Hi, Ok I bought the Firestones. I do think they are good tires. But my question is they say made in the USA. Is this true? They also say gum dipped. Is this also true?
I have one mounted up and like it. It feels solid and gives my a good feeling about driving on them. They were a few dollars more but I think they will out last and are a safer tire that some of the ones I have had in the years past. Thanks for any info you can give me, Scott
Last I heard all Model T tires regardless of brand are made in Vietnam
I see the vendors are advertising 21" Firestone tires as being US made. They fit Model T as well as Model A.
(Message edited by tmiller6 on October 20, 2014)
All Model T clincher tires except Dunlop are made in Vietnam. Dunlop clincher tires are made in Great Britain.
The 450 X 21 inch Firestone tires are not clincher tires. They are not made in Vietnam. If they say Made in USA, they are.
Best bet if you are concerned about where something is made is to contact the company that makes the tires directly.
I don't know what the DOT and import/export regulations state when it comes to molding the phrase, "Made in USA," into a tire (but I do know that the tires we buy today are not made quite the same way as back in the day; that, for instance, the cords are now 4-ply nylon and the rubber recipe is a softer compound). -
If the tires are sold as replicas and the phrases molded into them are strictly for historical purposes—in other words, for show—I'm going to guess it's okay for a foreign-made tire to say, "Made in USA," as long as the packaging reflects the actual fact. -Though the side-walls may say, "Firestone," we all know that's not really the manufacturer.
Bob, how did you learn they are using a softer compound today?
I was never able to get any answers about compounds when I tried several years ago.
The "Made in Vietnam" is usually down on the bead where it won't show when inflated. That said I have run Vietnam tires for a number of years with no issues or failures. I can't say the say for tubes, however.
I'm guess all tolled I have some 2000 miles and not even a single flat. This covers 4 32x4, 4 30x3-1/2, and 2 30x3, and 2 30x3-1/2.
Firestones are now made under license by Coker. I purchased a set of Firestone 30x3-1/2 smooth grays and they were made in Vietnam, as molded in the bead.
My tires do not say made in Vietnam. I did look very well. Scott
The 21" are made in a plant in Penn.
Ricks of Surf City,
I can't quote chapter and verse, but I seem to remember someone on the forum having had a conversation with Corky Coker who was quoted as saying that the tires are softer now than original to make them easier to mount. -In any case, I think it's extremely unlikely today's clinchers are really "gum-dipped." -Back in the day, that involved a sort of tan/brown-colored natural rubber which was advertised as being used to prevent air leakage. -That puzzles me as the air, of course, was contained by the inner-tube which was not "gum-dipped." -Go figure, right? -Anyway, modern rubber compounds would make the extra step of gum-dipping tires needlessly expensive.
As I don't want to go off half-cocked and perpetuate accidental half-truths without knowing the specific source from whence it came, I'll try to get someone at Coker and Universal on the phone tomorrow and see what they can tell me about the manufacture of today's clincher tires and how they differ from those of yesteryear.
I just bought 6 wide whites Firestones for my 31 Deluxe Roadster, I did a lot of research as well on trying to make sure that I wasn't paying top dollar for cheap low quality Vietnam tires.
I talked to several retailers via phone, they all had the same story. The rubber is made in the US the tires are molded in new molds made from the original Firestone patterns as well.
I purchased my tires from Coker Tire because they are a local dealer here, they answered the questions pretty much the same too. I do believe they are Gum Dipped the 30X3 1/2 I bought for my T a few years ago wasn't cleaned I drove them for a month or so then when I did decide to clean them up my tire dressing made a mess of some sticky substance that was on the tires, I assumed this was the "GUM" I had to use sos pads and hot water to clean them up.
I'm with you Scott I'm satisfied with my purchase so far, I do think they are USA Made tires plus my Model A drives like it has radials on it now....
Back in 1991 I bought a new set of Firestones. Then they were made in New Zealand but the only place they could be bought from was one of the USofA vendors. I still have them on my car, in VERY good condition.
But I did look around for replacements about 2 years ago and was led to believe then, that all T tyres were made in Vietnam.
I believe the "gum dipped" process is during tire manufacture. This is part of the original compounding and internal not external and part of the exterior finish. Back in the 60's when tires were really made in the US we purchased a set of 6.50x19" wide white wall Firestone "gum dipped" tires, they came wrapped in paper and were bright white, there was no "gum" on the exterior of the tire or white wall.
Rob, you are right about the Firestones being made in New Zealand in the 90's, and only being available from a US vendor.The really galling thing for us in Australia was they then had to be exported from the USA back across the Pacific.
They were very good tyres, difficult to fit but they wore really well.
Nowdays we are still at the mercy of the vendors. I am sure they could specify tyres of quality rather than those made from pre-chewed licorice allsorts. The only upside to the tyres supplied today is that they are at least still available, and we should at least be thankful for that.
End of rant!
Allan from down under.
Back in the 1964 I had just made it into this old world...
There was no gum on my white's either...only a Blue coating. I'm sure some of the professionals on here know what this substance is...
The 30x3 1/2 Firestone's were the ones with the sticky goop on them but only after the tire dressing was applied it rolled up like glue or boogers all over them, first thing came to mined was gum dipped.
This could have been a counter reaction of some sort with whatever was on the tire's from the factory, maybe a release agent... I don't know, but my understanding was from an old timer from a long time ago that a gum base coating was used as a preservative for the new rubber... Not sure of that one either but you can hear a lot of things you know.
But at any rate I still like the tires imports or not, looks like no matter what they are we're stuck buying what's on the market. Unless of course you have dollar bills hanging out of your butt and can afford to order the premium Dunlop or Michelin which are probably over rated and no better, we had a set of Coker classic 30x30.5's on an old T at $49ea. they were on it for 15-17 years with no issues and never cracked or checked anywhere, Go figure! So spending more $$$ isn't always best.