Jump to content

TIRE SIZES THAT WILL FIT 16" RIMS ON 1940 BUICK SPECIAL


Recommended Posts

Ive heard lots of horror stories about the Coker tires here and on other websites. Diamondback seems to make a better product for about the same price. Give them a call and see what they would recommend. I think on older cars like this, skinny is better than fat so you dont get that hot rod look that so many radials have. They might even make a 16 inch tire that looks like an original biasply.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, jvelde said:

Get on the Coker Tire web site and check the dimensions of the 6.50/16 bias ply against these radial sizes - all the info is there if you look!

 

 

I had already checked a chart on their site before posting and did not see a chart that covered the 6.5 x 16 size

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you need a certain size whitewall , or are you a blackwall guy ? We had a discussion a few months ago regarding high pressure 16" blackwall radial light truck tires. Seems to me some of them had a very retro appearance and tread. If this will work for you , I will dig up the link.  - Carl  

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had no problems with Coker Tires.  The set I bought last summer made a 600 mile trip with no problems.  I would recommend staying with bias ply tires.  You will be happy.  Lighter steering than with radials.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/8/2017 at 4:28 AM, buick special said:

Those are all smaller diameter than 6.50x16's, and will increase engine rpm's, something most owners try to decrease by various means. Plus, the little tires look weird to my eye.  I'm all in for radials. You can get radials with a bias ply profile nowadays. I think the many advantages of radials far outweigh slightly heavier steering at low speeds. The urban legends about radials destroying old rims, etc. have been rebutted pretty effectively, I think. 

Hi Guys

 

Will the following radial tire sizes fit and work in a 1940 Buick special w/ 16" rims?

 

185 75R 16

 

195 75R 16

 

205 75R 16

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, suchan said:

Will the following radial tire sizes fit and work in a 1940 Buick special w/ 16" rims?

 

185 75R 16

 

195 75R 16

 

205 75R 16

 

 

 

24 minutes ago, suchan said:

Those are all smaller diameter than 6.50x16's, and will increase engine rpm's, something most owners try to decrease by various means. Plus, the little tires look weird to my eye.  I'm all in for radials. You can get radials with a bias ply profile nowadays. I think the many advantages of radials far outweigh slightly heavier steering at low speeds. The urban legends about radials destroying old rims, etc. have been rebutted pretty effectively, I think. 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for the info , can you or someone  on the forum post the radial size range for 16 inch rims that would work?

 

I do not need brand names or places to get them , just the radial equivalent numbers that would work so I can find something here

 

aka

 

fill in blank  ______ -  _______ -- ________

 

example of size numbering system I need     205 - 75R -16 , etc  

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Guys

 

Does anyone know a few a radial equivalents as I had been offered a few tires and need to know

 

someone posted the closest radial size to a bias ply 6.5 x 16 is a radial  175 75R 16

 

 

 

Actually since we know I need a tire that fits a 16" rim all I need to know is the following

 

is a 75R an acceptable height or will a 65R  70R , 80R , etc work equally as well???

 

on the width is 175 the only one acceptable size that will work

 

or will a 185    ,   195     ,   205  width work ok with good clearance in the front and rear wells

 

 

Thank you in advance for any help and info

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you should look at what is available vs. what is ideal. I think a 185/80/16 would be just about right but do they make a tire like that? Maybe a 185/75/16 or a 195/70/16? See what's out there that's close.

 

For radials the first number is how wide the tire is in mm (not the tread but the overall width). The second number is how tall the sidewall is and it is a fraction of the width (a 185/75/16 would have a sidewall that is 75% as tall as the tire is wide, if that makes sense). The third number is obviously the wheel size. So even if you keep the second number the same (always 75, for example) but go wider the tire will get taller. A 225/75/16 is quite a bit taller than a 195/75/16. Tall and skinny always looks better on an old car so try to find a radial with as small a first number and as big a second number as you can.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had 215/85-16 truck tires, with whitewalls that had been attached, on my '38, and they were about the diameter of 7.00-16's. Looked real cool, but with the height, and especially the width, they would rub on the fenders when wheels were turned all the way one way or the other.  Rears weren't a problem. How about 205's? I wouldn't go with anything wider. There's probably a radial truck tire that Diamondback could slap a whitewall on. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

225-75's are shorter (smaller diameter) and wider than 6.50x16. 215-60's would be a LOT shorter, and increase your rpms, not a good direction to go for a Special. Check this out:https://www.universaltire.com/firestone-tires/firestone-vintage-bias-ply-tires/650-16-firestone-blackwall.html They give you the diameter and width of their tires. Compare with the sizes you're considering.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the problem. Specials are already geared low enough almost every new Special owner complains about it. By putting on smaller diameter tires the problem gets even worse. Every "normal" modern size is smaller diameter, or way too wide. There may be some European-style truck tires that would do what you want if you can live with blackwall. If not, a call to Diamondback or Coker is in order.

