Sticky #7: Tires for OEM 15 inch wheels

That size you are looking for is the Pirelli which hasn't been made in years.

Your best choices right now in the US are BFG 295-50-15 or Mickey Thompson LT 26-12R15.

Not to step on anyones action but buying new tires that are three years old or older is risky.

Particularly with high performance tires.

Depending on the quantity of anti oxidation chemicals in the rubber compound, the treads dry and crack.

The danger is of a high speed blowout by anything over 10 mph can be an issue also.

I have had chunks of the tread missing starting right around the three year old level.

Check the manufacturing date in the tire.

No matter how you take care of them, it doesn't matter. There is a time clock running on tires as soon as they come out of the mold.

Makes no sense in trying to save tread on them. Might as well just go out and burn them up.

The BFG's and the P7's are both susceptible to this drying out of the treads and cracking.

The P7's in my opion were only a good deal when they were more reasonably priced.

To pay over $400 per tire for them is foolish. They aren't the great of a design. The rubber compound sucks.

They are hard and do not stick well at all.

Where do you feel that you need a V rating? Where are you going to go 149 mph? Tell me please? I want to drive there too?

Go with the Mickey Thompsons. They are $233 each, which is what I payed for the P7's.
To quickly get an idea what tire availability is in any size, I use the "search for tires by size" feature at two on-line tire shops.

Tire Rack.com/

On Line Tires.com/

Tires in the original European GTS sizes were 225/50R15 front tires, 285/50R15 rear tires. Tires in the the original rear tire size aren't available, everybody substitutes 295/50R15.

If we ignore racing tires and tires rated LT for light trucks I found 5 tires in the 225/50R15 front tire size, having H, V or Y speed ratings. I also found 5 tires in the 295/50R15 rear tire size, unfortunately all of them were only speed rated S. Selecting the same make and model tires in the front as you select for the rear is not possible in these sizes.

-G
Tires to maximize 15" wheels are difficult if you require speed-rated tires and/or matching fronts & rears. Hoosier makes a couple, Avon of England makes some and a few Pantera vendors have some Pirellis in stock; none that I know of are 285-50 x 15, though. The slightly wider 295-50s are sometimes available as are slightly narrower 275-55 x 15". Expect to pay upwards of $400 per rear tire at best, and there may be a waiting period. Tire mfg is spotty ate best for performance 15". Try calling around- I know PPC-Carson City, NV (www.panteraparts.com) has some sources, as this comes up constantly. But its a very small market so the mfgrs do nothing.
There are some possibilities out there.

Michelin's TB series:

http://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/page/michelin-tb5

Pirelli's P7 Corsa:

http://www.pirelli.com/tyre/ww...7_corsa_classic.html

And Hoosier's R6:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/...Hoosier&tireModel=R6

I've only used the R6 and they are fine on the street. They need a few minutes to warm up but are great after that initial period.

I would consider one of these three before any of the other older, less sporting tires that have been suggested.

LS
I've only driven a car equipped with S rated BFG T/As once. It was terrifying.

I sourced a set of new Z rated Yoko AVS intermediates for my car last year. These are recent production and were stored properly (sealed up) before use.

Their performance is nothing short of sensational at triple digit speeds.

When it comes time to replace, I will try the Michelin TB-5R next. I would like to get a tire with more recent development and technology on the car.

LS
quote:
Originally posted by lashss:
I've only driven a car equipped with S rated BFG T/As once. It was terrifying.

I sourced a set of new Z rated Yoko AVS intermediates for my car last year. These are recent production and were stored properly (sealed up) before use.

Their performance is nothing short of sensational at triple digit speeds.

When it comes time to replace, I will try the Michelin TB-5R next. I would like to get a tire with more recent development and technology on the car.

LS


The Yokos are nice tires BUT there are tires that even though they have DOT numbers on them and are street legal, have a very limited window of opportunity for street use.

For one thing, tire compound on some of these tires is designed for use within a narrow temperature range.

Many of them will become lethal as the temperature drops and by the time you reach under about 40 F can no longer be driven safely.

It's your money. Spend it how you choose to.
I have used a number of different R compound tires on the street over the years. Yoko A008 RS, Toyo RA1, Conti Grand Am Slicks, Hoosier A6 and most recently the Hoosier R6 and Toyo R888.

