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Tires for 1933 Plymouth PD sedan


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I have a 1933 plymouth PD sedan and needing to replace the 4 tires currently on it.  I know everyone has their favorite brand of tire and have read many posts on the web in that regards.  I will be putting bias tires back on them, it currently has 6.00x16 whitewalls (3 firestone and 1 coker).  The firestone tires have a 3 digit date code of 248, which I think it means they're pre 2000 year?  The coker, has no date code that I could find but the PO put it on around 8 years ago and has the best tread, maybe I could use for a spare?  The coker whitewall has small cracking but the firestone whitewall is in great condition but more cream in color.

 

Does anyone know what brand came on the plymouth's originally?  Some 1933 sales brochure pictures of the car, look like it has goodyear tread but I can not find anywhere stating the oem tire brand.  If the plymouths came with goodyear's, how do these perform on the road?  I found these made at Kelsey tires in the correct size.

 

Looking at the coker site, they offer the BFG, firestone and coker in the correct sizes but higher pricing on the BFG and Firestone.  Does coker make all 3 at their factory with the same rubber, cords, etc but just use different molds for the name brands?  If so, I guess you are paying for the name brand design?

 

Sorry to be so wordy but I am trying to make an educated decision since I'm on a limited budget.  Thoughts on the 4 brands that I mentioned?

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Goodyear "All Weather" (diamond tread) tires were original from the factory. I think in the later 1930s they used a different tread on the front than the rear.

 

Nice that you have the optional 16 inch tires so you can purchase the modern equivalents if you want. They don't make those for 17 inch. Way back in the 1970s and maybe into the 1980s you could get "Bedford Famous Coach" that was similar but they stopped making those when Goodyear allowed reproduction of the diamond tread "All Weather" pattern.

 

I had the Bedford Famous Coach on my '33 when I first got it back on the road until they wore out. I don't know how close they were to the Goodyear in terms of handling, wear, etc. But they seemed to be about the same as my current Lucas Olympic which is a totally different tread pattern.

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  • Peter Gariepy changed the title to Tires for 1933 Plymouth PD sedan
54 minutes ago, ply33 said:

I had the Bedford Famous Coach on my '33 when I first got it back on the road until they wore out. I don't know how close they were to the Goodyear in terms of handling, wear, etc. But they seemed to be about the same as my current Lucas Olympic which is a totally different tread pattern.

Bedford Famous Coach is still available from Lucas in SoCal in some 17" sizes.  I have their 17" and 18" tires on two Pierces and love them.  The Bedfords have the diamond tread, pie crust outer sidewalls, and are hardy--surviving flats at 55 mph.  Don't love the tubes they sell:  after two failures on the bonded seams--at speed--I converted to 16" modern radial truck tubes, which work well on the drop center 17" wheels, and never a problem for over ten years.

Edited by Grimy
fix typo (see edit history)
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Thanks Ply and Grimy!  Just looked at the Bedfords, nice looking tire but not offered in the 16".

 

When replacing the tires, do you normally replace the tubes as well?  They are holding air with no issues.

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1 hour ago, Crazyred said:

When replacing the tires, do you normally replace the tubes as well?  

It would be a smart thing to do, since the tubes are likely as old (or older) as the tires and being that they’re also made of rubber, they do age and have similarly limited lifecycle expectancy.

Inexpensive insurance IMO, especially if any extended driving use of the car is planned.


My personal preference with my ‘32 PB Roadster, which isn’t exactly “stock”,  for past 3+ decades has been 16” Firestone Deluxe Champions, but I like to drive her, perhaps more than most.
Averaging 3,000-4,000 miles per year, including spirited jaunts on twisty mountain roads and fair amount of long distance leisure travel, so I usually wear out a set before they get too old.
Last set wore out in 3 1/2 years (+/-15,000 miles) and I always replace tubes also. 

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2 hours ago, Grimy said:

Bedford Famous Coach is still available from Lucas in SoCal in some 17" sizes.  I have their 17" and 18" tires on two Pierces and love them.  The Bedfords have the diamond tread, pie crust outer sidewalls, and are hardy--surviving flats at 55 mph.  Don't love the tubes they sell:  after two failures on the bonded seams--at speed--I converted to 16" modern radial truck tubes, which work well on the drop center 17" wheels, and never a problem for over ten years.

I had not thought about other 17" sizes when responding.

 

The 1933 Plymouth PD usually shipped with 17x5.25 wheels with the 16 inch "Air Wheels" as an option. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find Bedford Famous Coach in 550/525-17 sizes since the Goodyear "All Weather" reproductions came out. And I have never seen the Goodyear "All Weather" reproductions in that size either.

 

Tubes have been a problem for me for some time. The 1933 Plymouth has a radial valve stem and I haven't found tubes for 550/525-17 tires with radial stems. I guess the more popular Chevy and/or Fords used an offset stem so that is what is available. I guess I should check if a truck tube is available in that size but it seems unlikely. And even less likely that one with a radially located stem would be available. Seems like the only modern motor vehicle that uses a radial stem are motorcycles and while there are some motorcycle tires close enough in size the load rating is quite different and the stem diameter at the base is not the same as for an automotive tire.

