I've been told by Universal as well as some tire vendors that the all white Model T tires are no longer available, and that they don't intend to try making them again. Apparently the last batch they had made were turning yellow and had quality issues.
What is the best tire to use on a 1914 touring for all black tires?
So in the future there will be NO white tires for the brass cars?????? There has to be money made in that market; surely someone will offer them. (?)
I agree with Craig. Nature hates a vacuum. If there's a good buck to be made producing white tires, somebody will step up and do it.
Are they still making the gray tires?
The gray ones are gone as well.
Here is my post from yesterday. I guess nobody noticed it.
I saw that Mike and it sucks cuz my coupe HAS white tires and I love the way they set off the car.
I hate to blow $350 on a wall hanger though.
I just searched Coker and found NO 30 ◊ 3 1/2 white clinchers period.......
Coker does have white 30x3 and 30x3.5 and gray 30x3 currently listed on their website:
They are still listed on the web site, but if you call them, they have no stock and cannot get them. If they'd had them, I would have already ordered a set. Thanks for the links, however, as it was definitely worth following up on
I had 8 all whites mounted ,(all were non skids)never drove the cars on the road and 4 loose spares never on the ground. All the mounted ones turned yellow but not the spares.
Cocker gave me back all my money spent on the 12 tires (over an 18 month period), including shipping (3200.00) and I now have blacks on my 16 and 18 and I am heart broken. The all whites looked great on the black T's. I had 4 all white Universal's with tread for my 12 and they are old stock and don't turn yellow. The red 12 will look good for awhile until they wear out. I hope this issue will go away by then.
In reviewing some of the prior posts on the yellowing problem with all white tires, I noted that one person indicated that those with a date code ending in 06 (2006?) did not yellow, while those ending in 09 (2009?) had the yellowing problem. Sounds like the last production run was defective, and the problems cost so much they've decided not to try doing it again. Too bad, as I also like the all white tires. When you produce something overseas, and a major problem doesn't show up for months, it's very hard for a business to recover their cost or even get a refund for the defective products.
Thanks Eric. It seems there may be some smooth tires out there but I haven't a clue WHY smooth tires were made in the first place.
I wouldn't have a problem with gray tires either but it boggles my mind why things made for so long and long ago can't be made NOW.......
Maybe the white New Zealand tires I have now will outlast me.......
I talked to a T supplier today because I was so upset about this issue. My goal is to someday build the earliest T I can afford as nice as possible and have it equipped with white tires. So I called a dealer and asked if they had any in stock and he said no, that they had problems with the last batch. He made it sound more like they have to get this worked out instead of them never making them again. Hopefully he's right!
He did tell me that it would be pointless to buy a set even if I could find them because they will crack and be ruined if I'm not going to use them right away. And he said it'll probably be a year before new ones are available.
So that's what I found out. Has anyone else checked to see if white/gray tires are "done", or won't be available for a long period?
I got similar information from Coker and one of my Model T vendors, that even if I found a set, if they are from the last batch, they WILL turn yellow.
That is why I made the post earlier about date codes. I'm wondering if the "batch" that is bad was made in 2009, and if regardless of when you purchased all white tires, if you got a set from the 2006 batch, there wouldn't be a problem. That might be of help to anyone who bought all white tires in the last couple of years.
Can anyone shed addition light on this.
I was also told that they were looking at doing whitewalls, but that there were no plans to try to do all white again. Perhaps once the word is out, and enough people contact them, they might reconsider.
I have a strong suspicion that the original "white" tires in the 'teens turned yellow also. Also, I doubt that "white" was a designed-in element.
It's ironic that tires that very likely duplicated the originals have been dropped from production.
The problems as I understand it stem from the fact that in a rubber tire factory, keeping the "black" out of the molds and away from the molds proved to be too much of a headache. The same mold I think also is used to make the black version of the white tire so you can imagine what happens if you fail to get every last spec of "black" out of the mold before you run the "white" version. Anybody who has to change the media in their blast cabinet from glass beads to carbide powder and back can apreciate that when going to glass beads you must absolutely get every last spec of carbide out of there or you will ruin a nice soft metal piece you are trying to restore. Same sort of issue.
My two cents:
I stopped at a distributor in Ohio a few months ago and while picking up some 21" tires I asked about the all whites.
His story was that the production of all whites required the entire plant to be shut down in order to avoid air borne contamination from the black production lines and this was one more reason why the supplier said he wouldn't bother with the all whites any more.
If they could make a quality grey tire in 190? to 1926, why can't they make them now? I have a close friend with a '16, who put all new grey tires on his car. It has never been driven, and they are all cracking! Sounds like very poor quality to me.
Hopefully a smaller US manufacturer can pick up the business. I think Coker deserves to lose it over moving it to Vietnam and providing a crappy product anyway.
Maybe I should talk to the local tire plant and see what they say.
"Hopefully a smaller US manufacturer can pick up the business. I think Coker deserves to lose it over moving it to Vietnam and providing a crappy product anyway.