Only the Conti and the Hoosier R6 needed any real attention when cold. The others warmed up quickly.

I never really drive cars hard when the tires are cold. I always wait for water temp, oil temp, etc. to climb and by then the tires are warm also.

When warm, these R compounds will absolutely outperform any street tire to the point where I can't imagine driving a performance car without them. The warm performance benefit greatly outweighs any minimal extra care needed when cold.

I had a set of BFG Comp T/A 60 series tires on my old GT350. I switched to Toyo RA1s and it transformed the car. I now run R888s on it and have been similarly pleased.

Apparently the Michelin TBs last 3k miles of mixed use and have a modern tech R compound?

I believe our prayers have been answered.

LS
Sorry to hear you can't get the Toyo's where you are, had mine fited today and look great. Am trying not to gloat here. But very relieved that i managed to get some with no dificulty here in New Zealand.
And to rub it in I live in a small country town.
good luck with your serach.

Cj
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.
PanteraDoug, no use for V rated tires?

Under 40 degree "driving" days?

No sun for months?

You're not selling NY very well to car people!

Smiler

I do agree with your statement about R compounds not being suitable for average drivers. At the same time I'm hoping the typical Detomaso driver is above average in their skill considering the power and chassis layouts involved.

If you drive your car only a few thousand miles a year, primarily during the warmer, salt free months and not in standing water, R compounds are a fine.

They become even more attractive if you really enjoy the increased performance in spirited driving.

I will never go back to street tires for my fun cars.

Just offering another perspective that brings three new tire options to the 15" dilemma.

LS
quote:
Originally posted by lashss:
PanteraDoug, no use for V rated tires?

Under 40 degree "driving" days?

No sun for months?

You're not selling NY very well to car people!

Smiler

I do agree with your statement about R compounds not being suitable for average drivers. At the same time I'm hoping the typical Detomaso driver is above average in their skill considering the power and chassis layouts involved.

If you drive your car only a few thousand miles a year, primarily during the warmer, salt free months and not in standing water, R compounds are a fine.

They become even more attractive if you really enjoy the increased performance in spirited driving.

I will never go back to street tires for my fun cars.

Just offering another perspective that brings three new tire options to the 15" dilemma.

LS


The truth hurts. Southern California is the place to be for high performance cars NOT NY.

You really need winter compound tires here for the cold weather months.

Some days the high for the day is 15. The tires get very hard and will not bite at all in turns.

R compounds have their benefits BUT one needs to know their limitations.

They are at their best on sunny days and temps about 85-90. They can get slick in high heat too.

I prefer not to think about that and just drive the car.

I pretty much know where the limitations are on a street tire but even so they can fool you too.

Even most weekend racers will go with an intermediate and stay with it and drive around it's limitations.

Not to kill any left over positive thoughts of NY further but I can't think of any place withing a hundred miles where I could use the benefits of a comp tire.

There are many places however that will do you in with them.

I wouldn't be any good with them anyway. I just don't get enough practice with them.
PanteraDoug, it sounds weird, but come down to DC for car culture and driving weather.

We typically drive, salt free and reasonably warm from March-mid December.

What are the Toyo Proxes S/T like? That could be a more modern alternative to the Arrivas and BFG balloons?

LS
quote:
Originally posted by lashss:
PanteraDoug, it sounds weird, but come down to DC for car culture and driving weather.

We typically drive, salt free and reasonably warm from March-mid December.

What are the Toyo Proxes S/T like? That could be a more modern alternative to the Arrivas and BFG balloons?

LS


Nah, I always get screwed up on Dupont Cirle and get in the wrong lane. Eeker
quote:
Originally posted by PanteraDoug:


I always get screwed up on Dupont Cirle and get in the wrong lane. Eeker


I was born and raised in the Md. suburbs and know the DC area like the back of my hand. And for those that know about Dupont Circle, THAT statement is fraught with mixed messages !!!!!!!
quote:
Originally posted by snaponbob:
quote:
Originally posted by PanteraDoug:


I always get screwed up on Dupont Cirle and get in the wrong lane. Eeker


I was born and raised in the Md. suburbs and know the DC area like the back of my hand. And for those that know about Dupont Circle, THAT statement is fraught with mixed messages !!!!!!!
Big Grin
quote:
And for those that know about Dupont Circle, THAT statement is fraught with mixed messages !!!!!!!


