Time for a set of new tyres(tires). There is an offer on Wards at £480 sterling for a set, or I can go to the other extreme & pay £1200 for Non-Skids. Excelsior & Firestone are in between. Any thoughts? I did read on Fordbarn that they all come out of the same factory in Vietnam.
I bought Excelsiors for my daily driver and have been very happy with them. I have Wards on my other cars and started seeing side wall cracking after two years. They still seem sound but the Excelsiors showed no side wall cracks after the same time period. I used to have Non-Skids on the front wheels of my cars but they wear out quickly and I thought the extra cost was prohibitive given the short lifespan. I have not purchased any new tire in over three so it may be that they have changed formulas and improved ( or not ) the way they are being made today so my experience may not be that helpful.
Over the years, I've run a variety of tires. On earlier cars, I love the look of smooth tires. I ran through two and a half sets of white smoothies on my '14 Touring before deciding that I just couldn't afford to run tires that wear so fast on a car that I drive often. On the other hand, I put Firestone tires on my '23 Runabout ten years ago and they're holding up just fine.
When I swapped out the white smoothies on my '14, I replaced them with Wards Riversides. The new tires look nice and fit well. The thing that I don't like about them, is how loud they are. The tread pattern makes them hum when driving on Pavement. I never notice this with Universal T Drivers, Firestones, Coker Ribbed, or smooth tires.
The Firestone Non - Skid tires are made of a very soft compound. They are more of a decorative tire than a practical tire. They mount easily, and wear out fast.
The Excelsior clincher tires that I have had experience with were very hard to mount, the rubber compound being quite stiff. Another thing that was bad about that particular set, they all cracked very badly within a year of purchase. The tires were literally falling apart on the sidewalls and tread. Coker stood behind them and supplied a replacement set of all four tires of another brand , plus four new tubes.
Personally I like Universal T drivers as they are quite inexpensive. I also have had great experience with Universal ribbed tires, and the Firestone conventional diamond tread clinchers.
No one seems to have any Universals in stock here, so I'll have to choose between the Wards, Excelsior & Firestone, I'll forget the Nonskids.
I had old Wards Riversides and now have new ones. Both have served me well with no problems and they are a good value. That said, I will spend extra next time for the more correct Firestones.
I've tried all the brands in the last 8 years and have come to the conclusion it is a gamble as to what you get.
Either the tires have poor quality control and you may or may not get good ones.
I had good Excelsior tires but when one was damaged and I replaced it, it turned out to be one that the side walls cracked within months.
All seem to be far too soft and wear out in a few thousand miles.
Like Royce Universal T drivers appear to be better but as they say all are made in the same factory then its a 50/50 chance they are of a different lot or batch.
The following was printed in an Australian Car Magazine recently in the letter to editor section.
A lot have said that tires made over 20/30 years ago are far superior especially wear wise. New laws about look like they will force us to remove them and buy the new lousy ones.
Could be we are seeing tires made to gain biggest profits by those in a position to fix the market.
I hope the scan is readable.
I have Excelsior tires on my '25. They seem to be good tires, but they are bigger than oversize! They almost look like balloon tires. I talked with Stan Lukas last week, and he told me the old Wards tires were made by Firestone way back. I always thought it was U.S. Tire and Rubber. I have a U.S. tube here along with a Wards, and the printing on the tube is identical on both. I'll probably opt for Firestones in the future, mainly because I like the tread pattern better.