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DeSoto Frank

"Snow Tires" ? When did they come along ?

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( Fessing-up to my "youthfulness", here :rolleyes: )

Okay, I'm forty-two (for now), and am familiar with the traditional "lug-type" or "mud-grip" snow / traction tires that our fathers used to put on the car every fall, and usually kept on the pick-up truck year-round.

All of the winter-time car pictures taken before WW II seem to show cars wearing chains.

When were "snow tires" first developed / mass-marketed ?

Were they ever available in sizes such as:

4.50 x 21, 4.75 x 19, 6.00 x 20; etc.

Photos courtesy of Universal Tire Co.

The first one ( on green rim ) I would call a" knobby"; the second one is

"my father's snow tire"... when did this type come along ?

post-31530-143138171695_thumb.jpg

post-31530-143138171696_thumb.jpg

Edited by DeSoto Frank
add photos (see edit history)

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Sounds likes you are referring to the thirty's when they had what was called "knobby" tires.These were winter tires for those that could afford to have two sets of tires. Also many were used in the summer time on the rear of the dirt track race cars. I recall the model A sizes 19 and 20 inch.---Bob

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A freind wanted to find a pair of 32 Ford wire wheels and I found some at a salvage yard here. Those 32 wheels were only in 18" for one year and these 2 wheels had ancient knobby tires. That does not answer your question about the other sizes though.

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I am sure Arthur Lang used to have remains of a red beaded edge (clincher) tyre which had a pattern of steel studs embedded in it. If this decription qualifies as a snow tyre, that would place it before the first world war.

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I am sure Arthur Lang used to have remains of a red beaded edge (clincher) tyre which had a pattern of steel studs embedded in it. If this decription qualifies as a snow tyre, that would place it before the first world war.

Ivan,

Have seen adverts from the Teens for this type of tire.

Also for "strap-on" cleats ( leather or rubber ) with metal studs.

Am fishing for what ( if any ) traction tread ( not "high way" or "rib") would have been available for my Model A, between 19282 and say, 1950.

My grandfather used to tell me about his '26 Ford Runabout, which he had fitted with "oversize tires and Goodyear Diamond-tread tires"... he sold this car when he moved to Baltimore in late 1926.

Thanks for the reply !

Frank

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I think the modern "Winter Snow" tire speaks more to the rubber compound being softer and more subtle to the needs of driving on ice and snow. Yes the old "Knobby" tires are visually more aggressive but a true winter tire was designed to keep a good grip at low temps regardless of how much "clean out" was required from the snow.

When were the first considerations for the rubber compounds to be optimized for the ice and cold weather, is what I think of when the first "Snow/Winter" tire was made.

Edited by stealthbob (see edit history)

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Frank, That bottom photo is a snow tire I believe was called a "suburban tread". These were used in the early '50s I am quite sure around this part of New York state they were recaps usually. Also I sold a pair of NOS knobby tread tires in Hershey in the late '60s, that were 19".But because they fit a model A as an after market tire doesn't necesarily mean they were made when the Ford A was new. I bought 30x31/2 tires from Montgomery Ward for my "Ts"in the '50s. Maybe we can get an "authority" to chime in with facts. --Bob

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I am fairly sure that in my 40+ years in the hobby, that I have never seen a true snow tread on a late 20-early 30s type size. Just the knobby ones. Small narrow truck tires would be a different story, but the rim and tire sizes are not for cars.

The diamond tread is not a snow. If I think of it I will take a pic of some NOS mixed brand tires from that era. None are snows, but some are more aggressive than the others.

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Outside of this trip to Philly, the next worst snow storm I ever experienced was coming back from Hurley Wisconsin down towards Chicago back in 1967. It was a total blizzard. Show was piled 5-6 feet on both sides of the road, and we were driving on at least 3 inches of hard pack. If we'd not have been following a plow/sand truck most of the way we'd still be there! The thing that saved us was our metal studded snow tires that I thankfully put on the 66 Pontiac before leaving on the trip. Those studded tires worked great but literally tore themselves apart on dry pavement. Think eventually they were outlawed in many states because of the damage they caused on dry pavement. Now those were real snow tires! I know that doesn't begin to answer the original question, but we're talking SNOW right now enroute to Philly for the Annual Meeting.

