Reply To: What do you use for tires?
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Virgil & Sue Klein
Originally a ’54 Merc had 7.10X15 tires with a recommended tire pressure of 23-25 lbs. When the “alphabet” sizes came along the 7.10X15 was a G so a G78X15 tire was the proper size. These were all bias ply tires. Tire conversion charts for the metrics show a 205/75R 15 as the same size.
I have a ’55 with the same tire size recommended. I use a Firestone FR721 (their name for the tire has nothing to do with size) in a 225/75R15. This is of course a radial tire. I do not personally care for the wide whites on these cars which was original style equipment and this is why I purchased the Firestones. They have a white wall that is 1.5″ wide. I like the black between the wheel and the whitewall. Your personal preference for originality is very important.
As I recall they were not overly expensive. If you go to Coker tires for the original wide white and tread design in a radial tire they will be very expensive.
There is no doubt that the radial tires will make for a MUCH better handling car. The choice is yours: stick with bias ply and keep the originality but give up handling; use an original type tire in a radial and spend a bunch of money; go to a later model radial that gives up the originality.
If you are concerned about judging of your car, IMOA does not do “Concourse judging” at its events so as I long as the tires are clean and the proper size it is not a problem. If, however, you are going to events that do concourse judging then whitewall width, tread design, and construction can become an issue.
Hope this helps.
Head judge IMOA