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@ply33you might want to look at Blockley tubes from the UK.  On my 1934, the stem holes in the wheels were too large for the light truck 16" tubes, but a tire company that serves a lot of medium duty trucks had some black plastic adapters that solve the problem and are virtually invisible.

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20 hours ago, TTR said:

My personal preference with my ‘32 PB Roadster, which isn’t exactly “stock”,  for past 3+ decades has been 16” Firestone Deluxe Champions, but I like to drive her, perhaps more than most.

@TTR, there are 3 firestone deluxe champions on the car now.  How do these handle a wet road as I haven't experienced that yet?  For these, as old as they seem, they are in good shape with some minor dry rot cracks.  Do you know if the date codes on the firestones are accurate or just part of the old mold that's used?

 

I am leaning towards the Firestone or the Goodyear.  The goodyear appears to have a more aggressive tread pattern similar to what Ply33 had with the Bedford's. 

 

I have read that the coker tire company will make the tires and then store them for sometime years.  Is this the same for the Firestone and Goodyear tires?

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To best of my understanding Date Of Manufacture codes are part of U.S./D.O.T. safety protocol requirements for all tires to be sold and/or used on public roads and is expected to be accurate, perhaps even required to be filed with some D.O.T. department.
I believe it is also accepted and applicable in EU and UK, perhaps in many other countries/regions around the globe.

And like with any other “use before”/“perishable“ items we encounter in everyday life, it should be expected retailers will always sell oldest stock first.

 

As for the handling of Deluxe Champions or any tire for that matter depends on lots of variables, i.e. age/size/thread wear/etc of the tires themselves and age/size/weight/condition (of suspension/steering) components of the vehicle itself, not to mention individual driving habits/expectations of the vehicle operator along with road/weather conditions, etc ...

 

As I mentioned and all the above considered, FDC’s seem to work quite well for me.

For years, I’ve been toying with the idea of making different off-set and width wheels for my Roadster and even have had all necessary components on the shelf for nearly 2 decades, but been putting it off  because they will likely change the handling and not necessarily improving it.

Maybe one of these when I have nothing better or more important to do ...

 

As for the tires “looking to be in good shape” means nothing in the real world.
For example (only one, although I could probably recite dozens or hundreds), just last year I was sent almost 50 year old vintage car for (minor) services/repairs requiring driving/road testing. Upon its arrival to my shop I immediately noticed the tires, while looking like nearly new with probably +/-1000 miles on them, were almost exactly 20 years old.
The client, well established individual with 50+ years of experience in collecting cars (20+ year on my short list of "preferred" clients), allegedly had initially (again) frowned upon my immediate request for their replacement, but having been informed by his collection curators that I'd categorically refuse to road test the car with its current tires and therefor wouldn’t even bother to perform requested services/repairs, he (perhaps reluctantly ?) authorized the purchase of new/fresh set.

This ^ is based on my 4+ decades of experience with vintage cars and respect to safety, not only my own, but that of others on or near the roads I drive/travel, along with the cars entrusted to my care.

 


 

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, TTR said:

To best of my understanding Date Of Manufacture codes are part of U.S./D.O.T. safety protocol requirements for all tires to be sold and/or used on public roads and is expected to be accurate, perhaps even required to be filed with some D.O.T. department.
I believe it is also accepted and applicable in EU and UK, perhaps in many other countries/regions around the globe.

And like with any other “use before”/“perishable“ items we encounter in everyday life, it should be expected retailers will always sell oldest stock first.
.

.

.

On a previous purchase of tires for my '33 Plymouth I looked for the date codes to get an idea of how long they might have been sitting on the shelf at the vendor. I didn't find any. So I called the vendor and they said they didn't need to be date stamped. I did not believe them.

 

But I went searching through the US government websites looking for tire marking regulations and eventually found it. Date codes are not required on tires sold to and intended for use on antique vehicles. The rational was that there hadn't been a safety problem noticed with them in the past. Digging a bit deeper, it turns out that it was Coker who managed to get that exemption from tire date codes in to the regulations. Sorry, no links to back up this statement as it was several years ago and I didn't bookmark them.

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8 hours ago, ply33 said:

On a previous purchase of tires for my '33 Plymouth I looked for the date codes to get an idea of how long they might have been sitting on the shelf at the vendor. I didn't find any. So I called the vendor and they said they didn't need to be date stamped. I did not believe them.

 

But I went searching through the US government websites looking for tire marking regulations and eventually found it. Date codes are not required on tires sold to and intended for use on antique vehicles. The rational was that there hadn't been a safety problem noticed with them in the past. Digging a bit deeper, it turns out that it was Coker who managed to get that exemption from tire date codes in to the regulations. Sorry, no links to back up this statement as it was several years ago and I didn't bookmark them.

Interesting, thanks for sharing.

 

The most recent replacement of tires on my Roadster was just few months and I, as always, requested DOMs from all suppliers that carry my choice of (vintage car) make/model/size tires and while there were some relatively recently (within couple of years) made examples to be had, I learned there were expectations of new batches coming soon from the manufacturer, so I opted to wait couple of months until those became available.


Should I ever encounter a need for some recently manufactured antique/classic/vintage vehicle tires without DOMs, I hope to have enough experience and sense to assess their practical usefulness and safety.


 

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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