The neighborhood declined after World War II and particularly after the 1968 riots, but began to enjoy a resurgence in the 1970s, fueled by urban pioneers seeking an alternative lifestyle. The neighborhood took on a bohemian feel and became an area popular among the gay and lesbian community. Along with The Castro in San Francisco, Hillcrest in San Diego, Greenwich Village in New York City, Boystown in Chicago, Oak Lawn in Dallas, Montrose in Houston, and West Hollywood in Los Angeles, Dupont Circle is considered a historic locale in the development of American gay identity. D.C.'s first gay bookstore, Lambda Rising, opened in 1974 and gained notoriety nationwide.[15] In 1975, the store ran the world's first gay-oriented television commercial
The Dupont Circle neighborhood, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is home to numerous embassies, many of which are located in historic residences. The Thomas T. Gaff House serves as the Colombian ambassador's residence, and the Walsh-McLean House is home to the Indonesian embassy.Located east of Dupont Circle on Massachusetts Avenue is the Clarence Moore House, now known as the Embassy of Uzbekistan, and the Emily J. Wilkins House, which formerly housed the Australian embassy and now is occupied by the Peruvian Chancery.
Other landmarks, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, include the International Temple, Embassy Gulf Service Station, Christian Heurich Mansion (also known as Brewmaster's Castle), Whittemore House (headquarters to the Woman's National Democratic Club), and the Phillips Collection, the country's first museum of modern art. The Richard H. Townsend House located on Massachusetts Avenue now houses the Cosmos Club.[24] The Dumbarton Bridge, also known as the Buffalo Bridge, carries Q Street over Rock Creek Park and into Georgetown and was constructed in 1883.[24] The Nuns of the Battlefield sculpture, which serves as a tribute to over 600 nuns who nursed soldiers of both armies during the Civil War was erected in 1924.[26][27] The Mansion on O Street a luxury boutique hotel, private club, events venue and museum has been a fixture in Dupont Circle for over 30 years and includes over 100 rooms and 32 secret doors. The Brickskeller Inn & Bar has long been a popular bar in the neighborhood.
Curiously, one of my last random Detomaso sightings was in Dupont. It was a black L with tinted windows...looked fantastic. Also, one of my first Detomaso sightings was in the south end years ago...red Pre L with black trim. I was in my 308 and we drove alongside each other to Georgetown...sounded amazing.
quote:
Originally posted by lashss:
Curiously, one of my last random Detomaso sightings was in Dupont. It was a black L with tinted windows...looked fantastic. Also, one of my first Detomaso sightings was in the south end years ago...red Pre L with black trim. I was in my 308 and we drove alongside each other to Georgetown...sounded amazing.


He was probably looking for new tires there?
Hoosier makes a 245 and a 275 in 15" diameters. These may be a good choice for those running 8s and 10s on a narrow body car.

If anyone wants to try the Hoosier R6s without splurging for a new set, JB Racing Tires has used ones for $50-80.

I've used them before when experimenting with unfamiliar tires.

Jb Racing Tires
John & Mike
4985 Hwy 50
Delavan WI 53115
Office: 262-740-0180
Cell: 262-903-4235
Web-site: www.jbracingtires.net
They do have DOT stamps on them...so up to the officer to decide. I live in an area where they are lenient with antique vehicles.

We also have an avg 44 week driving season, warm temps, nice roads within 15 miles of downtown, thousands of exotics, multiple car shows each weekend, no emissions testing, cheap antique car registration...sorry will stop there.

LS
Has anyone tired these Hoosiers?
http://www.hoosiertire.com/strttire.htm

I've never heard of them before (this "Pro-Street Radial" line, not Hoosier). There look to be some sizes that may be suitable (if a bit "tall") for Panteras with wider 15" dia. wheels. They are H-speed rated and ARE DOT Highway (but NOT racing) approved.

See flyer:
http://www.hoosiertire.com/pdfs/prostr.pdf

In typical Hoosier fashion, the sizes are not normal P-Metric, but inch-height-width sizing.

Mark

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