I see Coker is offering two brands of 30 x 3 1/2 all white smooth tires, Firestone and Coker. Are either of these tires any good so far as wear is concerned. I had a set of all white smooth tires some years back on my 1910 and they didn't last 500 miles. I need to get a new set for my Model F which I plan to drive a little, not a lot. I just don't want to pay top dollar for 500 miles of driving. Any one with experience with either of these two brands? Or can someone give a lead to some others that may be better?
I don't know if they changed either the rubber compound or manufacturing process. I bought a set of Coker- all white smooth about 4 yrs ago. The car has never run or moved and rarely were the building lights on. My tires turned a beigh/pink. The rubber is extremely soft too. I saw that Lucas tire was offering white and gray tires. I'd call and speak with them about this. When I spoke with Cokers about my tire problem, they were pretty upfront about all the issues associated with these newer all white tires. They quit selling them for a couple years, so maybe the rubber is better now. I think both companies would be pretty honest about answering questions you may have.
I had all-whites on a 1907 single-cylinder Cadillac and a 1906 two-cylinder Buick. The treads seemed to be good for 2000-3000 miles. That didn't bother me. There are, after all, reasons they started putting lamp black in tire rubber. But what bothered the bejabbers out of me was the lousy construction of the parts that WEREN'T tread. The sidewalls split into slots you could slip tools into, and the clinchers separated from the side walls so that the tires - yes, properly inflated! - came off the rims while I was driving. I don't mind paying for cosmetics - part of the appeal of early brass cars is their beauty - but I prefer not to die while showing them off. After three failures on a single 1-and 2-cylinder tour in Massachusetts, I went to Lang's and bought four black T-Drivers to put on the Buick. (Fortunately, Lang's had four in stock. Normally, if you order from Lang's, your tires are shipped to you from Coker or Universal or whomever.) I lost a touring day putting them on in the parking lot. No tire problems on that car, ever again. I then bought a set for the Cadillac. Again, no more tire problems. T-Drivers look like hell, but they stay on the car. This all happened several years ago, and the new tires may be screwed together better, but I'm not motivated to find out.
Why not ask the folks at Coker whether they have corrected the problems they were having before?
The only tire problems we had when on tour were with a Centerdoor with white tires. If you are going to drive your T, white tires are a bad choice in my opinion. We started calling them sissy tires. I have to admit though that they look nice on the early, pristine cars.
There are those who post on this forum that as long as you get 5 years from a set of tyres, regardless of how little use you get out of them, you have done well. You should not expect quality tyres that last, because that would mean the manufacturers would not be able to sell as many and would lose their profits. Personally, I don't subscribe to this foisting of inferior products on consumers, just because they can, and there is no competition in the market.
Allan from down under.
Thirty years ago I bought a set of 30 x 3 1/2 black tires that were made in Australia. I ran them for 20 years and they were in good shape when I sold the car. I think the were Olympic brand. What ever happened to that company?
Tires wore bad back in the pioneer days too. It wasn't until carbon black was mixed into the rubber in the wear surface the tires started to stand up for more serious mileages. If you want your tires to last, carbon black is the answer
Ford seems to have equipped new cars with tires where the wearing surface was mixed with carbon from 1916 on. The first year both front and rear tires were smooth, for 1917 the rear tires got threaded and by 1918(?) the front tires too. In 1924 the whole tire got carbon black so the double white sides were history until white sides became popular again in the 40's.
Pictures shows an original smooth front tire from the Rip Van Winkle 1917 T and a comparison between a 1923 and a 1924 T while both were new - the '23 has double white sides while the '24 has all black tires.
Richard,I saw your post yesterday. I have been trying to think how to respond. 20 years I met a person up a tour in Mass.who had a 1911 touring car. He had white tires that were Universal tires with tread on them.The tires stayed nice and white. But having tread on them was not authentic,and I don't think you can get them any more.
I have a friend that is restoring a 1911 Torpedo.
He bought a set of white tires. They are mounted on the wheels and have never seen the outside of his garage.They have discolored just sitting there.
I like to show and drive my 1911.The point deduction is not that much with black tires. I am on my forth set of tires since I restored the car in 1995.I do not want to spend two or three hours trying to get white tires white. I have to much brass to shine. The other thing is,to be authenticate you should not have tread on the tires. They would be dangerous to drive.
Brendan, those Olympic tyres are legendary for lasting. I have them on my roadster buckboard. I have a set put on rims ready for my D&F roadster and another set to replace the 4.40 x 23" tyres on my tourer.
They were discontinued in the very early 1970's. We were given some warning, and those who could afford it, salted away as many as they could afford. So any still around are at least 40 years old, yet still they are far superior to anything available now. I am buying good part worn ones others are replacing with new, modern rubbish.
The moulds ended up being used in USA and the tyres were branded Lucas. I have seen others with the brand moulding left blank. What happened after that I have no idea.
Allan from down under.