I wonder if we will ever see the day when Model "T" members will have to group together and form a corporation to manufacture tires, radiators, maybe even gas.
Interesting thought! I propose we call it "Jerry Van Corp." Naturally, I will be CEO with the usual "big salary".
Seriously though, it is interesting.
I have thought for many years that it would be a good idea. Tires are somewhat a hobby owned business now as most manufacturers are major hobbyists. The Coker family is active in the HCCA. However, in recent years, their focus has been more on the higher volume and profit of later car sizes. So when should we consider going into competition so that we can control the quality and colors?
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
This is a very interesting thought. Production could be organized as a funtion of the club, be "non-profit" in order to offer economical prices, and provide exactly what's wanted and needed.
Clincher tires are most vulnerable to a takeover. How do we get some molds? Would Coker sell them to us, to get rid of the nuisance? I bet his markup makes the nuisance worthwhile, so no sale.
If anything, Coker might lease the molds. I kind of think that's what they do now with the Asian manufacturers.
The Willys Overland Knight Registry kind of does something like this. There are some commonly needed parts that the club undertakes the production of and sells them to members.
The Curved Dash Olds club has done similar.
I'm in the small european Fords as well as Model T. I'm member of the UK based Ford Model Y & C register and they do actually have some parts produced even though there is at least one (UK based as well) vendor covering these parts. The club primarily fills the gabs not covered by the commercial vendor.
Great idea. I suggest we elect Royce Peterson as our QC manager. (No Joke).
The many vendors of Model T parts would be a great place to start with this plan.
Royce could oversee quality and authenticity! I'm all for this new enterprise!
We have the talent and knowledge to do this!
I would love to see this done. However we have to keep in mind that unless it's a hobby type deal, starting up new production facilities is quickly nixed by local, state, and federal environmental BS and yes I do mean BS in capital letters. Try to get permits for a new tire manufacturing plant and you'll know what I mean. By the time all the hoops have been jumped and permits are in hand, you have a crystal clear understanding of why this stuff is made outside the US.
Just so you guys have an understanding of where I'm coming from, it takes us 3 years (!) and about a million dollars to get a permit and bonding for 1 (one) surface coal mine. After that, our state environmental nazis are constantly coming in and causing us grief and aggravation. We have one site where an abandoned underground mine is spewing contaminated water into a local stream, and has been for somewhere around 75 years. Our new surface mine is located immediately adjacent to that discharge. If we would allow any sizable discharge into the stream from our property, we'd be fined and the permit could be pulled. It does not matter that the water is already polluted and will be forever. And if we broke into the underground works and released the water from the mine into our property, and then it went into the stream, we'd inherit the discharge problem and would be responsible for it forever after that. Makes sense, huh?
Hopefully keeping it small scale would make it a non-issue though. If anyone pulls off production of white tires and non ethanol gasoline, you'll be my official heros.
Another thought: what if we all banded together and made a large order for clincher tires at one time. Perhaps one of the manufacturers would be willing to offer a really good deal on several hundred tires all purchased at once.
If manufactured overseas, maybe we could even have a member with a trailer pick them up from the port of entry (several hundered clinchers arn't all that big or heavy). Distribution might be harder but with the number of members we have, I bet a way could be found to do it cheaply.
Jost a thought....
Doesn't Lucas in Long Beach already sell tires?
I don't think he is connected to Coker but you never know.
Ya but Royce would probably just want to make & sell water pumps. Marshall Daut could be in charge of body parts for the DOCTOR'S COUPES.
All seriosness aside, it may be better if the club just bought directly from the factories and sold them to members. Especially tires and tubes. You'd only need to stock 3 sizes. Could leave out the TT rear tires.
A lot of model A owners could buy the 21" tires.
Could even sell the 19" tires for those that have late model A Fords and other makes that use them, how about selling to the general public? Non members?
Or make them join the National club (International?) in order to buy tires.
With the economy in the dumper and going down everyday it may be a better idea to stay away from all of that.
Yes we could all join together and form one large corporation. Then we could divide the workload according the ability of each of us. The price would be uniform to all in any event since obviously some of us would not be able to work as hard at it as others. We could divide it all up somewhat like from each according to their abilities and to each according to their needs.
Marx would be proud.
Why don't we let Royce, John, Hal, and Jerry do all the work and send the rest of us free tires.
