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hello,

Running some standard modern Toyo tires on my Vintage Spyder, and looking to get a set of a more vintage tire with taller sidewall. Something like the original Dunlop or Avon race tires, with a cleaner sidewall without heavy script. Be great to have a more modern radial type, anyone running something good?

Wait till this baby hits 88mph....your going to see some serious shit!!

Original Post

Thanks everyone for the info!

@chines1 have you had any issues with the tires rubbing with the tire height? I'm running 5.5 rear and 4 or 4.5 front steel wheels in 15 size.

@Kevin-bay area Those are the look im going for, love the side wall.

@edsnova are those tires a radial or are they a bias ply? Have you had the car up to speed yet (80plus or hard corner carving) any info you have on how they handle compared to the modern tires? Understand they will not be as good as modern but wondering how far off they would be.

Anyone looking for new tires- Vredestein makes the Sportrac 5 (summer performance) in a host of 14" sizes from 175's to 195's (anyone running 14" Fuchs?), 15" from 175's (50, 60 & 65), 185's (50, 60, 65) 195's (45, 50, 55,60, 65) 205's (50, 55, 60, 65), 215/65, even a 225/60-15 and some good Speedster/Spyder friendly 16" sizes as well. AfaIk this is the only company still making summer performance tires in a variety of sizes we can use. As Stan said above, he loves them. I believe someone else here has them on their car but I can't remember who at the moment.

You'll have to ask around and not accept "oh, they're not made any more but these all season's (made for Smart Cars and Fiats) are just as good (which they're not). I know they don't have the 'period look' but they're a modern tire with a decent summer compound, I believe they don't cost an arm, a leg and the left nut and today that's a rarity. If we make a stir about them and mention them on other forums like the Samba, Cal Look Lounge and any other places some of you frequent (so guys all over are asking about them) maybe one of the bigger chains will bring them in so they're available. 

I'm sure the Vredestein Sportac 5 tires do well like you say, but the sidewall is just so terrible I can't consider those they are worse then the Toyo's on the car. It's a balance of functional and period correct, so I'm looking for something more simple in the sidewall. If all out performance was the point, I would just stick with the low profile Toyo RRR on the car.

ericthered posted:

Thanks everyone for the info!

@chines1 have you had any issues with the tires rubbing with the tire height? I'm running 5.5 rear and 4 or 4.5 front steel wheels in 15 size.

@Kevin-bay area Those are the look im going for, love the side wall.

@edsnova are those tires a radial or are they a bias ply? Have you had the car up to speed yet (80plus or hard corner carving) any info you have on how they handle compared to the modern tires? Understand they will not be as good as modern but wondering how far off they would be.

I haven't driven the Vreds at all yet (car is still not titled or registered...fingers crossed for very soon after the new year) but they are modern radial tires. The Sprint Classic is an all season tire, harder compound than the Sporttrac and sized with high aspect ratio like the old bias ply tires. Here are some reviews from Tire rack buyers and Tiretest.com (whatever that is).

My tire guy is an MG/LBC guy and he asked me about them when mounting, told me some of the MG guys he works with have gone back to the Hanhooks & such (Which I have on my MG and which perform well).

At this link Moss tested the Vred Sprint Classics against expired Michelins and found them far superior to tires that should be thrown away!

Excerpt from the Moss test: 

"The Vredesteins also performed well on the track. They had enough grip to get around corners with authority and provided nice, progressive breakaway characteristics. While these tires lack the outright grip of modern radial race tires, you won’t embarrass yourself at a marque-club autocross with them either. Our lap times of 44.7 seconds are respectable and beat the old tires by two-and-a-half ticks.

"Braking revealed the Vredesteins’ biggest advantage— they only needed a little more than 140 feet to stop from 60 mph. Unlike the old Michelins, braking with the Vredesteins was consistent and predictable, with only slight lockup on the front brakes during the last few feet of the test. The Vredesteins also aced our 35-mph emergency lane change, as the Triumph snaked through the left-right-left chicane with no drama whatsoever."

Fwiw my theory (which is mine and should be taken for its full face value) is that the 80 or 75-series 175, 165 or 155 tires should work better than modern low profile rubber—even wider 55 series tires—on any swing axle car. 

Don't get me wrong: modern tires are really better—if the suspension can keep the treads square to the pavement (which modern suspensions mostly can). But when the car starts to jack, a sticky, square-shouldered low profile radial will tilt on its thin edge all at once. I think it's the perfect way to create snap oversteer. 

I think the taller tires' rounded shoulders should break away more gradually and more controllably than modern, better tires, which should allow the car to be driven more expertly.

Again...a theory. I plan to test it when I get the Spyder going. 

Al, I've been speaking to Carey about the Vred Sportrac5 tires, as he has a direct contact at the Tire Rack. The story is that they are available, but not really. In 185/65R15 and 205/60R15 at least. They are produced once in a while in small lots, and there are none available now. That is supposed to change nearer to spring.

The problem is not a lot of demand. Other than Stan, Marty G-to-the-Z, myself, and a small few here there is simply no interest. I've spoken with both Greg at Vintage and Carey at Beck/SE at length. The people that want the best stick are in the minority.

Most people are VERY happy with a touring-type tire.

ALB posted:

No need to explain yourself, Eric; you're looking for 'period correct', while that's not really up there on my list of priorities. My point is that if you're not looking for period correct- these are interesting options. As Uncle Stan says, "it's a big tent with room for all of us". Al

No disrespect intended ALB. Understand you are a very positive commenter here. 

