Thursday, 10 July 2014

Looking for a job in the Classic Car industry? We are looking for an export sales executive to help develop our overseas business

Our business is expanding and we are now looking for an ambitious and enthusiastic “hands on” sales person to join our team.

The successful applicant must be a French speaker and should ideally be a classic car enthusiast, hold a full driving licence and be computer literate with sales experience.  We attend a number of weekend events throughout the year so the applicant will be expected to travel as part of a team in this country and abroad.

To find out more about this opportunity, send your CV, outlining any experiences or attributes that would make you the ideal candidate for this role, to; - Mr C Marchant, at   or post to: Vintage Tyre Supplies, at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Hants SO42 7ZN .

Friday, 28 February 2014

Jaguar E-Type Tyres - the best Tyres for a Jaguar XK-E from Vintage Tyres for Classic Tyres

General Thoughts
The first thing to remember is that with the E-type, Jaguar was revolutionary and pushed the boundaries of what a British car could do in a way not often seen.  They chose partners to work with to develop components that were beyond the competition in order to make the E-type the sensation it was.  When it came to tyres, at this time Jaguar formed a close alliance with Dunlop.  Together they chose the Aquajet, code named CB73, it was “state of the art” and a truly iconic tyre design of the 60s and 70s, and it offered performance for the E-type in excess of the competition.  For this reason, in most cases it is hard to recommend anything beyond a Dunlop for an E-type – they go together like bread and butter, and are usually the best choice, it was after all “the tyre Jaguar chose”; though we also supply direct from the manufacturers Avons, Michelins, Vredeteins and many more.
 For general road use we believe it is a  mistake to “over-tyre” an XKE – whilst it makes sense to fit a 185VR15 radial to your series 1 instead of a the crossplys if you drive your car regularly and prefer it on radials; on any e-type wide or low profile tyres will not only ruin the ride and handling, but will not work so well with the suspension systems and will often foul.

Specific choices
When the series 1 E-type came out, it was fitted with crossply tyres, and if authenticity in both appearance and performance on an early car is important, then there really is only one choice – the Dunlop Roadspeed RS5 was the OE tyre, and is now the only crossply with appropriate performance capabilities for an XKE and is still available today.
When refining the series 2, Dunlop worked closely with Jaguar for development of the CB73 (known as the aquajet thanks to its unique water clearing ducts that “pump” up to a gallon of water a second away from the contact patch).  It was chosen by Jaguar as the best choice radial when the cars were new, and it still is today – still made in the original moulds in England, these days updated with modern compounds and rated V(150mph) for speed thanks to continued development, and thanks to its popularity it can be made in larger batches than the other options, keeping the price competitive. 
It is a similar story when it comes to the series 3 V12 E-type  - Jaguar chose Dunlop to develop the “ER70R15” version of the aquajet, and it remains a supreme choice for these cars today.
There is more information on the Aquajet in a blog post here:
There are other period choices for your series 2- The Avon Turbosteel is a V rated steel belted radial made in the England and a good alternative, while the Pirelli Cinturato is an older design at a higher price than the correct tyre.  The 185HR15 Vredestein is a European made tyre at a good price, whilst owners of US spec cars may wish to fit a white or red band tyre, and the Universal option is the one to go for in these cases as it has a pattern reminiscent of the original equipment tyre.
There are several high performance tyres available for the series 3 – whilst the Dunlop remains the tyre of choice, in the equivalent 205/70VR15 size Avon make the CR28 in England at a great price; the Michelin XWX whilst not an original pattern has high performance, as does the Vredestein, though both of these options are fairly expensive. 
If you race or hillclimb your E-type then the Avon CR6zz is an excellent choice.  Retaining a period tread pattern, the internal design of these tyre by Avon Motorsport is actually very high tech, using modern design elements such as steel breakers and modern compounds to offer excellent performance and grip.  Bear in mind that whilst road legal this tyre is designed primarily for motorsport, and therefore no compromise is made when it comes to longevity and wear.

Series 1

Original Equipment, Only Suitable Crossply, Made in England
Some people prefer to fit a radial these days
Series 2

Original Equipment, Best Appearance, Recently Upgraded and Very High Performance,
Popularity ensures larger volumes so excellent price, Made in England
High performance, period appearance, made in England
Jaguar chose Dunlop
High performance
Later tread pattern (introduced in 70s), more expensive than Dunlop and Avon,
Kerbing Rib
Lower speed rating than some, Later tread pattern, more expenisve than Dunlop and Avon, J
Period appearance
Older design of radial, high price,
Competitive price, Made in Europe (Holland)
Lower speed rating than some
Available with Red or White Band, Appearance
Lower speed rating than some
Series 3

Original Equipment, Best Appearance, Recently Upgraded and Very High Performance,
Popularity ensures larger volumes so excellent price, Made in England
Made in England, High Performance, Good Price
Later tread pattern
High Performance
Later tread pattern
Good performance, Made in Europe (Holland)
Less competive on price than it was,
Period appearance but very high performance for track days and racing as well as road legal
Primarily designed as a race tyre so no compromise made for road use when it comes to wear and longevity

Friday, 21 February 2014

What tyre should I fit to my Jaguar XK - XK120, XK140, XK150?

