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Ken G

Tire sizes

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I guess this is a silly question, but I'll ask all the same.

A friend and I both own Rover 16/50s from the mid-1920s (two of only a handful of survivors, and mine the only one in North America). We are in touch with several other people who are restoring this model. The cars have pressed steel "artillery" wheels of 22 inch diameter. Originally the tires were (I think) 5.25-22, with tubes of course. Today the only available 22 inch tires are 6.00-22, which fit on the wheels. They obviously have a slightly larger outside diameter, which increases the already wide turning circle (by the need to change the stops on the steering), and the carrier for the spare wheel needs modification to accommodate the extra width.

Is there any chance that smaller or larger diameter tires, say 5.25-21 or 5.25-23, both of which are available, would fit the 22 inch wheels?

Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)

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Beaded edge tyres have no wire in the beads, and if they are soft enough you can stretch or shrink them enough to fit rims of an inch greater or less diameter if desperately necessary. Straight side tyres have wre reinforcing in the beads, and you cannot shrink or stretch tem at all.

I would be very surprised if the moulds are not stored somewhere. In 1969 Goodyear issued a promotional brochure. Quote: "Christmas is Cartime at Goodyear." "right up to '69-- no matter what you drive-- we'll get you set for the holidays" . I have that brochure beside me as I copied that for you. I went to my local Goodyear Tyre service, where a friend from school was manager, and said that I was ordering a set of six new 600 x 23" tyres for my 1918 L-head Mercer, which was registered and running. And there in the brochure was a picture of a 1922 L-head Mercer. Well, Murray Bell was able to determine that they did indeed have the moulds, but I have still not recieved my tyres( and I still need them; and neither Murray nor I recieved an explanation either. But I expect that some smart advertising hero suffered a very painful injury to their basal fundamental oriface.

Ivan Saxton

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Ivan,

Thank you. I don't think I am encouraged to try the wrong sized tires until or unless I am forced to it, and I doubt that I will be in my lifetime with the few miles I put on the car. However, something else has surfaced in the past day. One of the other cars of this model, undergoing restoration in New Zealand, has 21 inch wheels, and they appear otherwise identical in design so I think they are original. I can only imagine either that Rover offered the option or that the smaller engined 14/45 had the smaller wheels and the larger 16/50 (my car) had the larger ones. The point is that current lists at least show 5.25-21 as available, so eventually it might be a matter of finding someone who has 21 inch wheels lying in their barn.

Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)

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Another thing that might be worth a try, though an outside chance, is to advertied in Pierce Arrow Society for good secondhand tyres wanted. I used to have two model 80 Pierces which I gave to friends, and these had mostly 500 x 22 tyres on them because of availability problems in the past. Someone might have some sitting around that are too good to junk.

Indeed, long term, your best solution would be to get 21" wheels. Best places to advertise may be The Automobile in UK, and prewarcar.com online.

I might guess that you are dealing with pressed steel and welded Sankey wheels. If so, let me know index centre diameter and bolt sizes and number, and bolt circle radius. It is possible that some FIAT wheels may be close and convertable.

Ivan Saxton

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