Guys work hard to express their automotive passion through a project car, but all too often, that message gets mangled when the wrong wheels are selected. The mechanical attributes of your car notwithstanding, how you project visually will either amplify your intent or completely short circuit your effort. Whether you want to admit it or not-and we won't even debate whether it's even fair-the wheels you choose, the tires you wrap them in, and the stance you give your ride will all largely determine whether others like your car or not.

That said, we're not advocating you just go out and spend the most money possible. It's more a question of figuring out your budget first, then choosing the wheel that looks and performs best for your wallet. We've seen cars with inexpensive steel wheels that had just the right diameter, the right backspacing, the ideal tire size, and the coolest stance that looked and performed better than a similar car with mega-buck bling. There's no doubt that you can impress (or piss off) people by showing off your money-that's easy. It's far more difficult to impress people with your sense of good taste. A sense of style (or lack thereof) is also what helps us decide what cars get in the mag, and which ones don't. The wrong wheel, tire size, and stance can be a deal breaker, even when everything else is nailed.

We've rounded up 25 rims for all budgets, and we like all of them for hard-core muscle cars. As you can see, there's a lot of variation here; some will work great for a stealth look, some are traditional, some are racy, some are showy, some are street/strip, some are Pro Touring, and some are designed for all-out competition. Now check 'em out, get inspired, and start sending the right message with your muscle car!

COKER TIRE
SS 396
Size: 14 & 15 inch
Price: $140
($560 per set, 15x7)
Source: Coker Tire
866-513-2744
www.CokerTire.com

YEAR ONE
FIVE-SPOKE RALLY
Size: 17x9
Price: $187.25
($749 per set)
Source:
Year One
800-932-7663
www.YearOne.com

FESLER
FS 914
Size: 18 through 26 inch
Price: starting at $225
($900 per set, 17x8)
Source:
Fesler Inc.
602-953-8944
www.FeslerBuilt.com