They have the ability and we have the need.
Sounds good to me.
I wondered how long that would take.
Reminds me of a sitcom I saw many years ago. A boy of about 12 was asking his Vietnam veteran neighbor "What's a Communist?" The neighbor replied "A Communist is someone who believes everyone should get the same share no matter how hard they work." The boy says "If everyone gets the same share no matter how hard they work, then why work at all?" The neighbor said "Son, you have just seen the flaw of Communism without the aid of saturation bombing."
Hey Fred, I've got some free tires I'll send you right now. ;>)
I said it was interesting. I didn't say it would be better than what we currently have. Some speak about accumulating large orders of clinchers & buying from the manufacturer directly, etc.
First off, Coker already buys in large batches. Do we think that our 30 X 3.5 needs, for Model T's only, would outstrip Coker's demand for same? As for buying from the manufacturer directly, who wants to go to Asia to take care of that? Anybody here know more about buying tires from Asia than Coker does? Anybody here know how a tire should be made? We complain about the quality of some tires. What should we ask the Asian suppliers to do differently? "Make better tires!!"? You say not to have them made in Asia? Well, Coker isn't stupid, if they could be made here, for a price we would pay for an occasional low production run, they would do it.
Since John Regan fully understands how this operation would run, I'm sure he would supply the warehouse space, distribution & shipping services at no charge for his Model T comrads. ;>)
By the way, I wasn't really thinking tires, (even though Gary included them in his ponderings), when I originally thought this was all "interesting".
I don't think it would be feasible for us to have them made, but I don't know that I agree with the statement about not being able to afford them being made here. That may be the case or it may not be the case. I suppose it would depend on what Coker's margin is. Did he go to Asia because he could not keep his head above water by having them made here, or did he go to Asia so he could keep the prices the same while increasing his profits? Either way, I don't see us taking the business away from him.
Profit taking aside. I'm willing to bet a very small, occasional run would be nothing more than a nuisance to a domestic, high production tire producer. Again, that's just my bet.
I suggested tires, as there is essentially a single source of clinchers, so the markup must be extreme. I doubt the VC factory gets more than $10 a tire. In other words, profit is probably on the order of $100 each.
If Kilroy were to start making clincher tires and selling them for $50, for example, Coker would drop his price to $50, as he then has the choice of some profit at equal price, or no sales at prior price. That's capitalism. Competition means better products at lower prices. It also means sometimes the price falls to the level of the dumbest competitor.
Something that you guys have not brought up about the tires is, Who do you think owns the molds used to make said tires? Do you not think that Coker owns them? I am sure they would just let you use them to make tires. Just something to stir the pudding with. Dan
I was reading a Horseless Carriage magazine 1959.
Model T tires were #27.00.
Really quite a bit of money. By 1976 they were hitting $30.00+.
Now they are very expensive but I for one would pay more for USA tires. What is on my T now are old Wards tires. Very old Wards tires.
If he pays the VC $10 each, he then needs to ship them to the U.S., wharehouse them, inventory them, pay his staff, pay Fed, state & local taxes, pay for insurance, (probably on his buildings & liability), pay license fees to use the name "Firestone", "BF Goodrich", etc., pay to advertize them and then take his profit.
At $169.00 for the 30 x 3.5 Firestone "X" tread, I think we're not being gouged too bad.
Just remember the basics:
Communism: You own two cows. The government takes both and gives you some milk.
Socialism: You own two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor who hase none.
Fascism: You own two cows. The government lets you keep them but takes most of the milk.
Capitalism: You own two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
It's all in how you look at things. Once when my son was in college he and I had a conversation about an economics class he was taking. I said, "So, under no circumstance would you support the communist notion of 'from each according to ability, to each according to need'?" He said, "Absolutely not!" I said, "That's unfortunate. How do you suppose this family works?"
Correction, Vintage Ford magazine 1973,
30x 3 1/2 tires $50 each.
Memory is a funny thing that works backwards.
How about this outfit? www.hoosiertire.com
Hoosier? Great idea
- all I need to do is figure out how to put them on my T!
If you wait long enough the Asians will soon be having tires made here in the U.S.
We will be doing it cheaper than they will be willing to do it.
Looks like there may already be plenty of tires made in the U.S.A.
