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@DannyP wrote something very true this morning while we were discussing tires in the Spyder section of this site. He said:

DannyP posted:

... 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.

I just had a "chat" with Amelia from Vulcan Tire in Utah, echoing what Danny is saying. Vulcan Tire has a full listing for the Sportrac 5s on their site, and the pricing is pretty good (<$80/tire). But like everywhere else, they show limited availability-- they have (or can get) 4 of the 205/60R15s available, but only 1 of the 185/65R15s (his sizes), and only one 195/60R15 (mine). These 3 sizes would satisfy most of us.

As I see it, the problem is with Vredestein USA (the importer). I don't think anybody stocks many of these (not TireRack, not Vulcan Tire, nobody)-- they just drop ship out of the importer's warehouse, and the importer never has anything. It's a viscous cycle-- they don't sell them because they don't have them, and they don't have them because nobody buys them.

There is a way out of this. 16 tires is enough to have Vulcan Tire make a direct buy with Vredestein Holland (the manufacturer). That's only 4 sets.

It has me thinking...

President for Life, the People's Republic of Stanistan

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not to his own facts."

Last edited by Stan Galat
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I just spoke to Quattro tires in Montreal about Vred Sportrac 5's and they said they had none in stock but could get 195/60/15's for sure in 5-10 business days. About $95. US with free shipping to me about 100 miles away in Ontario.  They are not able to take a payment from a US customer and drop ship them to you. They get their tires from the States so they do exist somewhere down your way. 

Last edited by David Stroud IM Roadster D

 

Wishing youse guys the best in tracking down the SporTracs.

As I mentioned in an earlier thread, though, if you can live with a 175 tire, Continental PremiumContacts - a summer tire - are easily available from Tire Rack and many other places.

I've been running these (175/65-15) for a year now on the Speedy and they are a Yuge improvement over the all-season Dunlop shoes I had before that. These were also the OEM tires on my MINI Cooper, (and in the same size).

 

Last edited by Sacto Mitch
Lane Anderson posted:

I hope they become available soon, as that is what I asked Carey to put on my Coupe.

Well, there's one set that @Lane Anderson needs, and I assume @DannyP would take a set. There's two. I'd buy a set just to have. @Carlos G?

I really am sold on these things.

@Sacto Mitch-- 175/65R15s would be perfect for a swing-axle speedster, and I've got no beef with Continentals. I just want "more".

Last edited by Stan Galat

When @Napa Paul and I bought ours earlier this year we dealt with this guy:        

Michael Gromadski (?)            cell: (561) 260-7020            michael@305tires.com            305TIRES.com European High Performance Tires           

1960 NE 153rd St.                  

No. Miami Beach, FL 3316

As noted above he was ordering 4 sets in 185/65R15 and by the time they had shipped to him all were sold. Paul did all the leg work and this was the only guy that was really responsive. All in cost drop shipped to Greg in California was $345 for the set of 4.

I never tried the website. I just called the number Paul gave me, had a lovely conversation and then emailed the info he requested once we had a quote and schedule.  

Apparently he gets a container(s) in every month, and if you want something not in house he looks to see if it can be added to the next container. Everything he promised to do he did on time and on budget. I can hardly wait to see them on my coupe this spring when it's finished.

That's because your coupe is a "performance" car!

When I went for new tires on my Nissan Rogue they looked at the door jamb sticker and it said "V" rated tires (and of course the price jumped over 30% per tire).

The sales guy tells me that he doesn't know why I would need a "V" rated, 160mph performance tire on a mini-SUV and maybe I would be happier with an "H" rated with softer sidewalls and a softer ride.

So I can't take cloverleafs at 80 and don't plan on getting up towards 100 on the interstate straights, but the ride is nicer.....    

@Stan Galat posted:

@DannyP wrote something very true this morning while we were discussing tires in the Spyder section of this site. He said:

I just had a "chat" with Amelia from Vulcan Tire in Utah, echoing what Danny is saying. Vulcan Tire has a full listing for the Sportrac 5s on their site, and the pricing is pretty good (<$80/tire). But like everywhere else, they show limited availability-- they have (or can get) 4 of the 205/60R15s available, but only 1 of the 185/65R15s (his sizes), and only one 195/60R15 (mine). These 3 sizes would satisfy most of us.

