Hi guys, Im a new member as of today. I have a 62 Impala that was in family for years. I had it sitting for the past 25 years. I just started to work on it to get it running. I wish to know what is the biggest tire and rims that I can install with the proper back space to be able to fit . I do not want to go with anything more than a 15'' rim. I do not want to do that plus sizing thing. See my overall goal is to stuff the absolute tallest and widest tires in the rear , and a good size in the front. I want it to look correct for 1962. I want it to look like it was a weekend drag racer and a daily driver from 1962. I have additional work to do to it to make it look that way, but this is my start. I don't want to but 30 different tires and rims to try on. I spent 99.00 for a plastic back space gauge from summit, and its way to confusing. Any size info would be great, thanks.
Recommend you look thru this doc to find what GM provided in '62:
The 'biggest' wheel GM put on the 'normal' full size Chevy in 62 was 14" (I think police cars and taxi's got 15"). If you limit yourself to what GM provided; 6.70 x 14 on front, 8.00 x 14 on rear. No concern about fit. The '8.00' is the nominal width of the tire in inches (NOT the tread; it is smaller).
"Slicks" were illegal on the street and some track racers changed to them (from their daily tires) to race (as I remember, depending on what 'class' they were racing, slicks were allowed).
If you fast forward to the late '60s, 'kids' street racing (I was one) would often use the 'new' G70 14's on the rear and F (or E) 70 14's on the front (I used G's rear, Fs front on my '63 in 1968-71). The 'wider' tread on the Gs provided a little more traction AND were street legal.
Here's a pic of my current '63. It is a spittin' image of the one I owned in 1968. It has 15" Cragar SS mags (part #61c563432) and P215x70X15" tires all around. The '215' is the nominal width of the tires in mm (about 8.5 inches). EVERYTHING fits. It also has the station wagon rear springs to raise the rear about 2" (from stock).
One could use 'wider' on the rear but I've got so much torque (from my '383') that I don't want too much traction. I do NOT race and when I wish to 'spin' the tires, the tires 'spin'. I don't break parts.
Just trying to be helpful. Your car; your choices.