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 sales@vintagetyres.com.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Its Classic Tyre Safety Season at Vintage Tyres!

We have launched a major campaign this spring in order to raise awareness of classic car tyre safety.
The issue was brought to a head when we analysed tyres recently replaced in our fitting bays and discovered that more than half the tyres removed were over 30 years old! Many also contained tubes of a similar age.
Following several reported incidents of fatalities related to the use of old tyres, the British Association of Rubber Manufacturers stated that “If a tyre is six years old and unused it should not be put into service; and in ideal conditions a tyre has a maximum lifespan of ten years.”
Old unused tyres can of course look like new - particularly if they are described as such; however the degrading process will continue unseen and once fitted the dynamic input often leads to sidewall cracking, delamination and ultimately catastrophic failure. Whilst a lot of the tyres in our survey appeared to be sound and some even had good tread depth, the performance of older tyres in terms of braking, grip and wet weather performance - or simply the ability to cope with the heat and stresses generated by running a tyre - is dangerously reduced.
As part of the campaign, we are carrying out free tyre inspections at our base in Beaulieu, open to any owners of classic vehicles. Our tyre experts will check the general tyre condition as well as the all important age of the tyre; and we will also be happy to fit and balance for free any tyres that need replacing.
For more information visit www.vintagetyres.com, email sales@vintagetyres.com or call Paul in our workshop on 01590 612261.
If you can’t get to Beaulieu for your free tyre inspection, we have also produced a leaflet covering classic tyre safety, which we will be happy to send you free of charge.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

CAMAC tyres are back!

Vintage Tyres are pleased to announce that we are now exclusive distributors of the Camac range of classic crossply and radial tyres. This will be good news for many 50s, 60s and 70s classic car owners who will remember fitting them to their Beetles, Minis, Cortinas, Anglias and many many more.

The Portuguese factory ceased all production back in 2008, but following major restructuring last year, resumed limited tyre production. As you would expect from a European tyre manufacturer all tyres comply with current EC requirements and are now available exclusively from Vintage Tyre Supplies.

The range includes everything from 560-15 tyres; the original tyres for VW Beetles and lots of other European cars which have been hard to find in recent years; right up to 900-16 (900x16) Nato Pattern tyres, suitable for Forward Control/101 Land Rovers!

The range includes……

In Crossply; 520-10, 550-12, 520-13, 560-13, 590-13, 640-13, 725-13, 560-15, 670-15, 600-16, 700-16 and 900-16

And in Radial……

145R10, 165/70R10, 135R12, 145R14, 185HR14, 195/70HR14, 205/70HR14.

Contact us now to find out more!