Maybe we need to contact some of these companies and let them know we need good quality, affordable tires for our hobby. Or maybe some of these companies are already providing hobby tires.
This is the link where the information below came from. I don't know if this website is a reliable source.
Stamped DOT BE XX XXX XXX
Almost all tires have on the side wall where they are made(made in USA).Not all so you need to look on the side wall for the DOT #.The BE after the DOT means this BF Goodrich tire owned by Michelin was made in Tuscaloosa,AL.
The last 4 xxxx of the DOT is the day and year that tire was made.Example:3210 would be the 32 week of 2010.Remember you do not want your tires too old when buying new.Below is a list of more American plants and their 2 letter code after DOT.
BE B.F. Goodrich (Michelin) Tuscaloosa,AL
BF B.F Goodrich (Michelin) Woodburn,IN
AN B.F. Goodrich (Michelin) Opelika,AL
VE/YE/YU/8B Bridgestone/Firestone (Bridgestone) Des Moines,IA
2M/3M Bridgestone/Firestone(Bridgestone) Bloomington,IL
D2/E3/W1/Y7 Bridgestone/Firestone(Bridgestone) Lavergne, TE
2C/4D//5D Bridgestone/Firestone(Bridgestone) Morrison, TE
UP Cooper Finlay,OH
UT Cooper Texarkana,AR
DY Denman, (Penslar Capital) Warren,OH
DA Dunlop (Goodyear) Buffalo N.Y. my home town that is always hurting for work!
JJ/MD/PU Goodyear Gadsden, AL
JN/MJ/PY Goodyear Topeka, KS
JE/MC/PT Goodyear Dansville, VA
JT/MK/TA Goodyear Union City , TN
JP/MP/PL Kelly-Springfield (Goodyear) Tyler, Texas
JF/MM/PJ Kelly-Springfield (Goodyear) Fayetteville, NC
CC Yokahama Tire Salem, VA (Good tire) nickname: "Chokeyourmama"
My point was (as Mr. Ortega expanded upon above) that there are still tire manufacturers based here with factories here yet smaller than the "Big Three" of tires.
The reason I chose Hoosier Tire as an example is because Hoosier Tire is a smaller company unlike the monsters, like Bridgestone and Goodyear, and they are used to producing smaller batches of tires.
A company like this may be more receptive to our hobby's needs and perhaps more willing to listen to our request instead of giving us the "minimum order no less than 10,000" as a possible reply.
It is true that it would be very difficult to get a bead seal on a 30x3.5 clincher if you used one of the tires shown on the home page for Hoosier, with or without an inner tube and a flap. ; )
This is a good idea. I would say one might be surprised to find some of these smaller tire companies not even realizing there is a Model T market. That is of course the crux of the problem is convincing them of how large the market may be or that it is viable. Just letting them know how many members this club has would be a start.
Dont limit to tires
How many members are we? And give a feel if you would be willing to purchase 2 or more tires for a reasonable price.
Whats reasonable? I dunno, pick a number out of the air... say $75 plus shipping ???
I'm in for at least two.
If white 30 x 3 and white 30 x 3 1/2 clinchers are up l'll have two of each.
Coker is the only source for clincher tires, because they own all the molds for them. They bought up the molds from every other company who was making them before. The only two ways to make clincher tires are to either buy the molds from Coker, or start from scratch and make some new ones. Option two would be very expensive, and I expect option one would be as well. Maybe someone who is Corky's buddy could convince him to donate the molds to the MTFCA for our project.
I'll take four.
One word comes to mind, "LIABILITY" everyone in the club would be litigants.
Liability? for what, if we bought in bulk from a manufacturer ?
Liability for selling a tire that has a problem leading to someone's injury! That's got zero to do with buying in bulk from a manufacturer or anyone else.
Have we all forgotten Ford Motor Company defending itself in court over the Firestone tire debacle??? I don't recall Firestone being the defendant. I do recall Ford being sued however.
You can bet Coker carries liability insurance.
This whole thread reminds me of the Little Rascals, (or Our Gang Comedies), when one of them would say, "Gee gang, let's put on a show", and somehow they would have access to a theater stage with props and scenery. Alfalfa would croon to Darla and so on.
It made for a cute story but wasn't based in reality.
Gee gang, let's make some tires!!!
