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Radial tires.


windjamer
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OK ,I dont want to get in trouble but I thought radial tires were not used on american cars until 1973. Im probably wrong but my senial brain tells me the instructor for cje tires said radials where first used on G M cars in 1967.We rec. a real good hand out, but I cant find mine and I just about tore the truck apart. With out stiring a tu-d how about some honest discussion on this?

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1967 was the first year for optional radials on a Buick, although some sources incorrectly list 1968 as the first year. I'm not sure when they became standard issue.

BTW, my father's 1976 Aspen had bias plys. Lunched the whole first set in 4000 miles! Never got more than 8000 miles out of any set, but I was never able to convince him to try the radials. "<span style="font-style: italic">It didn't come with them.</span>" sick.gif

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Dick, Eric is right about the '67 Riviera having radials. Although we have never seen it in factory new car literature there is a service bulletin from Buick and Olds (probably Caddy too) that we have seen showing it as being available after new car introduction.

This subject is one where our judging system really has worked as a Buick owner provided us with the service bulletins which were verified from another source and we were able to change our guidelines.

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Guest my3buicks

Steve, I was the one that submitted the info noted about 67 Buicks introducing radials. There was a letter from Buick from 1967 to dealers, a service bulletin, and a "Brochure" introducing radials submitted to AACA for review not just a service bulletin. Also the brochure clearly lists the entire Buick line as having radials as an option, not just the Riviera as memtioned.

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  • 1 month later...

Boy do I come to this party late! Just saw this post.

If there is some factory evidence of radials being available from the factory...I suppose there is some wiggle room in the judging.

However...at least in Buick's case...were radials available as factory installed or as a "dealer installed" upgrade or accessory?

If indeed radials were available on Buicks....were they letter size or metric size? The wrong size could be another deduction headache.

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Guest my3buicks

Radials indeed where a factory option and came in 205 R 14, 225 R 15 , available on all models, Radials only available in whitewall. It was option Code F7. I am sure the dealers retrofitted many cars with the option as well if customers requested the upgrade.

Special, Special Deluxe, Skylark, GS 340 $88.47

Sportwagon $77.93

GS 400 $56.87

LeSabre,Wildcat, Riviera $107.36

Riviera GS $89.47

Electra 225 $89.47

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest my3buicks

Buick had the radials 1967, 1968, and 1969, then dropped them again for the 1970 models, and went thru 1975 without offering them again, if I am correct, 1976 once again saw radials on Buicks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: my3buicks</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Buick.....dropped them again for the 1970 models... </div></div>

Keith,

I wonder if they were dropped in 70 because of the mid-year 1969 intro of the fiberglas belted tires, in new alpha-numeric sizes? That was touted to be a pretty big deal at the time, and perhaps they were seen as "enough" of an improvement grin.gif to eliminate radials?

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  • 1 month later...

Thinking back I remember Eric told us that if a car was held up for lack of a part it left an empty space in the line. This was called pushing air.This was not a money maker,so the plant manager would send out for a stack of tires. They would be what ever was available so long as it was a major brand such as goodyear,general or B F goodrich. With that in mind if I judge a 67 Buick with radials he gets a pass so long as they are not Sears or jc whitney with raised rainbow letters. You get my point.

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I know the judges will have a stroke, but I think radial

tires are safer and provide a better ride than bias ply

tires. Like seat belts I think it makes more of our collector cars usable an keeps them off trailers. Another option is a third brake light. (I have one on ebay made by Stewart Warner in 1928) Yes, I know not a factory option but a good idea, that's been around a long time, like seat belts and radial tires. So if a car is not perfect, and very few are, it should only be used for points off as a tie breaker if at all.

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Paul, this issue has been debated all over the place. It boils down to money and whether owners are willing to spend it. I just captained a team at Charlotte and low and behold a guy had done what needs to be done if you want to drive on radials and still show a correct antique car. He has radial tires on rims for driving and bias-ply tires on correct rims for show. It can be done, he proved that it can.

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Susan Im not sure where I read it,but because of the way radial tires FLEX ?? they should not be used on older wheels that where not designed for radials. They can cause the wheel to split,creating a serious safty hazard. I also agree it boils down to parting with the bucks.Sometimes your the windsheld ,sometimes the bug. Put the right tires on.

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Hello, I'm Eric Marsh and I'm the guy who teaches the CJE on tires. I've studied this subject for years and am still learning things about tires and their history.

I recommend that our members restore their vehicle to reflect how they appeared when they were new. You should also drive the vehicle (yes, show cars can be driven) and when exercising an older vehicle for some distance, a new set of rims and tires can be an option. We have two sets of wheels and tires for our Kaiser. Rims and Bias ply for show and radials on modern wire wheels for touring.

I make it to most AACA National Meets and try to teach CJE at each one (including twice at Hershey). Please join in and spend 1/2 hour to cover this subject.

I do not consider myself an expert but, I'm happy to share what I've learned.

I also don't spend much time on the forum as I'm not what you would call a good typist.

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Nice to see you and get to talk to you after the Charlotte show. I had taken your CJE class a few years ago and still have the wonderful reference sheets about tires on my clipboard that I use for judging.

