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There were Bedford 700x18 tires on my 1930 Pierce-Arrow roadster when I purchased it in 2002, and after 12-14,000 miles of driving, they are still providing excellent service and have plenty of tread left.

 

On the basis of that experience, and because I like the Bedfords' diamond tread pattern and pie-crust sidewall designs, I purchased a set of 700x17s for my 1934 Pierce in 2009.  I purchased a set of tubes from Lucas at the same time, and properly prepared the wheels once the old tires were removed.  The 17s have given excellent service over a similar 12,000-14,000 miles but I do NOT recommend the off-shore tubes Lucas supplied at the time.  In the first 1,500 miles, I experienced two flats at highway speed on the same 1,000-mile trip, both as a result of the tubes coming apart at the bonded seam, which was nowhere near the usual problem area of the center of the wheel.  Once home, I replaced the Lucas-furnished tubes on all wheels with 16-inch radial light truck tubes at half the price of the thin, inferior reproduction tubes.

 

The two Bedfords suffering flats at 55 mph were carefully examined by tire professionals and were none the worse for wear, so are still in service.  Their hardiness, as well as period appearance, will have me buying Bedfords again and again.

Edited by Grimy
spelling correction (see edit history)
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Thank you for your response.  That is not the first time that I have heard about the problems with the off shore tubes.  When you question the tire companies about this their only response is that there is no other supplier in the world for tubes, then I can imagine them shrugging their shoulders.   Did you buy the light truck tire tubes locally?  Did you replace the stems with period correct stems?

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28 minutes ago, mdh7475 said:

Did you buy the light truck tire tubes locally?  Did you replace the stems with period correct stems?

Yes, I bought the 16-inch radial light truck tubes from the Big O dealer from whom I buy my modern vehicle tires (half the price of the off-shore "repro" tubes, by the way), and I did not use period-correct stems, although I wish I had, because Pierce used plated valve stem covers through 1935.  Too late now...  🙂

 

The 17" Pierce wheels are drop-center (if I used a rim strip, I'd have to use 15-inch), allowing the 16" tubes to swell slightly to fit.  No problems in may miles since...

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I recently installed 4 7:00-17 Bedfords and metal-stem inner tubes sourced from Lucas on my 1934 Packard Eight, replacing a set of Lesters which were 27 years old and had given superb service.  I went with the Bedfords on the recommendation of a local and very prestigious restoration shop and to this point (just finishing 2nd season) I am totally satisfied with their performance, zero problems and I very much like the "of the era" appearance of the tire.  The tubes were Firestone branded radial light truck tubes, 16", made in China.

Edited by Owen_Dyneto (see edit history)
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Thank you - I'm glad to hear that you are pleased with the tires, and especially that you have had no problems with the inner tubes.  Maybe pressure put on the manufacturer to improve their tubes worked.  Sourcing the correct sized light truck tire tubes for 20" narrow tires has been more difficult then I expected, along with the problem of replacing the stems with the nickel valves on the tubes.

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I bought a 17" Bedford Double Whitewalls set for the 1931 Auburn Phaeton and two owners and umpteen years later (they were one of the first sets sold) they are still going strong with car making regular appearances at Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival and also various Concours events and meets, I installed a set of 18" Double Whitewalls on the 1932 Packard Twin Six, and I had a set of 19" Double Whitewalls installed on a Duesenberg.  I thought all the sets rode very nice and the whitewalls looked very good in tread pattern and width.  

 

My tubes usually come from Maytag (who may have retired) at Lucas Tire or also from Universal (also all with nickle stems and to my knowledge only one failed - it was on the Twin Six at like midnight when I was cleaning up my tools and ....- ie no good reason for tube to fail, but they replaced no questions asked).  Make sure you check everything for little inventory stickers (stickers on casing, tubes, or flaps are BAD) and then Johnson's Baby Powder the casing, flaps and tubes (I usually drop the tubes one at a time in a garbage bag and shake them). 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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The original poster Mark is a very good friend.......thanks for helping him. I suggested he post here for feedback, as I have never installed them on any car. Ed

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