With due apologies to the honest lawyers in this country, our manufacturing problem is due (in large part) to the dishonest lawyers who have driven up the cost of malpractice insurance to such an extent that our factories have re-located overseas. (The rest of the blame can be laid on OSHA and the EPA - IMHO). I can imagine the field day an attorney would have when one of "our" tires was cut at the clincher line due to someone using an old, rusted rim that cut the tire, which failed, causing the accident, which resulted in fatalities.
Man gets $10 million for Conn. Segway accident
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) -- A Connecticut jury has awarded $10 million to a 23-year-old man who suffered a brain injury in a Segway accident.
The Bridgeport Superior Court jury on Wednesday determined that New Hampshire-based Segway Inc. and two employees were responsible for John Ezzo's injuries in the accident, which happened at a company demonstration of its two-wheeled vehicle at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven in September 2009.
Ezzo's lawyer, Robert Adelman, says his client was riding the Segway blindfolded and without a helmet through an obstacle course set up by company workers when he fell off and injured his head.
Adelman says Ezzo had to drop out of the university because of the injury and is now a handyman.
Lawyers for Segway didn't immediately comment on the verdict.
Who in their right mind would ride a Segway blindfolded? Probably the same kind of person who would mount a new tire on a sharp, rusty rim.
Although I do like the idea of a "member owned" factory, the present litigious climate in this country precludes my desire to join one.
Lawyers, OSHA and EPA are all minor and largely a smokescreen compared to sub-dollar an hour labor. When you can find Americans who can figure out how to live on less than a dollar an hour, the manufacturing will return.
Meanwhile, tariffs and 100% inspection of imports - paid by the importers will help.
Had to buy a new coffee carafe this morning. I actually had a choice of Mr. Coffee made in Communist China, or Melitta (German Co.) Made in USA.
If the club had bought a quantity of tires from the manufacturer last year the club would now be broke. I think it is naive to believe that the MTFCA could afford to stock tires and distribute them.
If Coker can't afford to do it at $200 - $300 a tire how do you think the club could do it? Coker quit importing the white and grey tires because it isn't profitable.
We are very fortunate to be able to buy any tires at all.
Mike -- sorry - I didn't mean to mean!
I am aware of Hoosier tires because they are the required tire at our track.
Jerry - I need 5 tires without cracks for my T -
I don't even have tires that good on my car.
Fred, I knew you were just being funny. No Prob.
The one thing that I have not seen mentioned here is the little factor of trademark rights. We're all familiar with the name Firestone.
I'm sure that Mr. Coker not only paid a hefty sum to obtain the molds, but also pays an even larger sum every year to every company that owns the rights to the trade marks he produces tires under.
If someone were to start making tires whether they be white, grey, black, or green, they would have to be branded something other than what is currently available.
On the issue of liability. I'm far from being an attorney but, I have had experience with motor scooter tires that did not have any D.O.T. labeling for authenticity purposes. This was simply bypassed by sending the tires with a document disclaiming any liability and that the tires were to be used for "Display Purposes Only and Not For Road Use."
Out here in sunny (not so much today, however) So. Cal., Stan Lucas used to sell the Firestone tires for our cars. I don't know what happened but, all of a sudden, here comes Coker and Lucas Tire is out of the Firestone vintage tire business.
I've yet to ask Stan what happened. I don't know him well enough to feel comfortable to ask. I do know that he is now producing the old Wards Riverside tires. Perhaps now that the main source for white and grey tires has stopped production, Mr. Lucas may consider producing them if there is a big enough demand for them. It may be worth while to ask.
I'd say "Just my two cents here." But the preceding probably amounts to about 75 cents.
The Lucas angle is certainly a possibility. Maybe they can make an all white Wards Riverside.
I touched on trademark rights. Maybe that's why Lucas went to the Wards name? I propose that new tires be the Kowalski brand! ;>)
Jerry. sorry I missed that in your post. I'm goin' with the "Kant-Burst" brand.
How about a compromise. Kowalski "Kant-Burst". Kinda has a ring to it, don't you think? ;^)
Ooooh, I like it!
Keep on dreaming
How about Laurel & Hardy Tires ?? Sure sounds like their kind of operation .
It appears you aren't being gouged at all. If 30 x 3 1/2's were 50 bucks each in 1973, they should by laws of inflation, be 242 dollars in 2010. Riversides are about 143 each right now.
