Seems like there were a lot of flats back then. There was the horseshoe nail problem and then there was the issue of people running around with low pressure. I know it can be difficult to properly pump a tire by hand and then you lose some air when you remove the hose. Today we are blessed with pocket tire gauges and compressor pumps everywhere as well as tire pressure knowledge. No doubt that explains why my tires have been so reliable, only two flats ever on tires and tubes that are older than me. When I first got a Model T, I envisioned flats being a regular problem.
I'm not sure why flat tires are no longer the problem they once were, but when I was a kid, the family car (a 1955 Pontiac Star-chief) suffered a flat tire once or twice a year. -I got plenty of flats on my Schwinn, too.
My '89 Ford Probe GT (a great car, by the way) suffered one puncture in 260,000 miles and I don't even know what the jack and spare tire look like under the trunk of my 2000 Olds Intrigue. -My present bicycle is 25 years old and has never had a flat.
And so far, so good with the Model T, which I've owned for about five years.
A few years ago my wife ran over a curb and got a flat with our almost new Dodge Grand Caravan that has "Sto-and-Go" seats.
She called AAA and the guy could not find the spare tire.
Finally my wife called the dealer and they explained that there was a ratchet mechanism between the front seats to lower it.
Back in the late 70's early 80's I had a Triumph Spitfire sports car. I went outside to go to work and had a flat, I changed the tire, put on my spare and stopped to have it repaired on my way to work. When I got out of work another tire was flat. I changed it again. Stopped at the garage on the way home to have the second flat repaired. Got home and did a few things around the house and was getting ready to go somewhere and looked at the car that now had it's third flat in one day!
Not a good day for me! The fellow at the garage felt so bad about me having so many flats he repaired it for free.
I guess the date should be early 70's because I was married in the mid 70's and everyone knows families don't fit in sports cars.
I think the air today has a lot of stuff (crud)in it, that helps to keep your tires sealed
Jon, that's a terrific photo. -One of the things I notice about the old pictures is that it's difficult to determine the age of the people. -They sure matured earlier during the Great Depression. -Same thing with the mid-Big Band Era. -My Dad and his brother were drafted in 1942 at the ages of 19 and 21, and in their Army uniforms, look to be about 35. -I suppose, with all the hardship going on, mirth was in short supply—and it showed. -The fellows in your photo could be a lot younger than they look. -You can see in their eyes the look of seasoning.
In this wartime documentary, "The Memphis Belle," you can see this effect quite clearly. -The average age of the men on this bomber is 23. -The aircraft commander, Robert Morgan, was 25.
When I bought my roadster 2 yrs ago, all four tires were flat for a decade or more. 3 actually pumped up but the fourth had a hole in the side wall. I patched the tube and was able to roll it around the garage with a little duct tape. It didn't last long and when it blew it was as loud as a gunshot and scared the heck out of the neighbors!
One day last spring the wife and I were preparing to go to town, I went to get our daily driver out of the house garage and noticed the LR tire was about 1/2 flat. No problem, fired up the air compressor and pumped it up, over pressure to hold it 'till we got to town. Looking at the tire I saw a nail head sticking out of the tread, about in the middle. In town we dropped it off at the tire shop to have the tire fixed. About an hour later we went back to pick it up and the fellow says there's a small problem, come have a look. Car was up on a hoist and he showed me that the other rear tire also had a nail head sticking out of it. It sorta looked like somebody had placed a couple of nails against the tires so they would get driven in when we drove off.
Ended up with 4 new tires.
I bought a 1939 Buick when I returned to Milwaukee, WI back in 1963. Great running sedan for $35. Winter found the temps below 0 and the Buick started and ran good except for one day at least 10 below when I had a flat rear tire and the spare was in the trunk which was froze tight. When I finally got the trunk open and replaced the flat tire, the other rear tire also went flat. After finding a phone and calling my father-in-law to bring another tire, I changed the second tire as the front tire was going flat. These were 16" X 6" tires and another replacement was found before I could drive home and fix the tubes. After that I carried two spares but never got another flat tire.
My luck the past couple years with tires has been terrible. I have had not one, but two, unexplained blowouts on my Eggs-pedition while towing a trailer (two different trips).
Another time, a rear went flat suddenly. When I pulled the wheel off the rig, the wheel rattled. I pulled the wheel and tire apart at home and found a large screwdriver minus the handle inside the tire (eight inches long minus the handle, 1/2 inch square shaft). Must have been kicked up by the front tire.
A close friend told me once while comparing flat tire notes, that he had one where he found an eight inch long piece of stainless steel automobile body trim inside the tire. Apparently, the tire punctured faster than the trim piece could collapse and crush.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2