Popular Classic Car Wheel Bolt Patterns

Classic Car Wheels

Starting in the late 1920s, American automobile manufacturers primarily used a five-lug bolt pattern on passenger car wheels. Five-lug bolt patterns remain common today for passenger cars and light trucks.

General Motors

Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac

General Motors wheels had two common bolt patterns: 5×4-3/4 and 5×5.

The smaller 5×4-3/4 bolt pattern is prevalent, as Camaro, Corvette, Chevelle, and many more GM makes and models featured the 5×4-3/4 bolt pattern.

The larger 5×5 bolt pattern was used for light trucks, as well as many full-size cars in the Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac lines.

Ford Motor Company

Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury

Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury also had two common five lug bolt patterns: 5×4-1/2 and 5×5-1/2.

Ford did also produce several passenger cars with 5×5 bolt pattern.

The smaller 5×4-1/2 pattern was mainly used for mid-size and full-size passenger cars from 1949 on, such as Fairlane, Galaxie, Torino, and more, while the larger 5×5-1/2 bolt pattern was used for light trucks.

The 5×5-1/2 bolt pattern was common for early Fords from 1928 to 1948, with the exception of what’s known as “wide 5” hubs, which were available from 1936 to 1939.

Wide 5 wheels are very easy to identify, because of the very large 10-1/4 lug spread. Wide 5 wheels are pretty rare.


Chrysler, DeSoto, Dodge, Imperial, Plymouth

Mopar vehicles each used 5×4-1/2 bolt pattern, with the only exception being the smaller 5×4 bolt pattern, an uncommon pattern which was used on smaller vehicles such as the Plymouth Valiant and Dodge Dart.

The primary difference between Ford wheels and typical Mopar wheels is the center hole (or center bore) is generally smaller on Mopar wheels. During the 1960s and ’70s, many Mopar vehicles had left-hand-thread and right-hand-thread lug nuts for either side of the car.

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