Advice: Classic tyre choices

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Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices Classic tyre choices

Owning an older car doesn’t have to mean driving on inferior tyres. Demand is such these days for good quality rubber that there is a wide range of choices to keep both the love of your life on the road and indeed your good self in relative safety

Advice: Classic tyre choices
Classic tyre choices

 

Classic tyre choices

We asked Ben McKinnon, who is the boss at Melbourne specialist tyre outfit Antique Tyres, to show us a few examples of the wide range of hoops available for older cars. Let’s take a look…

30x3 Firestone Non Skid.

This is an early beaded-edge construction tyre. The principal behind beaded rims sees the tyres clip in and high pressures keep them in position.

These are typically fitted to pre-1920s cars, running massive pressures by contemporary standards of a minimum 50 psi right up to a stratospheric 85 psi for the larger sizes.

Originally, the words ‘Non Skid’ were stamped in reverse in the tread so it actually ‘printed’ the brand in dirt surfaces. Early advertising genius!

Firestone 700-17

Representing a significant step in tyre development was the ‘wired-on’ or cross ply tyre, with wire intrinsically running through the bead.

So named due to the cords laying diagonally across the tyre from bead to bead, cross plies allow the entire body of the tyre to flex improving ride, and the tread and sidewall are of one-piece construction

The 700-17 tyre here would traditionally be fitted to things like 1930s Chryslers, Studebaker and Packards.

Excelsior 600/650R17

Offers the advantage of steel-belt technology for pre-war vehicles with 20 sizes in the range from 16-inch to 21-inch wheel diameters.

This steel-belted radial is targeted toward restored vehicles, built before WWII, but the wide range of sizes makes for a long list of applications.

Compared to a cross ply tyre of similar size, handling and ride quality are significantly enhanced, while retaining the classic look.

BF Goodrich 185/70R15 Wide Whitewall

The wide whitewall radial tyre was developed with 40-60s cars in mind allowing the use of period correct whitewall width coupled with the practicality of a more modern tyre.

The BF Goodrich range covers around 40 different sizes available in a factory-built tyre. Most cars that are suited by whitewalls can be accommodated. 

Also, these have contemporary applications with sizes to suit late model cars such as the PT Cruiser and new-era VW Beetles.

Mastercraft 215/70R14 Narrow Whitewall.

A ‘narrow band’ whitewall tyre designed for vehicles built post-1962 when wide whitewalls were replaced with the fashionable narrow, white band.

The range of applicable sizes for narrow band whitewalls extends from smaller diameter wheels, a typical size being 185/80R13 for early Holdens and Fords, right through to a 235/75R15 designed for larger and heavier cars like Cadillacs and Rolls Royces.

BF Goodrich 215/65R15 Redline

The Redline tyre is synonymous with muscle cars of the sixties and seventies, both homegrown and varieties from the Home of the Brave.

The Firestone D70-14 Redline that was the original fitment for early Monaros is available along with the BF Goodrich 205/70R14 which represents its radial replacement in addition to the ER70-14.

The BF Goodrich Redline pictured offers strong appeal to muscle car owners requiring the authenticity of the Redline and the real-world performance of a radial.

BF GoodRich 275/60R15 TA and 265/50R14 Silvertown

The BF Goodrich radial TAs are hugely popular with owners of muscle cars from the sixties right through to the eighties and the good news is it’s still available in more than 20 different sizes.

The 275/60R15 pictured is commonly run on the rear of Corvettes, Falcons and Camaros. Soon to become available are both the 265/50R14 and 245/50R14 and many locally-built muscle cars run this tyre combination but finding tyres has been near impossible in the past.

Phoenix 26/6-15

Now for the big bags. In 1998 ex-Firestone drag racing personnel, together with investors, formed Phoenix and purchased the drag tyre moulds from Firestone, making Phoenix the modern incarnation of Firestone drag tyres. Originally born of Firestone Firehawk technology, Phoenix drag racing tyre moulds have actually been around for more than 40 years.

In the Phoenix range there are over 30 sizes available for both front and rear application.

THE WHITE SIDE OF THE ROAD…

With both the popularity and range of whitewall tyres on the up, there are a few specific things to keep in mind when purchasing whitewalls and redlines.

Ben McKinnon from Antique Tyres is adamant that the whitewall should be specifically purpose built.

"In terms of whitewall and redline tyres you should always make sure that the whitewall or redline has not been added after the tyre was manufactured," says McKinnon.

"Some tyres have the whitewall and redline added after the tyre has been built. To do this the tyre has had to have the side wall grooved or buffed so that the manufacturer’s information is removed!  Removing this information can cause the tyre to be un-roadworthy and will void the manufacturers warranty.

"If a tyre does not have manufacturer’s info such as the DOT number, load rating or speed rating on the sidewall, be very careful. You can’t really know what you are buying."

 

MODERN ALTERNATIVES

Of course, there are many specialist vehicles that are designed for modern rubber. Cameron McMinn from Tyres Plus in Airport West in Melbourne runs us through a few of the choices for owners of later model machinery. Here’s his selection and rating for each tyre.

