American Racing Torq Thrust – buyer's guide

By: Discount Tire

American Racing Torq Thrust

If Torq Thrust wheels look familiar, it’s with good reason.

American Racing is one of the original pioneers in custom wheels for hot rods and drag racing applications. Born in the 1950s, the Torq Thrust was American Racing’s first (and arguably most iconic) wheel design. Along with chopped fenders, white-lettered tires and gigantic blown engines, these wheels are a key ingredient of the original hot rod style.

Over the decades, Torq Thrusts have become a mainstay in the classic car scene. If you think of ‘60s and ‘70s American muscle and street rods, you probably picture their signature 5-spoke design in a shiny chrome finish.

Fast-forward to today: Torq Thrust wheels are still the go-to choice for racing performance and classic looks.

From muscle and pony cars to sleeper sedans and low riders, the materials used in the Torq Thrust’s manufacturing process have improved alongside advancements in wheel technology and consumer demand, meaning you now have more construction, size and finish choices than ever before.

Do Torq Thrust wheels improve performance?

You probably want show and go out of your classic (or contemporary) performance vehicle. This is the American Racing Torq Thrust’s calling card, and the base on what it was created on.

Torq Thrust wheels are designed to be light and strong (something that’s especially important for heavier classic sedans). Whether you’re running a staggered or squared setup, they’re available in sizes from 14-inch to 20-inch diameters and a number of bolt patterns and widths.

Their five-spoke design decreases the mass of the wheel versus many semi-solid wheels – improving acceleration and handling by lightening the weight of the wheel overall, reducing unsprung weight and rotational mass.

At the same time, the openings between a Torq Thrust’s spokes allow more airflow to the brakes and wheel wells, in many cases increasing a vehicle’s brake and differential cooling potential.

Torq Thrust wheels

Choosing the best Torq Thrust for Your vehicle

There’s no getting around it: there are a lot of Torq Thrust variations.

Some of its current options include:

  • Black
  • Chrome
  • Directional
  • Gloss
  • Gray
  • Machined
  • One-piece
  • Polished
  • PVD

We recognize how all of the options in this one line of wheels can make deciding which features to look for difficult. Our advice is to first consider the styling cues of your vehicle; make sure the wheels you’re interested in create the look you’re going for.

Another consideration: some variations of Torq Thrust (Classic, Custom, II, D, M, O, SL) may not properly fit your vehicle or may require hub-centric rings to ensure an ideal fit.

Just like with clothing, black will generally work with any vehicle paint color while it seems like chrome comes in and out of style a little more infrequently. However, the great thing about the Torq Thrust is that it looks at home on pretty much any vehicle no matter which iteration you select – from classic Chevrolets to modern Mustangs to any muscle truck or rat rod in between.

Once you decide on the finish, you can let the price, size and the features of various manufacturing methods guide your choice of which Torq Thrust to throw on your ride.

Each of our locations has a wheel expert who can ensure the Torq Thrust you’re after will safely fit your application. We can also package your pick with a new set of throwback hot rod tires such as Nitto NT05's, Cooper Cobras or BFGoodrich Radial T/A’s for the ultimate classic look.

Discount Tire’s current selection of Torq Thrust wheels includes:

Whether you’ve already made your choice or you need to do some more research, Discount Tire specializes in helping our classic and contemporary muscle car-driving customers find the perfect Torq Thrust (of any variety).

Shop our selection of American Racing Wheels for your custom classic today!