Maybe I should talk to the local tire plant and see what they say."
Didn't US-based Titan buy Denman's assets out of the bankruptcy? I keep hoping we'll see Denman's line of collector-vehicle tires revived in this country.
The probable reason why these U.S. tire manufacturers do not produce a quality tire product is because it is outsourced to countries with inferior materials and little or no quality control. Of course, the reason for outsourcing is to generate larger profits.
If the U.S. tire manufacturer made the tire in the U.S.A., the profit would be smaller and the tire would be more expensive to the consumer.
Until many U.S. manufacturers decide to bring their manufacturing back home, we will continue to see inferior products of all kinds.
Coincidently John McElroy on WWJ-AM this morning talked about a Chinese manufacturer that will be offering colored tires for modern cars. McElroy mentioned being able to lay two strips of aqua colored rubber with your high performance car.
I just got off the phone with Lee and Dennis at Specialty Tire of America, a local company. Lee told me that they're associated with Coker and did not want to compete with them. I explained that it could be possible that Coker cannot get them made where they had been in the past and it could be a business opportunity for them. He passed me on to Dennis, and Dennis asked if this was a high pressure clincher type tire. He said that they had tried to make them for Coker in the past and although he didn't know why it wasn't possible for them to do it, that was the case so they couldn't do it now either.
I've told my family repeatedly that whoever's in charge can change everything the day AFTER I die, but until then I'd like everything to stay pretty much the same. I WILL find a way to get white tires again if I have to make them in my back yard.
Is there anyone here that knows someone at Coker and can get some good info?
They were made in New Zealand BEFORE.......why not now?
Who gives a crap whether or not the Firestone name, or any other as far as that goes, is on the tires?
From Orlando's post above: "...the profit would be smaller and the tire would be more expensive to the consumer."
I hope that when the white and/or gray tires reappear, they are not more expensive. I just paid $342 each (plus $70 shipping) for a set of gray Firestones for my Coupelet-in-progress. When I compare those skinny tires with modern Michelins having state-of-the-art modern engineering and 10 times the materials in them which sell for half as much, I just shake my head. I would think that the clinchers could be sold at a much lower price and still make a pretty good profit. Greed is not a good thing.
Here's the company referenced on the John McElroy broadcast this morning. Would you settle for pink or yellow? Perhaps if they wanted another Asian supplier, this would be a place for the antique tire houses to consider.
I can see it now. The newest cottage industry.........White Tire Paint!
I think someone or some company needs to "Man Up" and provide tires MADE IN THE USA for the old car hobby, like say a car company. What better way to support the heritage of your marque than supplying replacement parts for it? They wouldn't have to manufacture them, just financially support it.
Probably wouldn't fit in with their "Mission", which most assuredly has a lot to do with "the expectations of our shareholders".
Manufacturing these ďnicheĒ products could be an opportunity for a small U.S. business. I donít know what regulations a company would face with making a product like specialty tires, but it would seem like it could be an opportunity.
My feelings are that large manufacturers only want to focus on mass amounts of product. Specialty products such as tires for our hobby are minimal in relation to making hundreds of thousands or millions of everyday use, standard tires.
I know we have very capable Americans who could manufacture tires in the hundreds rather than millions and probably make a decent living at it. Job creation right here in our own U.S.A.
Maybe I donít know what Iím talking about.
Someone is making white tires somewhere.... Just go to wal-mart and look at the bikes about 50% of them have white tires on them !
No one will pick it up for the same reason I stopped pursuing radiator shells. You can't sell enough to break even much less make a couple of bucks. Sure, you can raise the price but you end up selling less and slip back into the red. Unless someone is wealthy enough to give them away, the market will fall pray to sub-standard product makers or prices only the show-car group are willing to pay.
You can see the offerings in catalogs that give the choice of replica or replacement quality. Nine out of ten of "us" penny-pinching driver crowd will select the replacement part then complain about the quality.
Ok, I'm off my soapbox.
"By William L. Vanderburg
I think someone or some company needs to "Man Up" and provide tires MADE IN THE USA for the old car hobby, like say a car company. What better way to support the heritage of your marque than supplying replacement parts for it? They wouldn't have to manufacture them, just financially support it."
What a GREAT idea for FORD Motor Company!
Can you imagine the FREE publicity and good will?.......
I agree. That sounds like a great idea! how 'bout it, Ford Motor Company?
This is both interesting and depressing. So that means from this point on,no brass Model T,which is to be restored properly and authentically from the ground up, can ever be correct.
No more Stynoski winning brass T autos of the future unless your car is done now or you have those whites stored somewhere...
I thought that originally the early Model T's came from the factory with the light grey tires. Am I wrong?
I'm going to contact Ford about this tire thing.
Here's the contact page for Ford: http://www.ford.com/help/contact/
What's the worst thing that can happen?
More importantly.........what's the BEST thing that could happen?.......
If Ford can bring back the 1965 Ford Mustang, maybe theyíll bring back the Model T tires.
