experts say. Always wondered why the were named LeMans as well, 4" wide wouldn't be much of a road racing wheel. Great shot of a Pontiac on the catalog page below sporting a set of 6" LeMans.
    mag5.jpg mag4.jpg
     
  14. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,109

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    And I'll have the Corvair with Torqettes. That's cool! Thanks for the photos.
     
  15. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,708

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    At least 60 bucks.
     
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  16. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,327

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Well I'd see you and raise you 10 but then you'd have to loan me 71.

    It seems like anything made of magnesium these days is worth a grand like I said earlier. I would think that anyone building a fender car would jump on them. Well anyone with cash to spend. Or I'll trade you some 5" Ansen Sprints for 'em. :D
     
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  17. Tony
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 7,346

    Tony
    Member

    Cool wheels!
    Like Beeno said, a grand for a quick number....and quite possibly more, much for if you find the right buyer.
    They are rare for sure, and having a bolt flange (small ford besides) rather than spindle mount makes them even more desirable.
    I was offered 2k for the 15x4 mag TT's with a 4.5 bolt pattern i have on my deuce, so there are fella's out there who are willing to pay heavy if they need them.

    I'd keep em though 'cause they are pretty damn cool!
    Tony
     
  18. cwright
    Joined: Sep 14, 2010
    Posts: 62

    cwright
    Member
    from greece NY

    I believe they only made the le mans for two years. Would love to have all four of those on my 55 gasser
     
  19. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,347

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    PM me if you want to sell the front wheels and decide on a price. I'd like a set of those for my Willys, and that bolt pattern will fit it.
     
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  20. Down South Racer
    Joined: Feb 11, 2006
    Posts: 173

    Down South Racer
    Member

    Bought two of those 4" flat spoke magnesium wheels in late 1961 at Julius Hughes Atlanta Speed Shop.I dont think they were available but a couple of years.
     
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  21. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,385

    landseaandair
    Member
    from phoenix

    Wonder if the flat spoke was a way to get more backspace. If you look at a standard American Magnesium 5 spoke skinny the spokes actually go uphill towards the center.
     
  22. primed34
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 934

    primed34
    Member

    Pair of LeMans in the swap meet at Bowling Green for $3500. No idea whether they sold or not.
     
  23. Dangler
    Joined: Jan 14, 2008
    Posts: 207

    Dangler
    Member

    I thought $1000 sounded a little low. But, who knows?
     
  24. As I've posted on the HAMB before ...

    We ran a set of magnesium American Racing Equipment 5-spokes on the coupe throughout the '60s & '70s (1964 through 1981 to be exact) ... 15"x4" Torq-Thrust "Le Mans" on the front ... and 15"x8½" Torq-Thrusts on the rear:

    HEMI32 coupe circa 1963-64.jpg
    1964 (Le Mans up front)

    HEMI32 coupe 1964.jpg
    1964 (rears mounted on Bruce's slicks)

    HEMI32 coupe 1967 or 1968.jpg
    Late 60's (mounted on Goodyear Blue Streaks)

    HEMI32 coupe July 1969.jpg
    July 1969 (headed to Andy's Picnic)

    HEM32 Coupe 1973 GNRS.jpg
    February 1973 (all polished up for the GNRS)

    I still have all four wheels ... and "someday" they will find their way back on the coupe for that circa 1964 Hot Rod look!
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
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  25. NOTE: Many of the magnesium American Torq-Thrust wheels have a casting / foundry date on them ... Here's the backside of my "Le Mans" wheels:

    casting # on back of American Torq Thrust Le Mans rim - 1.JPG

    casting # on back of American Torq Thrust Le Mans rim - 2.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  26. As for an idea on value ... here's portions of a September 13, 2008 HAMB Classified Ad that I archived:

    15" x 4" and 15" x 6" American Racing Magnesium Torq-Thrust "Le Mans" Wheels

    Location: Central CA
    Price: $4000

    A Real Nice Matching Set!
    5 on 4.75" Bolt-Pattern for GM! ...
    All in Excellent Condition! ...
    I'm asking $4000 for all (4) ...
     
  27. Yes, it's got to be so - After looking at the recent pictures hemi32 posted its easy to see.
    Pretty damn cool wheels !
     
    HEMI32 likes this.
  28. nobux
    Joined: Oct 19, 2002
    Posts: 631

    nobux
    Member

    I'll take 2 polished spindle mount fronts for $65 a piece.
     
  29. Dangler
    Joined: Jan 14, 2008
    Posts: 207

    Dangler
    Member

  30. sport fury
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 588

    sport fury
    Member

    recently seen a pair of the going for over $2000
     

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