Edited by Bloo
.. (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

here are the sizes of 2 radial  tires ( 225/75r-16 and 205/85R - 16)  compared side by side

 

 

Tire Size Calculator

Tire Size Finder (optional): Select a YearSelect a MakeSelect a Model
 

Stock Sizesquestionmark.png

  • 255/75-16

Plus Sizesquestionmark.png

  • 255/75-16
Accepts P-Metric and Inches
Current Tire Size: / R
New Tire Size: / R
Your Calcs (x): Previous Tire Calculations
 
closebtn.png
Side by side Overlay
225/75r16 vs 205/85r16 Tire Comparison Side By Side
 
  225/75-16 205/85-16 Difference
Diameter inches (mm) 29.29 (743.9) 29.72 (754.9) 0.43 (11) 1.5%
Width inches (mm) 8.86 (225) 8.07 (205) -0.79 (-20) -8.9%
Circum. inches (mm) 92.01 (2337.03) 93.37 (2371.59) 1.36 (34.56) 1.5%
Sidewall Height inches (mm) 6.64 (168.75) 6.86 (174.25) 0.22 (5.5) 3.3%
Revolutions per mile (km) 688.63 (427.89) 678.59 (421.66) -10.03 (-6.24) -1.5%
Forum embed codequestionmark.png:225x75xR16-205x85xR16.png
 

Speedometer Difference

Speedo Reading Actual Speed
20 mph (32.19 km/h) 20.3 mph (32.66 km/h)
25 mph (40.23 km/h) 25.37 mph (40.83 km/h)
30 mph (48.28 km/h) 30.44 mph (48.99 km/h)
35 mph (56.33 km/h) 35.52 mph (57.16 km/h)
40 mph (64.37 km/h) 40.59 mph (65.33 km/h)
45 mph (72.42 km/h) 45.67 mph (73.49 km/h)
50 mph (80.47 km/h) 50.74 mph (81.66 km/h)
55 mph (88.51 km/h) 55.81 mph (89.82 km/h)
60 mph (96.56 km/h) 60.89 mph (97.99 km/h)
 

 

 

 

 

Do either of these radial sizes look right?

 

if not what is the proper "target" diameter and width (in inches) for the 16" wheel on a 1940 Buick Special

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got my eye on a set of Lester tires, size 7.50 x 16 for $238.00 each for my '40 LTD.

 

They are the only tire that I can find with a 5" white wall.

 

Dave's Buick is currently running an actual road test of these for me. Thanks' Dave !!!

 

Now, if only my 50 year old Martin B-16's would give me any reason to swap them out for new, I may have to take the plunge.

100_2123.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

You might look into Coker Classic Nostalgia radials, 6.50 x 16.  3-1/4 inch white wall.  $280/tire + tube + shipping.  I have the 7.00 x 16 tires on my 39 Roadmaster with 3-1/2 inch white walls. The tires are spendy, but they are very nice driving.  They also fit in my sidemount wells with the covers on.

 

Summit might have a better price or a break on shipping.

 

  

Edited by BuickBob49
Grammatical (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

The 205-85-r16s look perfect. Do you live in Australia? When I was looking for 600-16 substitutes I ran across this size, but could not locate any in the US. They seem to be advertised everywhere in Australia.


195-85-r16 is only slightly shorter and might be worth considering also (if available). 

Edited by Bloo
.. (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, FLYER15015 said:

I've got my eye on a set of Lester tires, size 7.50 x 16 for $238.00 each for my '40 LTD.

 

They are the only tire that I can find with a 5" white wall.

 

Dave's Buick is currently running an actual road test of these for me. Thanks' Dave !!!

 

Now, if only my 50 year old Martin B-16's would give me any reason to swap them out for new, I may have to take the plunge.

100_2123.jpg

 

 

Please don't buy bias-plys! I put 750R16 radials on my '41 Limited in place of the old 7.50-16 Firestones (one of which was brand new and failed within 24 hours). I know the wider whitewalls can be appealing, but they probably aren't what came on the car and I found that the Diamondback radials whitewall width looks a lot more like the original tires. And it totally TRANSFORMED the ride and handling on my Limited. I can't believe how well my car drives. The ride is vastly smoother, wet and dry handling is effortless, and they are quieter. No tubes needed, either, and they cost about what the bias-plys cost. And no brown whitewalls, which is what you usually get with C*kers. I LOVE driving my car on these tires. It was decent before, but now I never want to park it. You will be astounded by the difference the tires make, especially if you're driving on rock-hard ancient tires. It will feel like a new car, I promise!