The execs at Ford are too smart to get involved with the non - profit tire business. Maybe you should call Generic Motors? They seem to be interested in making things with no profit potential.
Perhaps technology will eventually make it possible to produce small runs of white tires very economically. Pirelli can now make batches of tires as small as 4 tires using automated equipment. Check out this interesting link on what is happening in tire manufacturing.
Keep in mind that FoMoCo put all that time and effort into the T-100 program to make less than 10 cars and then completely blew it off after the centennial. Sure there was an intention on building more, but still nowhere near enough to make it cost effective. Regardless of how many they could have made, there are so many Model T's and spare parts out there that any investment in stamping new frames and casting new blocks is an exercise in utter stupidity. And remember I say that while considering FoMoCo to be the most important and historically significant company in US history. The project just makes no sense on any level (they built them originally so why not just restore several of different years instead of making 6 '14s??????) financially or otherwise.
And then somebody gets the bright idea to quit making both the white and gray tires before I can afford to buy a set. I'm not going to sleep well for weeks now. Sheesh
If there wasn't money to made selling tires there wouldn't be THAT MANY PLACES selling them.
First off, I do not presume to speak for the Ford Motor Company.
I do know that Ford licenses various manufacturers to make Ford branded merchandise. They work with the manufacturer and inspect the products before allowing the Ford license to be applied. In the case of the Mustang body, Ford provided Dynacorn with the necessary dimensions and data to reproduce the body. The last time Ford branded tires was back in the forties and I am not aware of Model Ts having Ford branded tires although someone may point out those from Ford's plantation were molded that way. I don't see any way that Ford or any other company that is not directly involved in the tire business could possibly get involved in this venture. They do not own the tooling, molds, or the machinery necessary to make clincher tires as far as I am aware. Our best bet is to convince our suppliers that do currently manufacture antique tires that we need a cost effective solution to this problem.
Again, this is my opinion and I do not speak for the Ford Motor Company.
To try to start a tire manufacturing business in the USA the group would have to put up with all the goofy goverment regulations, EPA, OSHA, and all the tree huggers. THAT'S WHY MOST MANUFACTURES LEFT HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE! They can't afford to meet all the regulations and produce a product at a reasonable profit/cost.
I think the current manufacturing companies could create a "clean room" designed to run light colors only and keep a set of molds used only for the light colors seperate from all others.
The original tires on my '17 torpedo runabout were marked with Ford script and United States Tire Company. They were grey walls with black tread. The tires were not made by Ford, they were made for Ford by the tire manufacturer. Ford did not make any tires for the Model T.
Edison and Ford tried making Model T tires at their hobby shop in Florida using various non - rubber substances but it was not a successful project; none were used in production and none sold to anyone. There are pictures of Edison posing with his personal 1916 Model T equipped with some tires made from the plant "goldenrod".
If memory serves, the Rip Van Winkle '17 Touring had Ford script US Tire Co. tires on it as well. They were whitewalls or "graywalls" or maybe "tanwalls", according to the pics in Bruce's book. Whenever someone does pony up to make more clinchers, maybe they could avoid the premium price now paid for Firestones by making "US Tire" brand tires, without having to pay the royalty for the name.
I believe US Tire became US Rubber which became Uniroyal. So the trademark may still be licensed to them.
I've seen a lot of discussion about white vs gray tires, and it sounds like both were used. I know there were all white tires because in the 1960's, there was a tire from my grandfathers 1913 Studebaker still hanging on the wall on the second floor workshop above his garage, and it was pure white with just some light discoloration from age. It was definitely not gray.
Were the whitewalls that have been seen on original Model T's white on one side only, or white on both sides with only a black tread?
The late Ed Francis once told me that the modern white tires do not represent what was originally available The white color was because the latex was somewhat white. So the tires could vary from white to beige since the latex is a natural product.
Modern white tires, wedding dresses, white paint, some skim milk, and whitewalls are white due to the addition of titanium dioxide. Ed maintained they weren't that white originally.
That makes sense since I remember the 1913 tire as white, but not a bright white or snow white. It was definitely not beige.
Since white tires are difficult to keep clean anyway, I wonder if it is possible to use some type of tire paint on a black tire? Then when they get too scuffed up, just repaint them?!
I remember painting on white walls on a 1934 Ford about 30 years ago just as an experiment. I used latex paint, and they lasted several years and didn't even show evidence of cracking. I assumed that the latex paint was somewhat flexible. I think it worked because the car was rarely driven and only occasionally when raining.
I think and this is only my opinion that it costs the tire manufacturer the same amount of money to make black or white tires. I believe the problem with them discontinuing them is because 1. quality control problems, because there's no oversight; and 2. more black tires are sold, and they lose money because they have stockpiles of white tires and nobody to buy them.
Honestly, how many restored T's do you see with white/grey tires? I would hazard a guess that the vast majority have black tires on them.
I still think that "some" company needs to take manufacturing back from the people they gave it to, and start producing quality products for a fair price.....