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F70x14s acceptable instead of 6.95x14 on a 1968?


gpfarrell
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I am trying to improve the “as it left the factory” appearance on my 1968 Rambler American for Class Judging at Hershey and  the 195/70R14’s radials on the car aren’t cutting it!  My owner’s manual says 6.45x14 or 6.95x14’s were originally fitted to the 6-cylinder cars. Would these F70-14’s be an acceptable tire?

 

The guidebook says letter-series tires are acceptable from 1967 on.  Seller is describing these as “Coker” tires if that adds any clarification.
 

Thanks for any insights! I know tires can have lots of subtle differences that justifiably impact scoring and I want to make sure these would be in compliance.

 

 

FB87D637-AE04-4FA8-BA03-06BC629DB560.png

Edited by gpfarrell (see edit history)
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D70-14 Redline tires were options on the American in 1968 mounted on 5 1/2 inch rims.  I think the F70-14 will be too wide for your rims.  Coker tire does make a 6.95x14 tire in their BF Goodrich line and maybe other lines as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Mark McAlpine
On 7/24/2020 at 7:56 AM, gpfarrell said:

I am trying to improve the “as it left the factory” appearance on my 1968 Rambler American for Class Judging at Hershey and  the 195/70R14’s radials on the car aren’t cutting it!  My owner’s manual says 6.45x14 or 6.95x14’s were originally fitted to the 6-cylinder cars. Would these F70-14’s be an acceptable tire?

 

The guidebook says letter-series tires are acceptable from 1967 on.  Seller is describing these as “Coker” tires if that adds any clarification.
 

Thanks for any insights! I know tires can have lots of subtle differences that justifiably impact scoring and I want to make sure these would be in compliance.

 

 

FB87D637-AE04-4FA8-BA03-06BC629DB560.png

 

Hello gpfarrell,

 

    The Official Judging Guidelines don't say the F70x14s are acceptable on all vehicles after 1967.  It's just pointing out the first year that letter-size tires were available.  The only "acceptable" tires (ones that won't incur a deduction) for AACA judging are the ones authorized by the vehicle manufacturer for the particular model vehicle. 

 

    The easiest way to find out which tire sizes & sidewalls are acceptable for your car in AACA judging is to look in the owner's manual for your vehicle, which you've done.  (Other factory documentation may specify other sizes authorized/offered later in the production year.)  If those tire sizes are no longer available from any tire manufacturers, you can write the VP of Judging, provide documentation that the tires are no longer available, and request a letter authorizing substitute tires one size smaller or larger.  After you receive the authorization letter back from the VP of Judging and install the new tires, before judging begins show the letter to the Judging Team Captain and you'll have no problem (assuming the tires are in good shape).  However, because Coker Tires and Universal Tires (and possibly other tire companies) sell the 6.95x14 correct-size tires for your car, you need to install them if you don't want to lose points in judging.  (Coker sells B.F. Goodrich and U.S. Royal tires in that size.  Universal offers Goodyear and U.S. Royal tires in that size.  However, I don't know that they necessarily offer the correct size or color stripe.)

 

    Is this the first time you're showing your American in an AACA Nationals?  You don't see many Rambler Americans around.  I look forward to seeing it in Hershey.  Good luck!

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Thank you Mark!  

 

This will be the first time the little '68 has been shown anywhere.  My uncle deserves 95% of the credit as he's the one that did the restoration on it.  It was his mom's car from new (my grandmother's) so sentimental reasons beat economic rationale and the simple little car got quite a makeover.  That being said, though my 80 year old uncle has been working on cars since the 1950's, it is an "amateur" restoration done to his (high) standards but not exactly to the AACA's.  Thanks for the guidance on tires... I think I need to find some 695x14's! 

