Mark Huston

What time frame is this tire from?

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My brother recently bought his 1929 Studebaker President Cabriolet from the niece of the original owner.   Her great aunt and uncle lived in Connecticut when they bought the 1929 Studebaker new.   They then gave the car to her parents in the early 1950s.   The story my brother was told by the niece, when he bought the car from her, is that the left front spare tire is one of the original factory tires that came on the car when her great aunt and uncle bought the Studebaker.   I am skeptical that this is in fact an original tire, however, the tire and the tread pattern looks like it could be that old.  Do any of our experts here recognize this tire as possibly being from the 1929 time frame?  

 

Here is a picture of the 1929 President along with the tire in question that shows the tread and markings on the tire.

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Searching for the 'Federal Rubber Company', I found record of a major tire maker with that name that operated in Wisconsin in the 1920s and 30s. Not definite evidence, but it suggests that you could have an original tire.

 

https://collections.lib.uwm.edu/digital/collection/mke-polonia/id/32460/

https://milwaukeehistory.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/3065.Federal-Rubber-Co.pdf

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That is a "Snow Tire" often called a Knobbie and was very popular as a rear tire on dirt track race cars 1920's- 1930's. Congratulations on the Studebaker, they are nice cars and they raced them when new on the board speedways. Bob 

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17 minutes ago, AL1630 said:

Searching for the 'Federal Rubber Company', I found record of a major tire maker with that name that operated in Wisconsin in the 1920s and 30s. Not definite evidence, but it suggests that you could have an original tire.

 

https://collections.lib.uwm.edu/digital/collection/mke-polonia/id/32460/

https://milwaukeehistory.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/3065.Federal-Rubber-Co.pdf

 

Following your lead I did a some additional online searches and found that Fisk Tire company acquired Federal Rubber Co in 1921.  By 1940, Fisk was acquired by U.S.Rubber.   I also found reference to Fisk Tire had one of their tire factories located in Connecticut which is were the Studebaker is from.   The question is when the Federal Rubber Co name was dropped by Fisk before they were acquired by the U.S. Rubber co.  

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up here in the 60s fisk was a brand sold through a gas station chain(the name escapes me)I used the on several cars good tires I bought them used from local wreckers $5 with lots of tread

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16 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

That is a "Snow Tire" often called a Knobbie and was very popular as a rear tire on dirt track race cars 1920's- 1930's. Congratulations on the Studebaker, they are nice cars and they raced them when new on the board speedways. Bob 

 

 

Thank you 1937hd45,

The President is a great road car with nice manners.  The Federal tire does have on the side wall "Super Traction"   I can see why they were used by the dirt drack racers.  

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6 minutes ago, Mark Huston said:

 

Thank you 1937hd45,

The President is a great road car with nice manners.  The Federal tire does have on the side wall "Super Traction"   I can see why they were used by the dirt drack racers.  

I'll dig through my race car literature and find the related pieces to late 1920's Studebaker "Stock Car Racing". Great looking car, look forward to any posts about its new life with its new caretaker. Bob 

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Fisk and Federal tires were manufactured In Chicopee Massachusetts, the main plant is still standing, last used by Uniroyal in the early 80’s. The great grandson of the founder of Fisk tire is a sales representative in my family business for twenty years. If the car as from Connecticut, the Fisk/Federal would have been a current local replacement in the 30’s. My guess is it’s NOT the original, but from the second set. Did Stude have build sheets? Cadillac and others often did, and with SOME companies you could have a choice of new tires on a special order.......but usually just two or three. Most cars built for inventory all had the same brand, black or white wall. Nice car.

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Years ago I sold a piece of Fisk Tire literature on eBay to a fellow whos last name was Fisk. I asked if he was related to the tire company. He replied that his father or grandfather was the young man in the "Time to Retire" logo.

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I do believe that tire could be from the time frame of the car, however, I would doubt that it was original to the car when it was new. Such knobby tires were common in mud and snow areas, and also used on tractor conversions. I would imagine that some vehicles did offer them on new from the factory. However, I doubt many road automobiles did. I look at a lot of era photographs, often zooming in close enough to see tire treads. The number of knobby tires I have seen on fairly new cars could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

 

I also believe that decent surviving tires from the era should be preserved as part of automobilia. Whether they are the manufacturer's factory original tires or not. I have several that I am preserving myself. A few from the '27 Paige my dad bought back in '67, two tires of which may be factory originals (or not?). I also have a few model T size tires that are not Ford originals, a couple pre-WWII Wards Riverside (which are slightly different from everything made in the '50s or later), and a nice Hood Arrow. Preserving them is a bit difficult, they need to be kept in a cool dark place.

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15 hours ago, Mark Huston said:

located in Connecticut which is were the Studebaker is from

 I believe Studebaker was from South Bend Indiana.

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1 hour ago, Mark Shaw said:

 I believe Studebaker was from South Bend Indiana.

 

Reread my original post.   I was referencing the 1929 Studebaker my brother bought was sold new in Connecticut and also located in Connecticut was a Fisk tire factory.   Yes, Studebaker headquarters, along with their primary factory, was in South Bend, Indiana.   In this post the reference to Connecticut is specifically for the purchase location when new of the 1929 Studebaker President that is the subject of this post.   

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That is an 8 ply tire designed for light trucks but were often used on cars for longer tread life.

Correct me if I am wrong, passenger cars cam with 4 ply tires for a softer ride.

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Posted (edited)

NICE CAR !!!

 

I would think via being an 8 ply that it is a second set of tires to the car, but nevertheless installed in the 1930's    Also, it looks a little snug in the fender well and a slightly too large or too small a tire is often a reason why the tire locks are not installed.

 

A lot of period photos were taken when such as Vogue and ... tires  install (aka publicity photos), but generally speaking you should be able to look at a variety of original photos and figure out in 1929 if Studebaker offered  Goodyears, Firestones, BF Goodrich, or ... 

 

The sedan photo has Firestones -  you can tell by the tread pattern and they are currently being reproduced

 

The Roadster is obviously labeled, but but given Firestone being a player in the Indianapolis 500 I would not give the photo 100% eight as being what all cars had on them. 

 

1928-Commander-9114.thumb.jpg.4799b2e65b86c63f29903132c3d111f6.jpg1098-32_1024x1024.thumb.jpg.54a678e94fb0d1b67c755068b846587a.jpg

 

 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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