To the Editor,
Does anyone know why all the automobile manufacturers are promoting the ‘benefits’ of bigger and bigger wheels? It seems the earliest cars had wheels not unlike carriage wheels but these gradually became smaller and more practical until 13-15 inches became more or less standard. Now the motoring public is expected to fork out ever increasing dollars for wheels that continually become larger. Replacement costs for tires for these wheels is more than just substantial and considerably more than the cost of the smaller tires that were standard just a few years ago. Does the average motorist even see any real benefit from this change? The same question could be asked regarding headlights which now cost obscene amounts of money to replace compared to the few dollars replacements cost just a few years ago.
Of course, we have the benefit of huge amounts of horsepower and torque, most of which in the world of today is both impractical and illegal, but this hardly compensates for the high cost of replacement parts or the arrogance of an industry that no longer supplies simple parts, but insists on providing complete assemblies at many times the cost.
Progress is great – real progress that is – but marginal progress at such enormous cost is highly questionable.