Terry

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I remember my father back in the late 60's, and early 70's, using a pair of side cutters to pull the studs out of the studded snows around April 15th so the car could be driven on the tires though the summer. The law here in NY was November 15th, to April 15th. After that they had to come off. He would by a new pair every fall. Dandy Dave!

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This is where a big collection of old magazines comes in handy. The oldest ads for snow tires I recall were right after the war so the late 40s early 50s would be my guess.

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My Father ran regular tires into mid fifties and put on chains when it snowed really bad or usually after we had slid into a ditch. Here in Wisconsin, alot of older sheds still have chains hanging in them that would fit the 15/16 inch tires of the era when a kid in the 70's I was almost unstoppable with a Willy's CJ-2A with chains all around! still have my chain pliers new crosslinks and "monkey" links rolling around here. Tires have come along way ....remember how in cold weather the tires would have a flat spot for the first few miles

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Back in the late '60's when I started finding antique cars and Dad started buying them they were all paid for from profits of his tire shop. As soon as the first flake of snow fell folks would line up down the block to buy recapped snowtires, Dad did most sizes, all in the Suburbanite pattern. Very late in the '60's the studs became popular and I spent many a Saturday installing those studs in recaps. They sure could tear up a sidewalk! Was always a tossup in the recap business whether to use "soft" rubber for added grip or "hard" rubber for longer wear. Hard usually won out. I would guess that when he was in business he sold 10 recaps for every 1 new tire. He had a customer who transported mobile homes long distances and whose trailer tires he recapped more than 20 times before he lost count. The business burned to the ground New Year's Eve of 1970. If anyone out there finds a recap with the logo "Economy Tire" in the side of the tread I sure would like to have it.

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Hey Terry did you ever hear the old saying worst places on earth? Somerset, Hayward, Hurley and Hell, 3 in Wisconsin! Buddy Holly and Company almost froze to death near Hurley right before the music died...

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:(Dave I dont remember how old I was but it must have been early to mid 1950 my oldest brother worked for a local co. called super tire, recaping tires. He would buff most of the rubber off down to the cord,spray it with glue and hang it to dry overnight. The next day he took a thick ribbon of rubber and rolled it on the caseing. I think this was the last step befor it went in the mold to cook.One day as I watched,I might have been 13 or 14, I told him if he could put some tacks in the rubber befor he put it on the tire it would make a real good winter tire. Welllll, I guess you know that got the bigest laugh in the plant,so much so that he took me to the manager and had me tell him my idea. I left the plant near tears from the laughter. Discharged from the army in 1967 I got a job with the same brother at a differant but still local tire co. called Kearing tire. My first day on the job I watched as big brother used a air tool like a pistol and stuck metal studs in new recap winter tires.:eek: I gave him my bigest smile:) and asked, watcha doing?? He wouldnt answer, just growled and told me to get back to work.:D

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Remember the recaps with saw dust or walnut shells mixed into the rubber? Dad bought his tread rubber from Bandag or Oliver. Came in 70 pound rolls. We saved all the scrap uncured rubber and once a year took it to Baltimore where it was mixed with fresh rubber, heated and extruded into new rolls of recap rubber. The molds were steam heated and as I remember it took about 90 minutes at 350 degres to cure a passenger car tire. At that time there was actually a market for old inner tubes. Also about once a year Dad would load a 40 ft trailer with tubes and haul them to the B.F. Goodrich plant in Akron. Since they bought the load by weight we always stopped at a service station outside Akron where for $20 or so the proprietor would let us spend a few hours filling the top layer of tubes with water. If the load was "wet" Goodrich would dock you 500 pounds for the load. I'm sure Dad sold them several thousand pounds of water over the years.

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