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Thread: The History and Evolution of the white wall tire.

  1. #1
    Carlow
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    The History and Evolution of the white wall tire.

    I am working on a wheel/tire project right now and I am wanting to gather/learn all I can on the history or evolution of the white wall tire. I want to know what was available from 1950 until present day and how/when it evolved into double and triple white walls and what years each evolution was available (start to end) including red walls. I am especially interested in the details on what was available between 1968 to 1975, but for the sake of the thread lets put as much history of the white wall tire and its many form the 50's to present day. Thanks

  2. #2
    ♠ LBCC High Desert ♠

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    I'm pretty sure that the first skinny whitewall tire came out around 1960. They were a lil over an inch wide. Watson ran a set on his Brougham, one of the first customs to do so:



    That's about as far as my tire history goes that's of any use what so ever.

  3. #3
    ♠ LBCC High Priest ♠

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    I think one of the first cars to come from the factory with a skinnier white was the '61 Impala SS. 1962 is the year that most folks credit with small whites becoming mainstream on new vehicles.

    The era from '68-75 is pretty much anything goes. Mid '60s stripes were a little wider (approx 5/8) and the tires were skinnier with less tread width. Around '67 the stripe size went down to a true pinner (approx 3/8) when the tires got fatter (more tread width and squarer profile), but I'm pretty sure sizes from the gangster wides to the medium (1") to doubles and triples were all available through the aftermarket. Around 1970-72 many cars came from the factory with double stripes, pretty much every Pontiac brochure shot from 1970 shows them.
    Tradition didn't end in 1964

  4. #4
    Harvey's Front Row

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    Larry Watson told me that one very popular trend(in his circle) in the 60's was to take the triple whitewall and black out the third stripe to make it a double. He cited Don Loster's 59 Ford as an example. Not sure the exact date, but he said it was before double whites were available. He said "WE created the double whitewall. Them sonsabitches paid attention."
    "Your car is so low, Bill Hines has to duck to get in." - Trent Sherrill

  5. #5
    ♠ LBCC High Priest ♠

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    If you're looking for a '68-75 look that is the least controversial, tires like Firestone Wide Ovals or Goodyear Polyglas with the pin white would have been period correct and readily available throughout that era.
    Tradition didn't end in 1964

  6. #6
    Harvey's Front Row

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasputin View Post
    If you're looking for a '68-75 look that is the least controversial, tires like Firestone Wide Ovals or Goodyear Polyglas with the pin white would have been period correct and readily available throughout that era.
    Boom! What did I tell you Matt! "Like then ones on Corvettes". That was my layman's way of saying what harry said. Haha.
    "Your car is so low, Bill Hines has to duck to get in." - Trent Sherrill

  7. #7
    ♠ LBCC High Desert ♠

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    Here's one of the best online sources for vintage style tires that I've come across:

    http://www.widewhitetires.com/

    A couple examples off the site that I think fit the bill




  8. #8
    ♠ LBCC East ♠

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    Interesting thread.
    I always dug these with the whitewall and checkered stripe, but don't know much about them.


    As far as factory optional stuff, this whitewall with the red band was an option for the 1965 Thunderbird, I think it might have been that year only?


    Of course factory stuff is gonna be much easier to nail down exact dates on.
    '71 Lincolns were the first American made car sold with Radials I think?

    Some of the different sized band triple whites are pretty cool, I believe they're from the early 70s.

  9. #9
    ♠ LBCC High Desert ♠

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    Nappy, are those T-Bird tires yours???

  10. #10
    ♠ LBCC East ♠

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    Yeah, I think Steamboat saw them on Craigslist a few years ago and sent the link & I picked them up. They're 15s. If I ever finish my '61 Bird I might use 'em on it.

  11. #11
    Harvey's Front Row

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    Diamondback cuts whites whichever way ya want

  12. #12
    ♠ LBCC High Desert ♠

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nappy View Post
    Yeah, I think Steamboat saw them on Craigslist a few years ago and sent the link & I picked them up. They're 15s. If I ever finish my '61 Bird I might use 'em on it.
    If you ever want to part with em, let me know

  13. #13
    ♠ LBCC High Priest ♠

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    Tradition didn't end in 1964

  14. #14
    Harvey's Front Row

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    Anyone know when the Goodyear Super Cushion was most popular? And when it died out? The one with the crust that are super spread out. I call them pleats. They also have little diamonds along the whitewall. I keep staring at them and I think I'm in love.

    Like these.
    "Your car is so low, Bill Hines has to duck to get in." - Trent Sherrill

  15. #15
    ♠ LBCC High Priest ♠

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    Looking at the sidewall shape I'd speculate that those are pre-'67 but could have been any year really.

    There were so many obscure aftermarket tires that it can be a bummer that there are only a few select styles that are reproduced. Driving on ancient rubber is a drag and is scary.



    IMO one of the best looking custom car tires EVER was the US Royal Master. Came out around '59 and like that Super Cushion pictured above, they're gigantic.




    Other offbrand tires had neat little design features to them also. Like the stripe-and-dash style Nappy pictured above.


    My Seiberling double stripes have a neat braid design molded into the sidewall between the stripes and the tread:
    Tradition didn't end in 1964

  16. #16
    ♠ LBCC High Priest ♠

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    Another one of my favorite designs, double pinners with diamonds in between. I think this ad was from around '72.

    Tradition didn't end in 1964

  17. #17
    ♠ LBCC East ♠

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    I think they ran set of these

    On Barris' Golden Sahara for a very brief time. Not at all practical, but they'd be cool to cruise every now and again.


    I always liked the cheater slicks with checkered flags in the tread too, on the right car. They had a pretty cool sidewall pattern too.

  18. #18
    ♠ LBCC High Priest ♠

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    There are virtually no limits to the wackyness of obscure off-brand tires.




    Tradition didn't end in 1964

  19. #19
    ♠ LBCC High Desert ♠

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    My dad told me once that the Super Cushions came on '57 Chevy's when they were new.

  20. #20
    ♠ PROSPECT ♠

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    i just got onto this thread, but already im in love... in love with the tire options as much as i am with theb board and its members; their vast knowledge continually inspires and devistates my thought process... well played.
    spend time, not money

    Driven Not Judged

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