When considering tyres for your Jaguar XK120, XK140 or XK150 there are plenty of options to consider.  Here are a few thoughts to help you make the right choice.

To summarise:

Crossply or radial?
Crossply tyres offer original specification, looks and performance and lighter handling, but may tramline and wander more than radials.  Radials may make the handling heavier but be more sure footed and closer to your modern car to drive for when you switch to your XK for the weekend!

Crossply choices
Any Jaguar XK would originally have been fitted with Dunlop 600-16 highspeed crossply tyres, and these tyre are still available – The Dunlop Roadspeed RS5.  If authenticity is paramount, this is the tyre to have.  It is also a good choice as it is made in England, and has a high speed rating.  The other crossply tyre to consider would be an Avon Turbospeed; also a period highspeed tyre made in England, it also has the type of tread pattern that an XK would have been fitted at the time.
For race use, the 600-16 Dunlop R5 (not to be confused with the RS5!) is still available – a crossply race tyre that is authentic and still made in England, it is also these days road legal so competitors can drive to the track.  Different competitions have different rules for eligibility – but in those where a crossply tyre is required the best performance comes from a Dunlop.  These days some competitions specify radial options.
Other crossply tyres are available in 600-16, but they are not the best choices for the XK – tyres such as the Waymaster, Avon Tourist, Firestone and Lester have the right dimensions, but are not a suitable speed rating for this sort of car, and are better suited to slower European saloons and American cars from the period.  An XK Jaguar looks right with a crossply that has the sort of pattern of the RS5 or Turbospeed, it would not have had a more aggressive pattern than that for road use and these two are as advanced as crossply tyre design got so offer the best performance of this sort of tyre.

Radial choices

If you choose to fit radials, there is one tyre that stands out..    Avon designed the Turbosteel 185R16 to combine a classic tread pattern with advanced radial technology and high performance, so by choosing this tyre you are getting the best of both worlds.  Not only is it made in England, but its overwhelming popularity enables it to be made in larger production runs, keeping the price lower than the other choices as well.  Vredesteins are a popular choice, as they are a European made tyre with a classic pattern, however Vredestein has increasd the price significantly over recent years, and these tyres have a lower speed rating than some other choices.  Vredestein have sponsored the XK race series for many years.  Michelin’s X has a period radial tread pattern, and tall narrow carcass but its speed rating is lower than appropriate for an XK.  Pirelli’s Cinturato is a period tread pattern with a high speed rating and is popular for its appearance, but it is a less advanced radial than the Avon at a higher price, and this tyre is not E-marked or ECE tested in the way an Avon is.  Michelins Pilote Sport 600R16 is a very high performance tyre, and offers excellent grip, and is popular in races where it is eligible, but at a price.

We have compiled this information into a chart below:
Speed Rating

Period Tyre, Made In England, Suitable Speed Rating, Correct Type of tread pattern

Original Equipment Tyre, Period Tyre, Made In England, Suitable Speed Rating, Correct Type of tread pattern

Period race tyre, best perfoming crossply race tyre
Designed for race use with no compromise so in terms of longevity etc may not be best choice for road

Period tread pattern, classic looks with the best possible performance for an XK – designed by Avon Motorsport in Melksham, Made in England, Its popularity enables larger batches to be produced keeping price lower

Made in Europe (Holland), Good quality, Classic Pattern

Lower speed rating than some other radials, higher price
Period tread pattern, Narrow Carcass

Too low a speed rating for an XK
Period tread pattern, Narrow Carcass, V- speed rating

Price high, older technology radial
Period race-type pattern, highest speed rating, high performance
Higher price, race rather than road tread pattern

Thursday, 1 November 2012

EU TYRE LABELLING - Why our tyres are exempt

This month the new EU law regarding tyre labelling comes into force.  However, any tyre designed for a car introduced before the 1st of October 1990 is EXEMPT - and this includes the vast majority of our range.  Motorcycle tyres are also exempt.  So please remember when you order tyres that they will not have an EU tyre label attached, and there is no requirement for them to do so.

