In last week's tire article thread I pointed out the anecdotal observation we have had:
-really old tires still holding air, even when on derelict parts cars that don't move for a decade or more.
-Much newer tires needing replaced, even if only sitting static for a few years.
My conclusion is that something is no longer in the tires and/or new things in tires impact this long term holding air observation.
Note: not saying the older tires were better, better performing, or even safe to drive at low speeds 40 years later --just saying a lot of them seem to hold air.
I'd actually be really interested in a mythbusters style study of various age of tires from all different scenarios (out in the sun for decades, in a dark shed, etc.) and giving a modern duty cycle testing.
After all, "holds air" is great for a parts car, but is far from the important thing if you are actually going to be driving at speed.
Referring to Marathon tires? We put new GYMs on our Airstream in 2009 but they were used only to transport for a few months and the trailer's been used at a fixed location since. The damage inflicted to such a trailer from a blowout and/or delamination is often very extensive/expensive.
Conner, I have to ask about recapping tires. Is it the tire tread that degrades in time but not the casing? I know truck and trailer tires have been recapped forever. A trucker I am acquainted with says his have been recapped 4-5 times. When I drag raced years back my slicks were recaps and I ran over 110mph. I also know the airlines don't own the tires on their planes and the tires are recapped. So is it the lack of molds that don't allow recapping or that manufactures don't want to deal with passanger tires? I have a set of new Goodyear Wing Foot white stripe tires that I have had stored for 40 years in a cool dark environment I am considering installing on my Corvette.
What are your thoughts?
The great difficulty with most repro vintage "performance" tires is finding QUALITY comparable even with today's plebeian passenger tires. If looks are your goal, most repro tires will be out-of-round, loud, rough and questionable-at-speed, but fine for a classic that's driven from trailer to show field.
Tire (and tire manufacturing) technologies have evolved in huge leaps over the past 20 years and for those of us who really drive their cars it's getting harder to source reasonably high performance in 15" sizes. 8 years is a comfortable age limit for my summer-driven '65 Sting Ray, so just last week I replaced 2014 dates General Altimax RT-44s with the same tires (now 3rd gen, and I'm quite happy with them.) However, to my chagrin the date code on the new set of tires was a late 2019(!). I'm OK with using passenger tires in a performance application but do we now also have to accept "new" tires already 3 years old?
I second 32hotrod, the fourth poster above, as well as Catdaddy44, SJ, and Pauluptime.
We understand much of this alleged safety concern is the tire companies' lawyers talking, encouraging more sales.
Meanwhile, those of us long playing with old, prewar cars have to laugh at the outrageous prices for bias ply tires people in the third world wouldn't buy, so long as festooned with wide whitewalls--not always wide enough at that-- fakey do Firestone, Goodyear, etc. script, "original" tread patterns.
Other companies charge a hefty premium to vulcanize a too narrow "wide whitewall" on bias sized 7.00 x 15 Yokohama LT (light truck) tires for owners of 1941-on Buicks, Cads, Chryslers, Hudson Commodore Eights, Packards. Part of this nonsense abetted by the sort who think they must smother their car with every available factory and dealer option, overlooking that only a trickle of 1947 automobiles, the last month or so of production, regardless brand or price level, were available with whitewalls, so whitewalls on any 1946-47 cars are incorrect. That we see 100 point 1946-47 cars so equipped only underscores vanity trumps historical correctness.
In the day, most educated motorists viewed whitewalls as gauche, tacky. You can see, for example, late '30s Pierce-Arrows or senior Packard club sedans, coupes, convertibles in showrooms with Persian carpets and potted palms shod in black sneakers.
There are dolts who think boasting how much money they blew on their car somehow makes them worth more. Companies selling vintage-look tires love that mentality.
Note the above piece closes by invoking Pebble Beach, as if that janitorial d' nonelegance, tournament of credit lines somehow a final arbiter. Even Phil Hill, whose Pierce-Arrow won Best of Show in 1955 back when Pebble hewed closer to the real concours of Europe in the '20s and '30s, whose Santa Monica shop, Hill & Vaughn, later restored many such contestants, lamented, "I've seen more nice original cars forever ruined for the sake of a few more points at some concours."
There was no Pebble in 2020 because of Covid. 2019 and 2021 Best of Show won by billionaires. There's much more to this hobby than a playground for the idle rich. The entire hobby has been second-tiered, in lock-step obeyance to these characters too long, to everyone's detriment.
Anyone in business knows there are expenses tooling to produce batches of anything, limited or not. But the Pebble mentality translates to people thinking the more they've dumped into their car, the more it's worth, and the above companies prey on that insecurity.
When will Hagerty, instead of handing out Pebble Beach "Morning Patrol" duckbill caps, look into the above, remember the other, more vital 99% of this hobby? We can get money homages from Kiplinger's and the Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition.
Wearing a Yankees cap doesn't put you in the dugout.
The industry is finding a larger challenge. They are being faced with more odd sizes and numbers of tires.
There are a number of 80's and now 90's cars where tires are getting difficult to find for them as the sizes have been discontinued by many MFG.
White letter tires are also very limited due to the increased liability of the white rubber. They are not a high speed rated tire as the white rubber will not take the heat. Many companies are not willing to risk the liability.
SAG, are your Wraith's tires bias or radial? I've got a set of correct bias - s i z e d but radial 7.00/15 Bridgestone R-230 LT (light truck) tires on my '47 Packard Super Clipper with only 1,560 miles on them, always in a cool dark garage, no sun, but they are 17 years, eight months years old.
They look, feel like year-old tires and i only go out on an occasional 20-mile runs to get the oil hot.
If a bias tire blows, no damage. But not always so with radials, yet not wild about tossing a set with such limited use, so wonder how you're doing? Not many '38-'39 Wraiths out there.
Our Bay Area traffic the nation's worst after only LA, hence my tires' light use. You'd think genuine gearheads and environmentalists would unite in urging one or none or adoption over making more babies, since polls of the nation's and world's scientists show them in accord that overpopulation by far our biggest problem, their words, "bigger than climate." UN and other exhaustive, vetted studies show animals raised for meat and dairy produce more greenhouse gas than all the world's cars, trucks, buses, trains, planes, ships combined, so if we're serious, cruise nights, meets, shows forego the burgers, shakes, rubber chicken.