Folks, if you want to learn about tires, this is the man to see. You don't have to be a judge to go to the judging schools or CJEs. But just incase you might want to someday, go ahead and sign the cards that they give you and get your chips. Who knows, you might enjoy this side of the hobby.

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There is a GM sticker on the inside of my 71 Riviera glove box door listing various sizes available for the car, including radials, but there is no mention of radials in any of the literature. In addition, none of the radials listed are "P" type radials. Frankly, I prefer bias tires on my old cars. They don't fall apart in six years, nor have I have experienced a ply separation on one, as I have so ofton done with radials. I had one bias blowout in my first 35 years of driving, and I've had umpteen blowouts and ply separations with radials. I had a set of bias 6.50x16 tires on my 39 Buick that lasted 35 years and then I sold them to a museum. I blew a truck radial with good tread on my Suburban that was original and six years old -- on the rear on I-95 at 70 mph pulling a trailer with the 39 in it. Tell me more about how safe radials are.

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Dynaflash...I'm with you. My oldies have the correct tires too. My modern cars all have radials.

I took the new BF Goodrich radial TAs off my former Superbird and put on the Polyglas tires. I firmly believe that suspensions that were designed for bias plys...should have bias plys.

Some complain that the bias tires follow ruts in the road, or don't ride as well. I'd agree that you feel more of the road's imperfections...but I still prefer the way the car acts without the radials.

When my '72 Scamp was still a driver (hey...the A/C works!), one of the radials were damaged and Goodyear had stopped making the Eagle STs that were on the car. So, I opted for the Polyglas tires...and was very pleased.

To each their own I say, but at least in the AACA, I do think there should be a deduction (when applicable) for radials...or at least a bonus for the having the correct tires

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  • 2 weeks later...

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Ron Green</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have had no problems using the bias on my 55 . With all the suspension parts / adjustments and shocks in working order and correct air pressure it doesn't follow the ruts in the road. </div></div>

I'm with you on that, Ron. I drove my '40 2,000 miles last year after completely going through the whole front end. The car does not wander at all.

Of course, if you want to drive your old car the way you normally would drive a new car then, yes, I guess it would be unsafe. But, I have a feeling that even if you had radial tires on your old car and drove it like a new car, that's still unsafe.

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It amazes me when I am somewhere listening to someone trashing his bias tires to everyone. Upon closer inspection either the shocks are shot, bushing are non existent, the idler arm should have been replaced years ago, steering box needs a rebuild, etc. A new car would have issues let alone something 50 years old.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ron I have to agree with you.Early cars where equiped with bias ply tires and suspenion was designed for bias. I have been trying to remember, I think 1969 Pontiac was the first car I saw with a plate on the dash that read Radial tuned suspension. Heck I didnt even know what they where talking about. On the subject of tires what is the fasication with red lines?? I saw at least 5,maby 6 cars at Cumberland with them. these where early 60s, but red lines where not available untill 1967. Go figure. Dick

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To quote my handy dandy referance chart rec. at my CJE in hershey last year REd lines as well as blues golds and whites where first offered in 1967, but where withdrawn after a short time as they developed weather checking problems They where available on Mustangs Cougars Camaros and GTO models for 1967

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Not sure what your chart is telling you or why, but that's not quite correct. Just to list a few OEM options and standards. 1964 GTO ~ red lines. 1965-66 Mustangs ~ dual red lines. 1965 Shelby ~ blue dots. 1965-67 Barracuda ~ Goodyear Blue Streak (blue stripe). Gold stripes started in 1965.

Now just for fun. The first red line tire that I know of, was brought out by Firestone in 1917-18 on their Non-Skid tires. Well, maybe it was actually a red side wall, but what the heck. smile.gif

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Rick I wont say you are wrong,but I do say the information I have comes to me direct from AACA continuing ed. instructors and is recognised as accurate. I do think red line tires where first used in 1967, this is what I have been tought. As always should a question arise the owner should be asked for documentation. with out fac. documentation the tire may be deamed non authentic and the correct point deduction should be taken. If you have such documentation please bring it to the atn.of the aaca. Thanks Dick

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Dick,

Believe me when I say, that the small list I mentioned above is not unveiling any big secrets from the darkened depths. It's all fairly common knowledge and the AACA and it's judging system is well aware of it. The earlier than 1967 red lines, along with the other tires properly placed on the vehicles I mentioned, have been winning their awards in the AACA for a long time. Again, I'm not opening any new hidden worlds here, just bringing it to your attention with what you may be mis-interpreting on that sheet.

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Rick I must confess Im not the shapest pencel in the box. I do have problems with spelling, but learned to read and comprehend over 60 years ago. A instructor for CJE must have a min. of 50 judging credits.He then submits a request to be a volenteer along with a lesson plan on the subject he wants to teach. All is reviewed by AACA befor he is allowed to teach. As I said, the chart I was given at Hershey says red lines where first offered in 1967. Being a bull head I will honor that chart untill Hershey or a certified instructor tells me differant. No offence ment. Dick. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS,READ THE DISTRUCTIONS

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