If you look at the vendors offerings you see that the name on the tire determines the price of said tire, if they are "all" made in Vietnam.
Liability's not a problem if a LLC is formed.
An LLC can't hide behind a thinly veiled attempt to avoid liability.
Remember......ALL a lawyer has to do is convince a JURY........whether or not all twelve have a complete brain cell among them isn't relevant. All the lawyer has to do is convince the jury the product in question was questionable and still marketed.
Lawyer = 1
Defendant = 0
William V, just comparing the price is a waste of time.
A $50 tire in 1973 would be able to run for 20,000 to 40,000 miles where today's tires are only capable of doing 5000 miles (Coker figure quoted by them).
The 1973 tire at $242 today would be a bargain put me down for 3 sets!
Lucas buys their clincher tires from Coker. There's only one place in Vietnam actually making clincher tires. Coker has all the control and bears all of the responsibility for manufacture and import from what I have been told. They supply every other retailer.
It is not product liability that keeps anyone else from competing. It is the lack of profit potential. Business men (smart ones anyway) are not going to make anything unless there is a sound business reason to do so.
We are damn lucky that Corky Coker is a car enthusiast and not a hard nosed business man!
It would be easier to put on the sidewall than VanOovteghem!
Maybe call them Big O or just O
The tire itself could designate the brand name so nothing is on the sidewall!
Does anyone know where in Vietnam the tires are made?
Dunno where they're made, but I've talked to VC who have been back to visit, and the air is so foul in Saigon they had to leave. Many locals wear gas masks.
Caveat emptor brand has a nice ring to it!
All this talk about molds.. If you had a rubber tree at home you would make a mould out of clay right? Or am i missing a part of the equation.
But more importantly this was posted "A $50 tire in 1973 would be able to run for 20,000 to 40,000 miles where today's tires are only capable of doing 5000 miles (Coker figure quoted by them)."
Tires aint tires anymore - my 08 Focus has low profile soft open tread pattern 235/40/17 and last 12000 km/7000miles on the front and they need replacing basically before every service, and they're not cheap either.
Model T tires, l dont expect them to last forever but my preference for white is only that, my preference, if wards are available in white at a reasonable price, l'll have them and replace them when needed.
Does this mean that only black tires for the foreseeable future are going to be available in either clincher or non ??
Someone is hallucinating. Model T tires never went that far, for that matter no bias ply tire did.
I bought some new Firestone F70-14 Deluxe Champions for my 1967 Mercury Cougar (my daily driver) in 1975 and they were all done in 15,000 miles. They cost me $29 each plus $1.50 each for mounting and balancing. My take home pay back then was $129 a week so it was a beenie weenie kind of month.
Soft tires like Firestone Non Skids are good for 4000 miles and they probably always were. Hard tires like Wards Riverside (the old ones from Monky Wards) were probably good for 10,000 miles or a bit more. They cost about the same as a Firestone Deluxe Champion back then.
I think if you compare today's prices of Model T tires to prices of Model T tires sold in the 1970's when tires were made in the USA by union labor they are right about the same as one another, and the quality is probably the same too.
I don't know my Model T tire mileage, but the set of Universal 37x5 tires I bought in 1997 for my 1912 KisselKar were worn out in 10K miles (rear, 10 years) and 12K miles (front, 12 years).
I have a pair of Vietcong tires on the back of my 16 they have less than 100 miles on them... side walls cracked after a few months and now have blisters on both sidewalls. So much for quality! And no, Corky won't replace them.
I have a set of Firestone "Gum Dipped", New Zealand made, 4.50x21's on my '26 Touring.
There is slight cracking on the side walls and are approaching the "worn out" time of their lives.
The previous owner of my car mounted them on the car in 1977. I have no way of telling how many miles are on them since my car has never had a speedo on it. I know that I've driven the cr^p out of it.
I know there are some guys out there that are still running "S-3" tires on their cars. In case you didn't know, "S-3" is a WWII era tire identification. Geeze, some people are seemingly downright suicidal. When I've mentioned the fact that those tires may be a little past their prime, I usually get "Yeah, but they've got plenty of tread still on 'em." Wow!
A few of those tires are probably reaching the shore hardness equivalent of obsidian.
4.50 x 21 Tires on a Model T will last a very long time. If you want a high mileage tire, you are going to have to abandon your clinchers.