Converting XK120 to wire wheels

Good morning, I’m considering purchasing an 1952 XK120 Coupe. It currently has steel wheels (and spats). I would like to convert it to wire wheels (and no spats). I’m new to all this… What’s involved in making the switch to knock-offs? Thanks much!!

Welcome, Nikos.

See that magnifying glass at the upper right of the page beside your “J” icon? Click on it, type in

Wire wheel conversion

and choose the xk category

You will have 50+ threads to wade through.

Thank you! Very new to this, so that is quite helpful

Tell us where you are in the world. Where you are will have some bearing on your options.

I live in Maine, not far from Bar Harbor

You need 4 new splined hubs, different, dished brake drums at the front and a D-shaped brass molding to fill the flanged opening on the rear wings that is currently covered by the spats. And, of course, the wire wheels, which most likely would have originally been painted body color.

There’s also the problem of the spare wheel - a wire wheel will not fit in the boot of a disc wheeled car without major surgery.

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How deep is an E-type ww? It would look goofy if you had to use it, but you may never actually need it.

I have a set of painted wire wheels that need refinishing from a Mark II that are available free in Michigan. I would want to check to make sure they are the right size for a 120 before having anyone incur the expense of shipping.


I measure a standard 5”x16” XK120 wire wheel mounted to a standard spec tire at 9-1/4” deep. A standard 5” x 15” E-type wire wheel mounted to a standard spec tire is around 7-1/2” deep. So, it may just fit in the boot. The question is, will it mount to an XK120? The hub offset of an E-type wheel is much shallower.

It’s been awhile, but I’m sure I’ve seen XKs with E-type wheels. It was more common back in the 60s-70s when it was difficut to find 16" tires.