The new law means certain car tyres will have to carry a label which details its results in rolling resistance, wet grip braking and noise level.  The label does not include the many other factors which you should take into consideration when choosing tyres.  These include:
  • Dry handling: Not on label
  • Dry grip (straight line): Not on label
  • Dry grip (circles/cornering): Not on label
  • Wet handling: Not on label
  • Wet grip (circles/cornering): Not on label
  • Resistance to aquaplaning (straight/curved): Not on label
  • High-speed stability: Not on label
  • Interior noise: Not on label
  • Tread wear: Not on label 
  • Authenticity: Not on Label 
  • Appropriate speed and load rating: Not on Label
  • Appropriate fitment: Not on Label
At Vintage Tyres we have years of experience in supplying tyres for all sorts of vehicles, and our highly knowledgable staff are able to advise you on the best choice of tyre for your vehicle and its intended use, taking into account all the factors which will play a part.  So if you need help choosing tyres, the best thing to do is to give us a call on +44 (0)1590 612261 or email and let us advise you.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Latest Vintage Tyres Newsletter

Our latest newzletter has recently been sent; if you are not currently on our mailing list you can see it here: Vintage Tyres Winter 2012 Newsletter.
The newsletter has a roundup of news from Vintage Tyres - everything from new tyres and our new website, to the latest show news and Paul's Ford Capri, which you see pictured here with his daughter Chloe!
If you want to keep up to date with all the latest information and offers from Vintage Tyres, then please sign up at the bottom of our homepage

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Happy New Year - Vintage Tyres celebrate our 50th Year

Happy New Year from Vintage Tyres! This is an important year for us, as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. Vintage Tyres was the first company in the world ever set up to be dedicated to supplying tyres for older and specialist vehicles. This is what we have been about from the start, and we are still on the same mission today! It is amazing to think that many of the cars and motorcycles we now supply tyres for were not even in existence when the company was formed! Some other notable events from 1962 include:

  • Graham Hill won the F1 world championship in a BRM
  • Marilyn Monroe died
  • The Rolling Stones were formed
  • John Glen orbits the earth
  • MG launch the MGB, and Triumph the Spitfire

To celebrate this milestone, we will be running events and special offers throughout the year, so keep your eyes on, and this blog to be informed.

One event the planning is already well underway for is the Vintage Tyres New Forest Classic Car Run. This will be held on the 13th of May 2012, in cooperation with Southampton Magna Rotary Club, and is open to all cars and light commercial vehicles registered before 1976. Taking in much of the beautiful countryside around our base at Beaulieu, it will be an event not to be missed, and will raise money for several charities including CLIC Sargent, for children with cancer. Please email us on to find out more.

We hope 2012 is as eventful and interesting for all our customers as it will be for us!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Vintage Tyre Dilemma - When to reintroduce tyres! by Chris

As a company dedicated to providing authentic- and whenever possible original- products, we are regularly approached by customers eager to find that rare and elusive tyre, such as the original Lotus Elan Dunlop SP Sport or the metric tyre fitted to some of the later Jaguar XJ range. Luckily in most cases we can supply it off the shelf or at the very least have a good alternative, however there are some rare times when a solution simply doesn’t exist, and that’s when our dilemma kicks in - should we commission new production? We’ve been here many times before and will undoubtedly visit many times in the future, our successes are fitted to classic cars and bikes all over the world, from the original 1948 Landrover tyre, to the tiny 8” tyre used on WW2 Corgi Paratrooper bikes so we are no strangers to the problem.

Our current dilemma is the Dunlop SP44 “Weathermaster”; in particular the small 10” diameter tyre that was offered by Dunlop in the 70’s for rally Minis, originally in a 145R10 and later in the larger 165/70R10. That’s the first problem- if were going to get it made, which size? Tyre moulds and specialist tyre building equipment can easily set you back £20k so it’s important to get it right. How many could we actually sell? The conversation usually goes something like this…..”I’m looking for the original Dunlop tyre for my 1905 Alldays and Onions, oh! You haven’t got one in stock? I am surprised; can you get them made? I’m sure you’d sell thousands of them!”

This is really when the work starts, letters, editorials, advertisement and endless research all with the aim of assessing the demand, and of course the correct specification, because it’s unlikely that a mould drawing still exists. But with time and a well polished crystal ball a true picture will emerge, and then all that remains is the job of persuading a mainstream manufacturer that it will be worth their while making the commitment for perhaps 250 tyres,

So if you’re interested in Dunlop SP 44’s please let us know, we’d love to hear from you. It is our mission to maintain the most complete range of classic tyres in the world, so if there is anything you are in need of get in contact. If there is a demand, we may be able to have it made! Our number is 0044 1590 612261, or email us on