Tires for My '60 Park Lane

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    Hello, I am a new member of IMOA. I am currently getting my ’60 Mercury Park Lane 4-Door HT back to its former glory. I could use some suggestions on the best tires (wide whites please) for the car. Any suggestions are appreciated. Yours truly, John Clemente


    Hi John and welcome to IMOA. We look forward to seeing your Park Lane at an upcoming IMOA event. Louisville in July 2016 comes to mind. I assume you know the size of tire you want. Any good tire store can help you with the change in dimension from SAE to metric. I would personally suggest a good radial tire for handling and safety reasons. That leads to a bit of a problem since you want wide whites (WW). The one tire maker that would make such a thing (that I am aware of) is Coker tires. They have available just about any size radial in a wide white. Be prepared for a bit of “sticker shock” when you price them but they do a made a quality product and are well known for that. Good luck with your project.


    Hello Virgil, Thank you for your quick response. Yes, I agree that radials are the way to go, since the 60 Merc is quite big. I’ve already prepared myself for the “sticker shock”, but the car must look its best! I’ll check out Coker’s site. BTW, do you have an opinion on those radial tires that look like bias ply tires? Just wondering. Regards, John C.


    If you are going for an original look then the tread design might be important to you. My personal feeling is that as long as the tire acts like a radial it is OK. I run Firestone radials on my ’55 with narrow whites. I am not that concerned about the originality of the look but I personally like the black between the rim and the whitewall.


    Hello Virgil, If I may pick your brain once again. Right now, the car has 15″ tires and wheels and I don’t want that. I’m ordering rims for the tires that I want. According to the original 1960 Merc. Maintenance Manual, the rims I want are 14″ with a rim width of 6. I’m green at this, but I’m trying to learn. One rim size is 5×114.3mm (5×4.5″) and the other is 5×120.7mm (5×4.75″) The gentleman at the store says I need the former, but, frankly, he didn’t sound sure. I’d like your input. Thank you. John C.



    May I first ask why you want to switch to 14″ wheels? In my opinion, for wheel size, bigger is better. As to rim size, the gentleman at the tire store is a bit confused I think. If you are looking for 14″ rims that are 6″ wide then order them that way. I think the bolt pattern (5×4.5) is being confused with rim width. It is important that the bolt pattern on your new wheels matches the pattern on the car otherwise the wheel will not fit on the car. Bolt pattern is stated as 5×4.5 which means it is a five lug wheel with a space between the bolts of 4.5″ (but not the bolts that are right next to each other). Please read up on bolt pattern on the internet as it can be confusing. Measure the bolt pattern on your existing wheels. It MUST match the pattern on the new wheels. Please also read up on “wheel offset” (the inside depth of the wheel). This can be critical to good handling and even fitment issues, not to mention “look”. Swapping wheels ain’t that simple as you can see.


    Oh, you are correct about that! If I didn’t have a couple of mechanics for neighbors (who are eager to see the Merc on the road) I’d have already made a few mistakes. I want to switch back to 14″ because that was the original spec for the car and I want to make sure that my period correct ’60 wheel covers fit. The car came with 15″ tires (all almost bald), 235/75 R15s and wheel covers for a ’67 Merc. Another mechanic friend said that’s because the 14″ ’60 hub caps wouldn’t have fit on those rims. The two rims I’m looking at are both 14×6, but seem to have slightly different lug spacings (4.5 vs 4.75) I did read up on the bolt pattern measurement and now know that for 5-lugs, one must measure with one bolt in between the two measured for the correct measurement. Supposedly, one must measure from the edge of the first bolt to the center of the second. If that’s the case, there’s a 5.5 spacing from my measurement, which doesn’t seem to fit for 14″. Confusing? You bet! Shouldn’t my mechanic know?


    The simple solution to bolt pattern is to measure it on the wheels you have, even though they are 15″, and use that for your new wheels. Wheel diameter does not affect bolt pattern. And, “YES” your mechanic should know this as should any good tire/wheel shop. Somewhere there must be a chart for bolt pattern on a ’60 Merc. Just a thought: take the two wheels you have and try them on your car. If one fits use it.



    I looked up a bolt pattern chart on google. They show a bolt pattern for all big Mercs from ’55-’60 as 5 on 5


    Thanks much, Virgil! I found the site AND (I feel like and idiot) I found the specs in my 60 Merc. Maintenance Manual, which also says 14″x6 5 on 5! I appreciate you’re looking into it for me! Regards, John


    Hello All, I am writing to ask anyone who can help me in the next phase of my quest to find the right period-correct rims for my ’60 Mercury Park Lane. Desert Car Kings may have the rims I want, but they need to see a picture of the rim I need. The gentleman who answered the phone says he needs the numbers off of the rim to ensure that I receive the correct rims. I can’t do it because presently, my car has 15″ rims. Is there anyone who has a 59 or 60 Merc who is willing to provide me with the info and a picture (without the wheel cover) for a 14×6 5×5 rim? Any help is appreciated!

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