Continental Sport Contact 3

Continental reckons the Sport Contact 3’s new asymmetric tread pattern ribs provide outstanding braking capability and steering precision, by absorbing the forces exerted on braking. This means a reduction in stopping distances.

Sizes range from 205/45R17 to 245/40R18.

Ratings – Performance: 2. Price: 5. Value for money: 4.

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Michelin Pilot Sport 3

Michelin says the Pilot Sport 3 is suitable for sporty city cars, compacts and large, powerful sedans as well as small sports cars, such as roadsters and coupes, with the extra-large 18 to 19-inch range serving as optional equipment on non-sporting models.

Sizes range from 185/55R15 to 245/40R19.

Ratings – Performance: 1. Price: 4. Value for money: 3.

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Toyo Proxes 4

The word from Toyo is the Proxes 4 is a low-profile, high performance tyre with a unique directional tread pattern that has excellent aquaplaning resistance.

Sizes range from 205/55R15 to 305/25ZR22.

Ratings – Performance: 5. Price: 1. Value for money: 2.

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BF Goodrich g-force Profiler

The blurb from Bridgestone suggests the Profiler is engineered with ETEC (Equal Tension Containment) system, with the gain being minimal tyre distortion at high speeds, for maximum road contact and driving control.

Sizes range from 195/45R15 to 235/35R19.

Ratings – Performance: 3. Price: 2. Value for money: 1.

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Bridgestone Potenza RE050

Bridgestone claims the Potenza is a high-performance tyre incorporating dynamic sporty handling and a quiet, comfortable ride to meet the rigorous demands of prestige vehicle manufacturers.

Sizes range from 225/50R16 right through to 305/30R19.

Ratings – Performance: 4. Price 3. Value for money: 5.

*Ratings are based on the five tyre choices featured in an 18 inch tyre to fit VE Commodore.

 

SIDEWALL DECODING

What the figures mean…

All that information on the sidewall of a tyre can get a little confusing. Here’s what it all means.

Example: 19/50R16 84V

195      =  Nominal section width of the tyre in millimetres.

50        = Aspect ratio (in this case the section height of the tyre is 50% of the section width). Also referred to as the 'profile' of the tyre.

R          = Indicates radial ply construction.

16        = Rim (wheel) diameter code.

84V     = Service description showing the load index and the speed symbol of the tyre.

 

Speed Ratings

P: 150km/h

S: 180km/h

T: 190km/h

H: 210km/h

V: 240km/h

Z: +240km/h

 

OLDER STYLE SIDEWALL INFORMATION

On some 60's and 70's era vintage vehicles, the tyre sizes were denoted (Jensen Interceptor for example) as ER70VR15. The '70' refers to the section height as you might expect, and the '15' is the wheel dimension, but on first inspection there appears to be no section width. Actually there is, but it's in yet another odd format. In this case, the first letter is the thing to look at. The letter itself has no direct equivalent to modern dimensional sizes but instead relates to load index; the higher the letter the more load it can carry.

With vintage tyres, higher loads translated into bigger tyres, so the close approximations between old load and new size these days are:
C = 185    D = 195    E = 205    F = 215    G = 225    H = 235 etc.

In this example then, ER70VR15 means 205/70 R15 with a 'V' speed rating. If you're looking to replace tyres for this type of vehicle, an 'H' speed rated tyre is the better choice, and it's cheaper.

SOURCE: www.carbibles.com

KEEP IT KEEPING ON

Look after your tyres and they’ll look after you. Here’s a few tips on tyre care for the classic or enthusiast car that might remain inactive for lengthy periods.

Sun kills inactive tyres. Rub a generous layer of tyre gloss over the sidewall. Also, little known is the fact that rubber is very susceptible to attack from ozone, which occurs naturally due to lightning, and from electric motors, such a shed fridge, or welding plant or pumps.

Get the load off the tyres, and the tyre off the ground. If you can’t be bothered, a generous raising of air pressure is of some help.

Nylon flat-spotting can occur when the tyre is stored following a long run. The tyre cools down, the nylon ‘creeps’ and sets, and when it starts to roll, the ride is uneven and bumpy.It is sometimes seen when tyres have been stored on a dealer’s rack, vertically, for a long period.

RADIALS OR CROSS PLIES?

What’s the difference?

Most modern passenger car tyres have a radial ply construction. This means that the casing cords run radially from bead to bead and belt cords run directly under the tread. Radial ply tyre construction provides strength and stability to the tyre casing along with long tread life, excellent handling and resistance to punctures.

The difference between the construction of radials and bias is the direction of how these layers or plies are applied in relation to each other and to the centre line of the tread. The plies on a bias-ply tyre run approximately 45 degrees to the centre line of the tread, alternating in direction with each layer. The plies on a radial tyre run 90 degrees to the centre line of the tyre and basically overlap instead of crisscrossing.

The other physical difference between the two is radials tend to be a lower profile tyre while bias tyres are usually taller and thinner. Both styles are considered to be a safe driving tyre for your car, although most would agree that the radials have the better technology and are the better design for higher speed driving.

 

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