By Martin Alva - December 19, 2018
Choosing The Perfect Tyre For Your Classic
You cannot explain the inevitable dilemma of choosing the right tyres for your classic. However, a wrong decision is most likely to haunt you someday down the line.
Aesthetics, practicality and technicality go hand in hand when deciding the right set of tyres for your classic. For starters, tyres are not just big black round (expensive) things. Just as one wears the right shoes for an occasion a car needs the right tyres too. However, things might get a little puzzling when it comes to classics.
Like any other components tyres, age and they age fast. Elements from the tyre begin to leach out from day one, which is additionally encouraged by UV light, heat and rain. This will happen even if the tyre is never used. Initially, the loss is minimal, but the deterioration accelerates after four or so years. Ideally, a tyre can be best used for six years at the most.
A tyre’s age is conveyed by a series of numbers – usually the month and year of manufacture. For those made during the nineties, the last three digits tell of the month and year of the nineties. Thus ‘078’ relates as the seventh month in 1998. The sideways triangle was used to illustrate the nineties. But that is of no interest to us. If your classic sports such tyres the first thing is to consign it to the recycling bin. New markings appeared after 2000 with now four-digit numbers showing the month followed by the year. This time ‘0703’ means month seven, 2003.
Surprisingly, tyres are insurance companies’ favourite get out of jail card. Every tyre has a prescribed speed limit past which any accidents goes uncovered by the insurance companies.
Speed ratings as applied to the classic car are rated in SR, HR and VR, where SR is essentially for low-performance cars. HR tyres can cope with speeds up to 210kph, while VR is limited to 240kph. This does not mean the speed that you choose to travel at but the speed at which the vehicle is capable of. Modern ratings start at L – 120kph and move to Y – 300kph+.
Everything about your tyres boils down to the way you take care of it. Regular inspection is vital, especially when your classic is regularly used. Too much wear in the centre is an over-inflated tyre, while conversely too much on the edges is an under-inflated tyre. Irregular wear on one side or feathering points towards steering geometry and suspension issues. Either way specialist help should be sought.
At the Collectors’ Workshop in Dubai, we specialise in repairing, maintaining and restoring classic cars and high-end exotics and performance cars. If you are looking for a reliable car garage in Dubai, come visit us for a coffee sometime and let’s discuss your requirements.