Classic car owners often obsess over various parts and components for different reasons, and one of the top examples here in many cases is the realm of tires. There are several tire styles available for many classic vehicles, and which you choose will depend on things like how you use the car, the actual model and more.
At Andersen Restoration Parts, we provide clients with a huge selection of classic car restoration parts, from suspension rebuild kits to idler arms, center links and more. While tires are not technically considered a "restoration" component and we don't actively stock these, we're always happy to provide expertise and tips to clients in areas like this. Here are some of the options you have when it comes to classic car tires, plus how to consider them and some other important information.
For those who only utilize their classic car for show and visual purposes, period tires are a great choice. These tires usually match the original equipment of the car, and they typically replicate the tread pattern, sidewall design and other features from an earlier era. Since these aren't really meant for driving, many people like to choose period or reproduction tires for their classic vehicle in order to improve aesthetics or recreate authenticity for certain vehicles.
If you're going this route, it's vital to ensure that these tires are still in good condition before you buy them. Check for cracking and other damage that could render them unsafe for use.
You should also be very careful about any actual driving you do with period tires. They can be an excellent choice for show use, but they generally aren't up to the task of regular driving or general road conditions.
Finally, care is of the utmost importance for period or reproduction tires. Be sure to store them in a cool, dry place away from the elements and any possible sources of damage.
Authentic-Looking Modern Tires
For those who want to be able to drive their classic car a bit more often, but who still want to maintain the vintage look, authentic-looking modern tires can be a great solution. These tires replicate the look of period tires from a certain era, but they have been outfitted with some modern features that help make them suitable for more frequent use.
Authentic-looking modern tires are often made by major tire companies and manufacturers, so you can count on good build quality and safety standards. They're also quite affordable compared to period tires, so you won't have to break the bank for a reliable set of tires for your classic car.
In general, these are a great option for those who plan to do more regular driving with their vehicle. They offer good grip and longevity while still looking sharp and retro on the outside.
The third option available is simply to use some off-the-shelf tires that are designed for any sort of vehicle. These are often quite affordable, and they can provide good enough performance in most situations.
However, keep in mind that these won't really have the same vintage look as some of the other options we've discussed. You also won't be able to achieve the same performance levels as with authentic-looking modern tires, so if you plan on doing more serious driving or utilizing your car in certain events and shows, this isn't really recommended.
Check Your Brand
For any of these tire types you're considering for your classic car, make sure that you check the brand before buying. Prices can vary a lot depending on who makes them and how well-known they are in the classic car world.
It's also important to note that some brands specialize in certain vehicles or tire types.
For instance, Firestone tires have long been associated with vintage cars such as the Ford Model T and other classic vehicles from that era. These tires are often seen in vintage car shows and parades as a way to enhance the look of certain cars.
The right tires for your classic car will depend on how you plan to use it, what style you're aiming for, and more. However, there are plenty of options available, from period tires to authentic-looking modern ones and even just off-the-shelf models. Just make sure to check the brand before making any purchases! With a bit of research and care, you'll be able to find the perfect set of tires for your classic car.
For more here, or to learn about any of our classic car restoration products and equipment, speak to the experts at Andersen Restoration Parts today.