I am frankly obsessed with nearly every example of cross-generation wheel swapping on cars, as it always results in a fascinating result I end up loving. This sixth-generation Ford Mustang sitting cool on vintage fourth-generation Mustang wheels has had me thinking all day.
How many of you did I just upset by referring to the fourth-gen Mustang as “vintage?” Anyway, the photo comes courtesy of reader NotchbackFiero, who took the photo of the S550 Mustang wearing SN95-generation wheels and shared it on Twitter.
This particular example of cross-gen wheel placement was surprisingly quick to win me over. I usually struggle to quickly accept modern wheels on older Audis, or Alpina wheels on non-Alpina BMWs.
There is no distraction with this street-spotted Mustang. Only a purity that expedites the appeal, and I think that’s a credit to the harmony in the design of the S550 Mustang in keeping a cohesive legacy with the model’s past (and to this car’s owner in recognizing this pairing).
Now, I don’t think anybody in the design studio for the sixth-gen Mustang ever officially drew a concept silhouette over these wheels from the 1990s in the development process. That’d be cool if it were true, though, as this could have been around the same time some of these people started building a secret Ford GT in their basement that went on to win Le Mans. The modern GT was initially a S550 Mustang project, so who knows what else that team got up to.
Regardless of what was going on at Ford, it worked, and the design team managed to pull off the core elements of the Mustang DNA in the sixth-gen car here. I also have to credit the fourth-gen team of the bold wheels for making something that can continue to be worn in style (and whoever actually approved them for production, too).
The paired spokes of the fourth-gen wheels evoke the two pinching legacy character lines that shape and define the door area on every Mustang generation since the beginning. The advanced-stage retro design of the sixth-gen car managed to elegantly blend a majority of its core elements from the first-gen car in the silhouette and rear, but there’s also a lot of the character of the fourth-gen fascia in the modern Mustang as well.
Congrats to this Mustang owner for pulling off a cross-gen wheel swap that actually made me recognize the harmony in the ongoing legacy of the Mustang. If you ignore the Mach-E, which remixes that harmony into basic Target-ad pop song. If someone is now going to put these wheels on a Mach-E, reach out to me immediately.