Chris these are just different marketing areas.
The importer in your neck of the woods may think they have a large enough market to import these Toyos. The US importers think differently.
Goodyear sent me a weighted map of market sizes.
The LA map, just Los Angeles, is larger then all of Europe.
What that means simply is that LA minimum order rmay be 1,000 tires of one size while Europe may be 100.
The cost to a manufacturer like Pirelli to make a run of 285-50-15s of 100 at a time isn't attractive enough to put them on a regular schedule.
I think what has happened is that there certainly are thousands of "classic" cars still running that need 15" tires but their usage is so small mileage wise that they only need tires every 10 years and that's just because of dry rot on the rubber, not wear.
My personal feeling is that although P7's are what I have on the car, they aren't worth $500 each.
When they were $250 each, it was even marginal then. It isn't that good of a tire to begin with.
It tends to be a hot weather tire and the treads are slick and the tire is hard riding under 50 degrees.
At 40 degrees F, you park the car. They act alot like race tires and at that temperature you just can't get them hot and sticky. They are slick just like you are driving on snow.
They are ok if you live in Florida, Texas or southern California where you get a lot of sun and the road surface is hot, but up here in the Northeast, that's a different story.
We don't see the sun for months at a time.
The tires on my Shelby GT350 are BFG Radial T/As. They are fine for what I use the car for including high speed events. They are consistent and predictable and not scary at all. They see 140 more then you would think.
Like any tire, you need to know what it's limits are and how to inflate them.
In my opinion, none of them are what you want to drive fast with in the rain, and they have treads. What do you do with these street legal race tires with one or two water grooves? You can't even pick the spot where you want to run off of the road with them. The car picks it's own.
There is more to it in picking a tire then just size and speed ratings. The rubber compound is very important if you drive your car.
It's just my opinion but it is too dangerous for the average guy to use these street legal "race tires" on the street.
It is just an unsafe situation and public safety is at stake.
Most drivers, even driving enthusiasts are better off with a proven all around tire.
The alternative would be to have multiple sets of tires for different road conditions and change them as the road conditions change.
Maybe you can have your pit crew follow you in a chase truck and when you pit for gas, do a tire change too?
That's kind of impractical if you are taking the car on any kind of an extended trip.
If you want to debate which tire is best, fine, but let's start out with the original Goodyear Arrivas and see how far technology has come with them?
It might be surprising that it hasn't changed all that much.