SOONER or later, enthusiasts are faced with the need to change their old car tyres for new ones and choosing perfect tyres for classic sports cars. The question is how to re-shoe your old friend while preserving its authentic look and performance characteristics?
Experts from online tyre dealer tyres-guru.co.uk will tell us the secrets of a perfect tyre choice for your old classic car.
Radial tyre or a bias-ply one?
If your sports car was manufactured before the 1970s, it was made to use tyres known in the UK as ‘cross-ply’ (or bias-ply) tyres.
Today, you have a choice between staying on your old bias-ply tyres and switching over to a safer modern radial type of tyres (used in most cars today).
What is the difference between them? A bias-ply tyre construction has rubber layers running 45 degrees to the tread’s centre line and crisscrossing while a radiant tyre has the plies running 90 degrees. If safety at high speeds and a perfect traction in the wet weather mean a lot to you, we recommend the radial type of tyres.
But as radials are lower and have a wider tread (which results in ‘clumsiness’), not all sports car fans are ready to give up their nimble and ‘soft’ bias-ply tyres even if they are considered to be less safe.
If this sounds like your situation, the only solution is to re-shoe your classic with the help of shops specialising in classic tyre collection.
Sometimes it is crucial for the collector to represent his car in its authentic classic look – and with the proper height of tyres intended by the manufacturer – for example, when the car is being exhibited at a retro car show.
For such an event, classic tyres are a must, but you still can have four modern radials for a cruising purpose.
Some retro tyre companies are trying to combine the classic look and modern performance of a tyre, so it’s crucial to consult the dealer’s professional before making a choice.
Choosing proper radials: tube-type or tubeless tyres?
If you decide to go with radials, here are 2 options:
- Tube-type tyres that have inflated inner tubes are not only troublesome in case of a puncture (then both the tube and the tyre need a time-consuming and complex repair), but also seriously compromise the driver’s safety.
- On the other hand, tubeless tyres don’t use a separate tube, and therefore don’t suffer from a tremendous pressure loss in case of a puncture. Such tyres dissipate heat better and are lighter, which is a perfect solution if you decide to fit radials to your classic car.