1972 Nova Wheel Wells - Makin' Room For Rubber

When 275 Tires Just Won't Cut It, Detroit Speed & Engineering's Deep Tubs Provide Some Added Room For Big Skins.

Mike Ficacci Aug 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0908_01_z 1972_nova_wheel_wells Wheel_housing 1/25

Pro Touring is the new Pro Street. Road warriors that can pull triple duty on the street, through the corners, and even down the drag strip are being built all across the country. By adding state-of-the-art technology to 40-year-old street machines, '60s-era cars can ride like a dream and go toe-to-toe with new Corvettes. Tubular control arms, coilover shocks, overdrive transmissions, and thin-wall tires combine to create some of the most versatile hot rods out there.

Some of the Pro Touring qualities that appeal to the masses include a sleek, low-to-the-ground body matched with some of the widest skins tire companies can manufacture. A thick rear tire can both fill out a wheelwell for that needed eye appeal and make a necessary contact patch at 150 mph. In 1972, the General did not suspect gear heads would be jamming in 315/35ZR20 tires out back and now we all are being faced with cutting and grinding to make this happen.

Sucp_0908_03_z 1972_nova_wheel_wells Deep_tub 2/25

Detroit Speed & Engineering is at the forefront of Pro Touring technology, marked by these time-saving deep tubs. Made of 18-gauge stamped steel and accompanied by an installation CD, its inner wheel housings are designed to accommodate a 315mm (12.4-inch) tire, yet still retain a stock appearance.

For years, people have performed frame notches and created inner tub extensions mainly for giant Pro Street tires. As of late, the g-machine boys have jumped in on the action--so much so that Detroit Speed & Engineering decided to make life simple with deep tubs for the '68-'72 Nova and many other hot rod applications. Designed specifically to accommodate 315mm-wide tires, DSE's stamped steel, 18-gauge tubs take the headache out of such projects, yet still provide a factory look to the untrained eye.

Provided with the mini-tubs, DSE packs an installation CD with all the information and templates for cutting and grinding. Also, they explain the proper way to perform the frame notch on both sides of the rear framerails to allow for the 315s. Talk to any "old school" fabricator and they will explain to you the countless hours that were needed to cut the old tub out, slice a line down the middle, and weld a 2-inch extension back into place. Though still a job that takes a great deal of time and over $1,000 in labor at your favorite chassis shop, this install is something you could perform yourself with the proper tools and some higher level metalworking skills. Follow along as we make some room for some large skins out back.

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