It was time to buy a couple of front tires today, so I decided to get whatever information I could about the differences between them, straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. I phoned Universal Tire (Corky Coker's outfit) and had a nice chat with them about their Model T tires. There were a couple of things about which I had previously been unaware.
Contrary to what I'd been given to believe, the economy "Universal" brand has the same 4-ply, nylon cord as the others and is of equal quality (if not equal authenticity). I was also told that load ratings are the same across the board for a given size of Model T clincher tire.
Although the rubber recipe for the NON-SKID version of the Firestone tires is the same as all the other black clinchers, they do tend to wear out faster because of the shape of the tread.
The white tires, obviously, are made from a different rubber recipe. It excludes Carbon-Black, which stiffens the rubber in the black tires, and that's why white tires wear out so quickly.
You guys probably already knew most of this stuff, but there it is, for what it's worth.
The difference I found between T drivers and Coker Excelsiors is the profile. The T Driver has round shoulders like a mud or motocycle tire, while the Excelsiors with their flat shoulders put more rubber on the pavement from day 1. I found the T Drivers to be worn down at 6K miles, while the Excelsiors have lasted about twice as long.
I didn't know Coker owned Universal. I thought they were separate companies.
I didn't know any of that Bob but, I do now. Thanks for posting.
And Phil may be looking to buy new tires for that new Hupmobile of his!
Thanks Bob C!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Yeah, I wasn't sure about Coker owning Universal, either, but when I called Universal and asked, "Is this Corky Coker's outfit?", the man said, "Yes."
The connection isn't mentioned on the web sites, but I suppose the tires all come from the same factories anyway.
Yes, I will be in the market for some 30 X 3's, Wayne. I'd really like to get white or gray, but they are pricey.
I just bought $695.65 worth from Lucas. Oh well, the kids love rice and white gravy and my next welfare check will be here in a month.
Sure, Hal. . If I had your money, I'd give mine away...
That is a really steep price.
Interesting comment about Corky's financial interest in Universal Tire.
While visiting Universal Tire in Hershey PA a couple of months ago I made a comment about Cooker Tire owning Universal Tire. The fellow I was speaking with bristled and corrected me stating that Corky, personally, not Cooker Tire, has a financial interest in Universal. I was left with the impression that Corky was a minority investor.
Maybe things have changed in the past couple of months and Corky has increased his ownership interest in Universal.
Ralph, 152 per tire plus tax and shipping. Seems all vendors are in that price range. Do you have a better source?
Discussing tires are not happening as often as oil, but it have been discussed before. I believe the conclusion at previous threads was, that all tires but the Dunlop Chevron pattern are all made at the same plant in Vietnam. And a couple of years ago the common understanding was that all tires was made with the same recipe in the rubber.
Dunlop Chevron should be the only exception.They are made in the UK.
AndI have just recently discovered, that buying them at a dealer in UK is much cheaper than buying then from a dealer in the US. 2 x freight and tax are saved. Still expensive - but not that expensive.
The Firestone All Black (authentic) tires look interesting from Universal Tire and their just a few dollars more ($26) per tire. Has anyone had any experience with these? Good or bad? I will need to get tires in the next year myself and I'm worried about the cracking issue that is popping up 18 months after you put them on.
I just bought a set from universal and asked them about the cracking. I've never had this problem, they said it was a problem with a batch 4 or 5 years ago. They claim the problem has been resolved. I hope so.
I'm curious as to why T-Drivers are marked as "oversize", but only the 30x3-1/2s are truly oversize. They're about 31-1/2 inches in diameter, and the 30x3s are the correct 30 inches. I have a set of four of the correct (nominal) sizes mounted on my '13 runabout, and they look silly, as if there were tractor tires on the back and car tires on the front. Knowing that tires on pre-demountable Ts will be mounted in sets of two pairs, why aren't the diameters made consistent?
Gil Fitzhugh, Morristown, NJ
The 30x3 Firestone NON-SKIDs I bought from Lang's did not crack, but wore out in three years, which, for that tread design, is probably normal. I decided to replace these with with the much beefier, Firestone 30x3 regular-tread tires, which I believe will last longer.
When I bought my new tires from Lang's, last week, I was told that they don't actually stock them, but arrange to have them "drop-shiped" directly from Universal Tire. Ashley said they do this to ensure that the tires we get are fresh. When the package arrived and I peeled the plastic wrapper off, the tires were a deep, shiny black, and smelled rubbery, and the tread diamonds felt flexible. I got the impression they were fresh.
I replaced my worn front Firestone NON-SKID tires with Firestone regular-thread tires and as you can see in the photo, these are about two inches taller than the NON-SKIDS.
Perhaps that's the "oversize" to which they're referring?
The 30 x 3 1/2 T driver are actually a 31 x 4
Th T Driver 30 X 3 tires are also very large compared to a nominal size tire.