I'm going to need a new set of rear tires to pass state inspection come spring, so I've been perusing the catalogs to compare the different types of 30x3.5" clincher tires, but other than providing a line drawing of what the individual tire tracks look like...
... there isn't much information there from which to make an informed choice.
I figured I'd share what I think I know about this stuff and you can correct me and maybe also tell me something about your own preference of tire brands.
What I've heard:
Montgomery Ward Riversides whine a little louder than the other tread designs. The original, made-in USA incarnation of this tire is reputed to be the longest-lasting Model T tire ever produced, but tougher to mount and dismount because the rubber is necessarily stiffer. Conversely, I've been given to understand that the Riverside's reputation for durability is no longer deserved because nowadays, all Model T clincher tires, including Riversides, come from the same factory in Vietnam and that the same, much softer rubber recipe is used for all of them. In fact, I've read on this forum that the new Ward Riversides don't last quite as long as the other tread designs because of a slightly smaller footprint.
I've heard that Universals are a little larger in diameter than the other brands (Again, please correct me if I'm wrong), so they'll yield a slight "overdrive" effect while cruising and slightly worse hill-climbing performance.
I understand Harvey Firestone was one of Henry Ford's camping buddies, so Firestone tires have the advantage of being original, historically authentic equipment. I have no idea whether they're in any other way better or worse than the other tread designs.
I've read in Harold Sharon's book, "Understanding Your Brass Car"...
... (highly recommended, by the way--best and most informative technical book I've ever read on the subject), that some tires on the market are to be avoided because they have an incorrect clincher design which will cause wear along the rim due to flexing and allow the inner-tube to creep in and get pinched. Unfortunately, Mr. Sharon doesn't name names.
Regarding clincher tire types, none of the catalogs I've seen say anything about differences in general handling, puncture resistance, braking ability, traction on wet pavement, or anything else of that nature.
That's all I got. What have you heard?
Tire Rack doesn't review tires for a Model T.
What is this world comming to???
I put 30 by 3 1/2" Firestones made in Viet Nam on our Speedster over ten years ago and they are only half way worn down. Look at the Goodyear tire next to it for size compaison. We drive a lot and go fast when we go. Speedsters don't weigh much and so the tires last a long time. Ralf Ricks uses his Brass Pickup Model T as a daily driver and has driven across the Country several times. Perhaps he will post about his experiences with tire brands a tread patterns.
Below you can see the different diameters of thw different makes of tires of the same size.
Expecting to have detail info on Model T tires from supplies is a bit wishful! You can't get from Goodyear or Bridgestone co's today on today's tires with what you want to know!! HA.
So you can get subjective stuff like I will provide, just my experiences.....
Over all the Firestone clincher looks the best for me and that is my first choice. Putting them on the Autowa too. Looks best for that
show car. Tread is healthy, tire wear good, plus its "OEM" equipment
Here is the Firestone Clincher, 30x3 1/2". These are at least 15 years old now. Mileage about 3,000 is my guess. Have these on Nellie as they came off my '24 when I replaced with Universals.
Here is the Universal Driver 30 x 3 1/2" clincher. I really like these, long life good tread. These are on my main tour car, have about 3,000 miles too, only newer. I think the Universal Driver is the choice for me for tours, road work, as the tread is aggressive, the tire size is big.
Now years ago, only ran the Wards Riverside. Nice tire, big size. Remember back in the tire days, the "oversize" thing was big. Tire companies competing made the 30 x 3 1/2 a bit bigger, improved ride, and that did away with another size tire, forget what it was, but anyway the Oversize stuck......so a bigger tire is better.
This picture is my spare, a NOS Wards Riverside from years ago, you can still see the ink stamps and rubber pimps on the tread. But oh boy, what a chore to mount, the old rubber was so stiff....ugh...no more NOS old tires for me again!
So in a nut shell, my choice is Universal Driver Clincher for a road use T. And Firestone Clincher for that show look. Glad we have choices now.......
Even if you have to make hard decisions, is that not what freedom is all about in our capitalist society?, rejoice we have free choice!
Don't want to have that 3000 mile Universal look so good
That was the rear, I changed them out in pairs, that was a newer tire.
Here is the front Universal Driver clincher with approx 3000 miles.....
Neat thread, yet another I have bookmarked for future reference.
On the book cover that Bob posted, why is that guy sitting on the running board with no clothes on?
"The Thinker" was a sculpture rendered by Auguste Rodin and first cast in bronze in 1904.
A tired old joke says the thinker is thinking, "Now, where the heck did I leave my clothes?"
I suppose the thinker on the book cover, having already decided to forego the coils and install a distributor, is now considering whether to chuck the carburetor and go with direct fuel injection. Just wait till he hears about the E-timer!
Thanks Bob, it makes sense now!
I didn't think about that being the thinker. Guess I'm not the one thinking.