 

Better yet, my radials were weeks old, not years, when I got them and they came with a 40,000 mile warranty from a major manufacturer. No bias-ply can match that from any manufacturer.

 

Dig it:

 

59bc769e4c78a_IMG_20160731_1826436211.jpg.7c171a6e299beb556a2c328cd770be2a.jpg59bc76aae6cf6_IMG_20160817_1308202941a.jpg.5fcf12dbab345ee109c3ea0f9d175d90.jpg59bc76a1daefe_IMG_20160817_1307504881a.jpg.d668bb664238765c45821d835836af66.jpg

59bc76b0a1da7_IMG_20160818_1932097481a.jpg.cbfd341b18670131c05eff7fd053d892.jpgBuick_Ads-241CA07A.jpg

 

As for the original poster's query for 16-inch radials for his Special, Diamondback also offers a 600R16 Auburn radial, which hopefully is finally available. I'd suggest giving them a call. Failing that, C*ker does have a bias-look whitewall that I used on my '41 Cadillac and I was satisfied with the look and handling, although I didn't keep the car long enough to see if the whitewalls turned brown like all of C*kers other stuff.

 

I don't work for Diamondback, but my problems with C*ker are well documented and as someone who buys ten to twenty sets of tires per year at my shop, I use Diamondback whenever possible just due to the quality control issues with C*ker. And the cars just drive so much better. If you're showing your car, bias-plys are the right choice. If you're driving, I recommend radials on 9 out of 10 cars, including any 1940s Buick.

 

Hope this helps.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I read through this, and being as mechanically uninclined as I am, I got lost in the shuffle.  If, and when I have bought radial tires for an old car I've only used Diamondback.  They vulcanize the whitewall, whatever size you want, onto a good brand tire like Toyo.  They offer three modern manufacture company brands.

 

I simply went with their advice on the 1953 Oldsmobile I had and bought P205/75/15.  They seemed to run find and it was hard to hold that car down to 60 mph.  It just wasn't a Buick!  I think Coker puts out a chart in their catalog even.

 

I will soon need to replace the 6.50x16 tires on the car in the picture.  I don't think I'll be putting in in any more AACA car shows.  It is already a Grand National winner and I'm 79 next month.  Now it is a Sentimental Tour car.

 

I am currently wanting to replace a set of 7.00x15 original size tires with radial whitewalls.  I have no idea (I'm in VA and my books are in FL---yes high and dry).  Which among you can tell me what size tire to buy.  I was planning to buy P2.25/75/15.  The car is a 41 Buick Roadmaster.  Matt Harwood, I'd like to hear what you would buy.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at the back page of Hemmings, I see that Diamondback tires had made a  new tire, called AUBURN, in which you can get a 15" radial tire that is made to look like a bias tire.  They even come in the old sizes like 7:00x15; 7.60x15; 8.20x15, etc.  That looks like a winner for 15" tires.  They also make a 6.00x16 and promise a 6.50x16 soon to come.  I don't know if you can pick your whitewall tire width or not.  The old 6.50x16 tire had a 3" white wall.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

It's probably a little late to enter this thread but I have exactly the same car, a 1940 special, which had 30 year old 6.5/16 tires that were dry rotted when I got it.

 

I got a set of Goodyear Eagle LS2 P205/70/R16 with tubes and they are fantastic.

 

They are about 3/4 inch shorter in diameter than the old 6.5/16 but the closest I could find. So the car sits 3/8 inch lower than before.

 

Not paying Coker prices

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it is worth, I just saw this nice 40 Super sedan yesterday at a lot in Portland.  It has a new set of Coker radial 6.50 x 16's. To me, they have the correct profile and whitewall width for that car.  They're like the 7.00 x 16's on my 39 Roadmaster.

 

Separately, I really like the two-tone paint on this car!

 

 

IMG_20171014_163914559.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎10‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 7:16 PM, Morgan Wright said:

It's probably a little late to enter this thread but I have exactly the same car, a 1940 special, which had 30 year old 6.5/16 tires that were dry rotted when I got it.

 

I got a set of Goodyear Eagle LS2 P205/70/R16 with tubes and they are fantastic.

 

They are about 3/4 inch shorter in diameter than the old 6.5/16 but the closest I could find. So the car sits 3/8 inch lower than before.