 

Edited by gpfarrell (see edit history)
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Guest Mark McAlpine

Happy to help!  If you have other questions or just want to talk about getting your car ready for Hershey, send me a private message or contact the experts:  VP of Judging Chuck Crane, Assistant VP of Judging Norm Hutton, Chairman of Judges Training Stan Kulikowski, or Assistant Chairman of Judges Training Dain King.  (Dain was Chairman of Judges Training, but handed it off this year to his Assistant VP Stan.)  All would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

One other suggestion:  I don't know if you've shown a car in Class Judging before.  If you haven't, ask a member in your region/chapter who is an experienced AACA judge to look at your car and offer suggestions.  Many times other people will see things we overlook.  (Just be patient and accept the suggestions for what they are:  areas that need attention, not criticism).  Take the list and fix the easy and inexpensive things first (e.g., fan belts, hoses and hose clamps, etc.) and correct as many things as you can before Hershey--1 point here, 1 point there adds up quickly.  Elbow grease goes a long way, too, but, from how you've described your American and the photos you shared in your other post, I doubt your car needs much.

 

Good luck!  As I said, I can't wait to see your car in Hershey.

Edited by Mark McAlpine (see edit history)
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  • 1 month later...

Regarding correct tires for this era, I have additional questions.  My 1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass is eligible to wear radial tires, but according to judges at the last two meets I attended (Eastern Spring 2019 and AGNM 2020), a radial tire with "p-metric" sizing is incorrect for years ranging from 1967 thru 1975.  Does anyone know if current manufacturers of radial tires make a tire with "pre-metric" sizing on their sidewalls?  Everything I find that's sized in the "pre-metric" way is bias ply.  How is anyone showing a 1967-1975 car with radials doing so with the correct sizing on the sidewall (outside of having 40+ year old tires on their car)?

 

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Paul, this is the black hole of tire sizes.  There is a process to get alternate tires accepted for judging.  It's outlined in the Judges Manual.  You need to have letters, emails from two major antique tire suppliers stating that your requires size is not available.  Send these letters to the VP of Class Judging along with a request to use a specific alternate size tire.  You will receive a letter with the decision.  If approved, you should show the letter to the team captain at each AACA National going forward and you will not receive a deduction for those tires.  

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Guest Mark McAlpine

 

On 9/23/2020 at 5:42 PM, SIRAACA_Editor said:

Regarding correct tires for this era, I have additional questions.  My 1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass is eligible to wear radial tires, but according to judges at the last two meets I attended (Eastern Spring 2019 and AGNM 2020), a radial tire with "p-metric" sizing is incorrect for years ranging from 1967 thru 1975.  Does anyone know if current manufacturers of radial tires make a tire with "pre-metric" sizing on their sidewalls?  Everything I find that's sized in the "pre-metric" way is bias ply.  How is anyone showing a 1967-1975 car with radials doing so with the correct sizing on the sidewall (outside of having 40+ year old tires on their car)?

 

 

 

Hello Paul.  Both Coker and Universal offer reproduction radial tires from the pre-low profile/P-metric tires era--both early radial tires (e.g., 195R14) and letter-series radial tires (e.g., GR78x14).  (As the AACA Official Judging Guidelines state, P-metric radial tires began appearing on domestic-manufactured vehicles in approximately 1979, although they were available earlier on foreign manufactured vehicles.)

 

What size radial tires does the owner's manual for your Cutlass say were available from the factory for your car?  If reproductions of those tires are available for sale, I doubt that you'd receive an exemption letter from the VP of Judging authorizing installation of P-metric tires (because it appears that both correct reproduction bias ply and radial tires are available for your car).

 

One other point:  the owner's manual I have for a 1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass says 195R14s were only available on Cutlasses equipped with the Turnpike Cruising Package.  Does you car have that package?  If not, it appears that radial tires would not be correct on your car (only 7.75 x 14s would be correct except for 442s which came with F-70x14s or optional 7.75 x 14s) unless you have some other factory documentation saying otherwise.

 

Let us know what you find out.  I like expanding my knowledge and I'm sure others would be interested in the answer, too.

Edited by Mark McAlpine (see edit history)
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