For me The tires on the car do great, Toyo's can hang in the mountains here and the car runs very good for the performance you can get out of these cars. I drive a Lotus Exige as my daily so that car is fully setup for the most corner abilities I can dial in. 

For the 550 I really want something that can do its job, handle very well but I'm willing to sacrifice a little to get a taller and clean sidewall. As I dial the vintage elements in to be authentic to the original, the one thing thats sticking out like a Unibrow on a first date is the modern tires that are two low profile along with words all over them. I desire the purity of the basic blackwall "functional simplicity".

Last edited by ericthered

@ericthered- None taken, Eric. These cars mean different things to different people, and therefore each one is built/finished uniquely- and that's a good thing. It allows each of us to be innovative and inventive, and I (as well as many others here) enjoy seeing the sometimes fantastic solutions people come up with that we face building and finishing very similar cars.

And you can call me Al (come on- you know the tune! )

@ericthered I am not familiar with a 5.50-15 but I pulled my conversion chart from Tire Rack and it does show a 5.60-15 and that diameter tire is the same as a 155/80 or a 195/65, both of which fit fine on the back of a Spyder.  HOWEVER, one thing to keep in mind is that these tire sizes seem to be a general guideline.  I can put 3 different brand 155/80s alongside each other and there will be noticeable differences...


As for 4.5 vs 5.5, that's a whole different can of worms...  the 5.5 is fine for the rear of the car IF you have the properly matched offset and axle length.  Unfortunately the standard steel 5.5 wide fives are not available in a wide variety of offsets so they require short axles.  

@edsnova posted:

Vred Sprint Classic is going on my build. 165/80s on all corners. 

These are well regarded in the classic Porsche world and get mixed reviews from the MG crowd, I am told. 

 Tread pattern is pretty vintage looking:

vs

Andclam interior and spare tire detail

Ed, I'm old enough to have run Sprints before they were "classics." I guess that makes me a classic. Two Volvo 145's and my first BMW 2002,  I loved them. Vredesteins being a Scandinavian country, they were the best 4 season tires ever. Up until then, I was an X and XZX man. 

I love the look of them. Unfortunately, at $200 a pop, I think I'll stick with the $40 Solus' snow tires I get at Walmart. 

Last edited by dlearl476

Hoosier makes this tire with a tread pattern very similar to old Dunlops in sizes to for 4.5"-5" rims (they call it "chain link" tread pattern) Its called the Vintage TD tire. I think you could lose that white block lettering pretty easily with some 80 grit sandpaper or coarse ScotchBrite.

image

Make sure you're sitting down when you check the prices, though. 

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Last edited by dlearl476
@ALB posted:

Anyone looking for new tires- Vredestein makes the Sportrac 5 (summer performance) in a host of 14" sizes from 175's to 195's (anyone running 14" Fuchs?), 15" from 175's (50, 60 & 65), 185's (50, 60, 65) 195's (45, 50, 55,60, 65) 205's (50, 55, 60, 65), 215/65, even a 225/60-15 and some good Speedster/Spyder friendly 16" sizes as well. AfaIk this is the only company still making summer performance tires in a variety of sizes we can use. As Stan said above, he loves them. I believe someone else here has them on their car but I can't remember who at the moment.

You'll have to ask around and not accept "oh, they're not made any more but these all season's (made for Smart Cars and Fiats) are just as good (which they're not). I know they don't have the 'period look' but they're a modern tire with a decent summer compound, I believe they don't cost an arm, a leg and the left nut and today that's a rarity. If we make a stir about them and mention them on other forums like the Samba, Cal Look Lounge and any other places some of you frequent (so guys all over are asking about them) maybe one of the bigger chains will bring them in so they're available. 

Hey Alb, where did you find these? I just ordered a set of Quatrac5's, for my Smart Car, incidentally.  I looked and Tire Rack only lists one size (185/70-15 IIRC) 

 

ps: I ordered the quatracs based on input from a friend who said they're much nicer on his smart than the OEM Contis, and I can get away without having winter and summer tires. 

@DannyP posted:

Eric, you may want to investigate these Avons, specifically 175/70R15. They are VERY sticky, and will wear pretty quick. And they are pricey, but certainly offer "the look" of period-correctness.

I think Marty ran these for a while:

http://www.avonmotorsport.com/historic/historic/cr6zz

if money is not of concern, Avons are the pinacle; classic side wall you can run on them street and on the track.  They are soft, so not a good idea for folks that don't have a paved driveway.

IMG_4536

 

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...just a note to point out some discussions on this forum last year (Sept.?) about Vred Sportrac 5's:  I and a couple other SOC Knuckleheads put sets on our Clown Cars and I, personally, think they're Tony-the-Tiger GR-R-R-ate! They're even better when you consider the price @ less than $90 apiece and that includes shipping. The importer is in North Miami, FL and he can be reached at michael@305tires.com. Tell him you're an SOC member and he'll take care of your Vred needs in any size. 

I fell down the rabbit hole that is 550.com tonight and look what I found: 

image

its been a while while so I can't remember if that's an X or an XZX, but Coker sells those and IIRC, they're significantly cheaper than the Sprint Classics and the Cinturatos. (At least they were the last time I looked)

And, if they're similar to the originals, you'll never have to buy tires again.

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As much as I love Vredesteins Spints, I've alway dismissed them out of hand because they were so expensive fron Coker. I'm thinking Vredestein must have upped production because I was just perusing Tire Rack's website and they list OEM sizes for $125-$140 now.  IMO that's pretty reasonable for you guys that get a lot of miles in. As I previously stated, I don't get enough miles on mine to justify expensive tires that will crack before I wear them out. 

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