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Trying to find the right tires...

Guest drh4683

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Guest drh4683


I'm trying to help my dad find replacement tires for his 1965 Pontiac Grand Prix. It's an all original car and has the Pontiac 8 lug wheels. The car originally used 8.55x14 (H78-14) tires. The radial equivalent is a P225/75R14. In fact, the car currently has P225/75R14's which were installed back in 1990, but they have deteriorated.

I'm having a problem locating the correct sized tires, it seems nobody makes them anymore, even the radial size. I went to the Coker website, but they appear to make the bias ply 8.55x14 as a wide whitewall only, which does me no good. Coker also has the radial size, but that too won't work because they only offer it as a redline.

We're trying to find a tire style as close to factory correct as possible, which would have the narrow white wall. Maybe there's something out there or another option? My dad likes his radials, but he's open to bias plys too, which ever is best available. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks Doug

Edited by drh4683 (see edit history)
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You might be looking in all of the "right places", but you might also see about some of the Korean brand tires (as "normal" tires rather than repros). Several years ago, I found some "dead on match" tires on a '66 Chrysler at Mopar Nationals . . . narrow tread and all. Cooper Trendsetter SE, in whitewalls. I'm not sure if they still do that H-14 size, though, at this time. I've got a '66 Chrysler and '67 Chrysler which both had the 8.55x14 size from the factory, so I've been looking at options, too.

When I got the '67 Newport, it had some Montgomery Ward bias ply tires on it. I looked around and found some P225/75-14 Kelly-Springfield radial whitewalls. They fit correctly and looked fine, but "the feel" was not there (they were glass-belt radials, I believe). When I got the P245/70R-14 BFGs, though, things felt much better (they were 6-ply rated fabric-belt radials).

A few years ago, I needed to move the '66 Chrysler, so I got some Kumho whitewall radials, in P215/75x14 (the G78x14/8.25x14 equivalent). The outer diameter is a little too small, but they'll hold the weight (the 8.25x14 was the base tire when a/c was not ordered, on the Chryslers and possibly on the Pontiacs, too). When I got them, price was an issue, so I went with them rather than the P225/75x14s for a few dollars more. As for the tires themselves, the quality and detailing was excellent . . . no rough edges or anything. I can't comment on how they drive as the car is in stationary storage right now (which is why I could go with the smaller size and not worry about it).

The smaller P215/75R-14 will make the odometer and speedometer be "fast", as in indicate "more" than is actually happening. PLUS the shorter tire can make the rear bumper drag worse than it already might! I had that problem on the '70 Monaco Brougham with factory duals, so when I went to radials on it, I looked for a JR78-15 tire rather than an HR78-15, just to get that little bit of extra ground clearance, which worked fine. The newer P225/75R-15 size (the same size as the JR78-15 tire, by physical measurements of sidewall width) is even getting harder to find in some brands!

Another option would be P245/70R-14s. These are a dead-on correct diameter (revs/mile) for the old H78x14 size. I got some BFG Advantage TAs in that size, in whitewall, from Coker in the earlier 1980s, when Corky stated that many were using them on S-10 pickups. They are on the '67 Newport on 14x6.5" '66 Chrysler Town & Country station wagon wheels.

Seems like I've seen somebody (Coker or similar) who have had, from time to time in their ads, the 8.55x14 size tire in Goodyear Custom Power Cushion whitewalls (what cam on our '66 Chrysler Newport Town Sedan as factory equipment). But this seems to be hit or miss, unfortunately. There were also some 8.85 or 9.00x14 sizes back then, too, but they might be a little too large in outside diameter and how they fill the wheelwell. Kelsey Tire Co. is the licensed repro Goodyear dealer, but they might not have any of the larger 70-series tires, especially in whitewall rather than white letter.

Unless you get some repros of name brand tires, about the best option will be in the "second level" brands, from what I've seen. Kumho, though, is an OEM brand for some Asian brands as well as some smaller-size USA brand cars.

Just some thoughts . . .


Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)
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It appears that Cooper still makes a tire, called the Trendsetter SE, that is available in P225/75R14. Thee a few sets for sale online, but a Cooper dealer may be able to get you some that aren't old stock.


Cooper Tire Product Line from TIREX INTERNATIONAL

Whitewall Tire P225/75R14 Cooper Trendsetter New 0 Miles **10% Price Match** Parts for Sale - DragTimes.com

New Tires - Cooper Trendsetter P225 / 75R14

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