 

Not paying Coker prices

 

 

Thank you for posting the info and letting me know the P205/70/R16 tires you have on your car work as I did not get any tires yet

 

did you notice any change in engine rpm when driving ?? as I would not want to strain the motor

 

I wonder if 225/70/R16 would be closer to the original size?   did you ever try these

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have 6 -  6.50 - 16 WW from B.F. Goodrich, Silvertown that came with my car.   The previous owner (passed)  was restoring the 37 business mans coupe back to original..  These were the tires that were like the original tires.  I want to sell them.   I'm guessing that they have about 100 miles on the 4 on the car.  Two are in the side mounts - so brand new.    Offer ?

    oldbuickjim@gmail.com or 727-251-6261.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/19/2017 at 9:49 AM, buick special said:

 

 

Thank you for posting the info and letting me know the P205/70/R16 tires you have on your car work as I did not get any tires yet

 

did you notice any change in engine rpm when driving ?? as I would not want to strain the motor

 

I wonder if 225/70/R16 would be closer to the original size?   did you ever try these

 

 

 

 

No because even the 205 are wider than the original 6.5's and you want to keep the narrow size to look normal for the cars of the day. The actual size needed is more like 195/90/16 but nobody makes it.

 

215 would look too wide, 225 would be much too wide and make the car look like it was all suped up with modern wheels. They probably wouldn't even fit those old narrow rims anyway. Use the 205 you can't go wrong.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Buying cheap tires will give you a cheap look. Sorry, but the reason the correct-looking radials are expensive is because they're not the usual tires. If you want cheap tires, be prepared for them to look wrong on your old car. Most radials are too short and fat to look right on any car from the 1930s, even if you can get the diameters close. There's nothing that wrecks the look of a vintage car faster than the wrong tires:

 

001.jpg001.jpg

 

The car on the left has been in my showroom for more than a year with very little interest. The car on the right sold in less than three weeks. The tires are totally killing the one on the left and it is why it is not selling. Seller is unwilling to change because he just installed these tires and they're "still good."

 

This car was sitting on standard radials. It just looks wrong, too:

 

001.jpg

 

Tires are one of the single biggest appearance changes you can make on your car. You shouldn't cheap out here any more than you would paint the car with a roller to save a few bucks. If you get the wrong tires, you'll look at them every time you approach the car and regret your choice. Does anything ever turn out well when the answer is, "Well, I know the right thing to do, but I'm going to go the cheap route instead."

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/15/2017 at 8:31 PM, BuickBob49 said:

For what it is worth, I just saw this nice 40 Super sedan yesterday at a lot in Portland.  It has a new set of Coker radial 6.50 x 16's. To me, they have the correct profile and whitewall width for that car.  They're like the 7.00 x 16's on my 39 Roadmaster.

 

Separately, I really like the two-tone paint on this car!

 

 

IMG_20171014_163914559.jpg

My Golly, what a beautiful car.  If I could afford to get my new 41 Roadmaster painted, and could also afford the time, this is exactly the color it would be.  Only thing I don't like on this Super above is the accessory front bumper guard. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

That sema article  has so many qualifiers { may, could , perhaps] as to be not too helpful. Has anyone seen an engineering or wheel manufacturer report?

 

  Ben

 

Better yet, has anyone even seen a vintage wheel fail due to normal driving on a radial tire? I recently wrote an article on radial tires for old cars for the CCCA magazine and I spent about an hour scouring the internet looking for just one example of a vintage wheel that failed because it had a radial tire on it. Not one anecdote about a cousin or neighbor with a bad experience, not one message board post with a warning, not one cell phone photo of a blowed-up wheel and tire. You'd think that if radials were tearing the centers out of old wheels or making old rims collapse, people would at least take a picture of it and show it around on the web. We'd surely hear about the blood flowing in the streets as all these old cars self-destruct with radial tires on their original wheels. But nope, nothing, nada, zero, zip, and my Google-Fu is pretty darned good.

 

/cue someone on this site saying, "I seen it happen!" in 3...2...

//pictures or it didn't happen

///slashes come in threes

  • Like 2
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/19/2017 at 9:49 AM, buick special said:

 

 

Thank you for posting the info and letting me know the P205/70/R16 tires you have on your car work as I did not get any tires yet

 

did you notice any change in engine rpm when driving ?? as I would not want to strain the motor

 

I wonder if 225/70/R16 would be closer to the original size?   did you ever try these

 

 

 

 

What is the white wall width of those tires.  As I recall Goodyear Eagles have at the most, a 2-inch whitewall.  That looks horrible on one of these old Buicks.  Now if you like blackwall tires, and I don't, then you are probably alright.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...