Whitewall Tire recommendations for my T-Bird 1956

I am going to try Radial Tires with a 2 1/2 to 3 inch Whitewall. What brand works the best? The ones on there been on there 27 Years. The T-Bird was only driven a few times. I think it time. I drove it around the block terrible they acted like they were squire in shape. I just got the T-Bird last week from my Brother in Law and Sister.
 

Angry Bird

Angry Bird's 64'
I am going to try Radial Tires with a 2 1/2 to 3 inch Whitewall. What brand works the best? The ones on there been on there 27 Years. The T-Bird was only driven a few times. I think it time. I drove it around the block terrible they acted like they were squire in shape. I just got the T-Bird last week from my Brother in Law and Sister.
Hi Ken,
27 years is a very long time for a set of tires when they usually have a life span of 6 to 10 years before they dry out. Radial tires are a great improvement over the old bias plys. They will make the Bird ride and handle like a modern car. I know first hand because I changed over many years ago. There are many suppliers like Coker for example just hunt around online or check with your local tire dealer who may be able to assist!

Good luck!

Gord
 
Personally, I have used only Diamond Back Classic Tires. I've put them on my '54 Olds and my '57 T-bird, and have been very satisfied. Any radial tire will be an improvement, but I happen to like this brand. Delivery takes a little while, as the tires are made to your order (check out the "beauty rings" that they offer). https://dbtires.com/ - or call them at 888-922-1642
 

sylvurhfox

Active Member
I bought mine from Calli Tire.
Hello Jim,
I contacted Calli Tire and their prices are reasonable. I am wondering about the white side walls? They told me they make them there. I am wondering if they take a tire and add the whitewall or do they make the whole tire? I live about 1 1/2 hours away so I would pick them up rather than have 5 tires shipped. Are you satisfied with your tires? How is the wear? How long have you had them. Their lead time will fit my timeline if I ordered them now.
Thanks in advance for your response.
Loren
 
They add the whitewall, I am mostly satisfied. Did have a bubble develop on one of the whitewalls. Per Cali's direction I pierced it with a needle and it deflated. Have had them a couple of years and they have worn well.
Jim Yergin
 
I use Diamond Back Classics. They start with a proper radial and vulcanize the whitewall to it. I had a set of their dual red/shite stripe tires on my '65 Thunderbird for nineteen years without incident. Just replaced them, put new wide whites on my E-Code '57, and red stripes on my '68 Cougar. All Diamond Back. Cokers have been problematic in our Little Bird club. They are a clamshell mold and don't hold balance as well. The Diamond Back are proper segment-mold design. And their whitewall stays brilliant white. The American Classics form Coker I had on my '63 Sports Roadster would not stay white without a LOT of upkeep.
 
I had problems with the Coker white walls on our 57 last year. Three out the four we had fitted developed a bulge / lump on the sidewall. We have now fitted American Classic white walls. The Cokers were returned to the supplier here in New Zealand but as yet no response. Apparently that’s normal consequently I would not ever buy another Coker. Having made that statement I believe that the same manufacturer makes both tyres !!!
 
I am going to try Radial Tires with a 2 1/2 to 3 inch Whitewall. What brand works the best? The ones on there been on there 27 Years. The T-Bird was only driven a few times. I think it time. I drove it around the block terrible they acted like they were squire in shape. I just got the T-Bird last week from my Brother in Law and Sister.
I just ordered Radials for my 56' Tbird. I went with Diamond Back. I wanted 3'" wide whitewalls and only Diamond Back offered them that I could find. They also offer a beauty bar option that I really liked.
 
After 35 years of faithful service, one of the tires on my '55 Bird blew out on the order of Old Faithful after participating in a July 4 parade in Granby, Colo. Happily, we were headed home on US 40 and didn't suffer the embarrassment in front of the several thousand spectators at the parade. Neither injuries nor damage were sustained.
Yes, yes, I know, I know, I should be on my sixth or seventh set of rubber after 35 years. So sorry for ignoring good advice. I promise to be better if no one says anything hurtful. I'll be looking (God willing) for a new set five or six years from now to replace the ones I'm looking for presently.
Which begs the question: What's the preferred tire in the $100 range?
I'd like to put on Cokers with wide whitewalls, but I can find only one variety of theirs that "might" fit a '55 Bird, so I'm looking for something else with a lower price tag and fitting a phoney white wall over it.
Any suggestions, or am I overlooking either a radial Coker or another brand that'd be suitable? The car's mostly for show and Sunday jaunts.
Another key question is tire size. The old ones are 205/75r-15. I can find few of that size online. What I find mostly in tires touted to fit '55 Birds are blackwalls sized 205/70r-15 (670-15). That's why I'm considering going that route and adding a faux whitewall.
So, what's the difference and will either the 75 or 70 work? And is there a wide whitewall out there with my name on it?
Many thanks,
Richard Johnson
Denver
 

Ward 57

Well-Known Member
The 75s are a little taller than the 70s. The number is the aspect ratio as width to Hight. the taller tires were the norm when the cars were built and the higher sidewall gives a little softer ride as there is more sidewall flex. That's why it's important to keep them inflated to 35psi if they are radials to keep them from flexing and rubbing the fender skirts. The old bias plies didn't have that issue. If you can find the over all diameter that matches the original you are golden to keep the speedometer accurate.
As far as the add on white walls, there are pros & cons. They are still around. The pros are that they look great, the cons are that you really need an experienced shop to install them. They have to know how to seal them properly on the wheel so they seal with the tire bead and absolutely no wrinkle. A curb scuff Could dislodge them only slightly but enough to be seen Remember the old curb feelers? If it's more for show than a daily driver I would go with any that fits the parameters and use the 'spats'. I've read on here that some of the manufactures alter the tire to add the wide white wall and just paste the whitewall into it instead of integrating it into the initial build. Do your research. The ones built with the whitewall integrated are probably $ 150/tire or more. You get what you pay for.
You are indeed very lucky. I had a tire just crumble while sitting in the garage and had just driven it a few days before.
 
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