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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


    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. 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


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

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
    Pinstriper40 likes this.
  4. Black Panther
    Joined: Jan 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,732

    Black Panther
    from SoCal

    Flat spoke wheels are LeMans wheels...

  5. 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: 1,732

    Black Panther
    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. Nice thing about them is that you can have brakes. :D They were a popular wheel at one time.
    volvobrynk likes this.
  8. Black Panther
    Joined: Jan 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,732

    Black Panther
    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. 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. LOL they made them to swell and they named them a flashy racy name to help with that endeavor. :D
    volvobrynk and OL 55 like this.
  12. Dangler
    Joined: Jan 14, 2008
    Posts: 207


    No guess-timates on value?
  13. Phillips
    Joined: Oct 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,336


    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: 7,500

    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: 14,834

    from oregon

    At least 60 bucks.
    volvobrynk and lewk like this.
  16. 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
    volvobrynk likes this.
  17. Tony
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 7,350


    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!
  18. cwright
    Joined: Sep 14, 2010
    Posts: 62

    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: 3,348

    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.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  20. Down South Racer
    Joined: Feb 11, 2006
    Posts: 172

    Down South Racer

    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.
    hendelec likes this.
  21. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,435

    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: 1,163


    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


    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 (late 1963 through 1981 to be exact) ... 15"x4" Torq-Thrust "Le Mans" on the front ... and 15"x8½" Torq-Thrusts on the rear:

    The HEMI32 Coupe - 1963.jpg
    1963 (Le Mans up front)

    The HEMI32 Coupe - 1964.jpg
    1964 (rears mounted on Bruce's slicks)

    The HEMI32 Coupe - 1967.jpg
    Late 60's (mounted on Goodyear Blue Streaks)

    The HEMI32 Coupe - 1969.jpg
    July 1969 (headed to Andy's Picnic)

    The HEMI32 Coupe - 1973.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: Oct 19, 2020
    Pinstriper40 and kidcampbell71 like this.
  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: 641


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


  30. sport fury
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 593

    sport fury

    recently seen a pair of the going for over $2000

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