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Wilson's Auto Restoration Blog

When and Where to Buy Tires for Your Classic Car or Truck

The cruising season of 2020 is slowly coming to an end.  Daily temperatures are starting to drop, and we sure hope you got a lot of time behind the wheel of your classic car or truck this year.  It won’t be long, and we will all be getting ready to store our prized possessions away for winter.

If you put on a lot of miles this summer, it may be time for some new tires.  Maybe you are going to wait until spring to get a fresh set of rubber.  Either way, there are some things you need to know to help you determine when and where to get them.

Tires are the single most important piece of the classic car safety puzzle. Tires let you accelerate, stop and turn your vehicle safely. If you have ever had a tire blow out while you are driving, then you are well aware of their importance!

It can sometimes be difficult to tell when you need to replace them. What might look like a perfectly good tire could actually be an accident waiting to happen. To help you avoid this terrible mistake we would like to offer ways for you to check tires yourself.

One of the first things we would check on a tire to see if it needs replacing is the manufacture date. Tires have an expiration date of around 6 years.  The tires for classic cars can often be incredibly unique which means they may sit around for a few years before they are even sold.  Always check the date of your tires to see if they are still considered fresh.

Watch this video from Barry Wilson as he explains how to inspect the date on tires for your classic car or truck.

Other than an expired date, it can be obvious that new tires are a necessity. Uneven wearing for example could be caused by a bad alignment or the wheel camber is off. You should be able to see the uneven wear with the naked eye if this is an issue. Other bad tire signals are not as easy to spot. If any of the signs listed below are showing you should probably take your classic car or truck in to get a new set of rubber.

  1. Bulging sidewall. If you see any sized bubble on your tire’s sidewall then you definitely want to consider towing your vehicle to get new tires. If you can remove the rims and leave the car sitting on jack stands that would work too. Either way we highly suggest you do not drive the vehicle at all. Bulges in a tire’s sidewall is a sign that your tire is ready to blow! Get them replaced immediately!
  2. The Penny Test. One of the oldest, yet fairly accurate, tests you can do to check your tire condition is to use a penny to measure the tread depth. Simply stick a penny upside down into the tread. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head, then you should really consider getting a new set of tires.
  3. Wear bars are showing. Wear bars on tires seem to be a lesser known tool to check your tire tread. However, they are put there by the manufacturers to signal you to get new ones. Simply look for the bars in between your tire’s tread. If they have become flush or level with the tread, then you have reached the tread limit for these tires and you should replace them as soon as possible.
  4. Vibration when driving. Unless you are cruising down dirt or gravel roads you shouldn’t feel any major vibrations. If you are driving on smooth concrete or blacktop and feel the car shaking or vibrating, you might want to check your tires. Often this is caused by a bad alignment or possibly a bad ball joint, etc. However poorly worn tires can create the same effect. If you feel vibrations, you might want to check your tires first before looking into any issues with your vehicle’s front-end.

When you find yourself in the market for classic car tires, we suggest checking out Coker Tires. Coker Tire Company is the world’s leading supplier of collector vehicle tires, wheels & accessories. They are specialists when it comes to classic, vintage and antique cars. They will help you get the right tire for your specific car.

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