As I see it, the problem is with Vredestein USA (the importer). I don't think anybody stocks many of these (not TireRack, not Vulcan Tire, nobody)-- they just drop ship out of the importer's warehouse, and the importer never has anything. It's a viscous cycle-- they don't sell them because they don't have them, and they don't have them because nobody buys them.

There is a way out of this. 16 tires is enough to have Vulcan Tire make a direct buy with Vredestein Holland (the manufacturer). That's only 4 sets.

It has me thinking...

Hey Stan, thanks for posting this! Vulcan is local to me.

I took a nice trip on the fresh Tarmac* today and noticed when I finished, I'm down to cord on the inside of my rear tires, so it's time to revisit.

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Surfed around the Vulcan site and SportTracs are NLA, but they have Quadtrac5's which I'm fine with.

Heres the rub: they don't have the 185/65-15 & 205/60-15 combo I'm using now, but they do have the same widths in 55-50 combo.

I understand the nomenclature, so I don't need that explained, but what do y'all think of dropping down 6.5% in profile?  I know I'd bump my RPM up a bit, but I'd also gain almost an inch of fender clearance.





*It broke my heart when I got almost to the end of this 16 mile road to find a road closed sign. I had to turn around and do it all the other way. FWIW, the spring I installed on my manual thermostat flaps was too heavy and it pulled the end of sheath out if it's fastener, so I had to operate it manually. Well, I would have, if I'd ever had to open them up. It ran right between 11-12 O'Clock on the gauge the whole way.

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Just to clarify again-- the Sportrac 5 is a summer tire and the Quatrac 5 is an all-season tire. They are similar in that they are both round and black, and are made of synthetic rubber.

There are lots and lots of all-season tires of many brands to choose from, and I can't speak to the superiority of Vredestein's all season tires over anybody else's.

What I can say without reservation is that a summer tire is superior in nearly every way to an all-season tire for use in a sportscar.

OH, yeah. I know. But it's all for naught. I just realized that until I get my car raised, I need to use directional, not asymmetric, tires, otherwise I'll be replacing the rears every two years because of my camber.

As for summer vs winter tires, with 4 cars my tires crack before they wear out. I prefer the softer compound. I noticed in my Smart that it stuck like glue with the winter tires on once it warmed up. (Formerly Conti WinterContacs, now Vredestein Quadtracs). I went straight from the Contis to the Vredesteins back in late July and the difference was astonishing. If they do as well in the snow, I'm going to be amazed.

Right now I have cheap Walmart snow tires on the Beck. Sticks like glue. Would some high performance summer tires be better?  Perhaps. They'd also be significantly more expensive. I wish I could use the SportTracs, but I need to get better wear out if the rear tires first.

Last edited by dlearl476

I deal with this all the time with my suppliers.

"Why don't you stock "X"?"

"We don't sell enough of "X" to warrant stocking it."

"How can you possibly expect to sell it if people can't get it?"

Vredistein Sportrac 5 tires have been like that-- harder to get than shards of the true cross, and not stocked by anybody because "they just don't sell". They can't be stocked unless people buy them, and people can't buy them so they end up looking for the best second-best AS tire they can find.

I used to be a tire cretin, just buying whatever was on the tire-store's shelf and living with it. But a few years back, I took the magazines' advice and tried summer tires. It was a freak accident that I was able to find, order, and receive them. I think I got the last 4 in the country at that time. I put them on the car and was blown away.

All the tire-hype in magazines is correct. Tires make more difference in the handling of a car than almost any other variable. Maybe not as much as the jump from swing-arm to IRS, but close. You cannot possibly understand until you try a set.

The fact that these particular tires are not expensive is a near miracle. If they'd keep on a shelf, I'd buy 4 sets just to have. As it stands, I've actually thought of getting them vacuum sealed to see how it would go. Good stuff like this often goes away when people can't get it and manufacturers can't sell it as a result.

Kudos to Danny and Carey for getting Tire Rack to stock them. My advice to the forum-- buy a set. You have no idea what you've been missing.

Last edited by Stan Galat

In more recent years, I have always gone to two sets of wheels and tires:  Summer and Winter.  Both are purposefully designed to react to the two different environments.

It costs more, but I don't find All Season tires to be effective at the end of their range - i.e. they are okay, but not great, in any season.  Best to have tires specifically oriented to the two distinct/different driving situations.  And you don't subject your nice Summer rims to salt, sand, snow, etc.

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