Classic Cars – When it comes to road safety, your tires are the best place to start. Over the years, there has been a tire revolution. Tires are no longer nearly smooth; they have lots of tread depth for maximum traction on the road. This is a necessity for not only staying safe on the road, but to give you a more comfortable driving experience as well.
Nowadays, you have a whole range of tires to choose from. From winter tires, to well-designed Lionhart tires, you always have a multitude of options. Unless you have a classic car, that is.
Classic cars need a special type of tire in order to be able to drive properly. We’ll be taking a look into why that is and what kind of tires you’ll need for your classic car.
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Difference between Classic Car tires and Modern Tires
Classic cars typically run on a tire called bias-ply tires. This tire is made up of lots of different cords that overlap each other to form the tire. The layers are called plies which is where the tires get their name from.
These plies are attached to beads on the tire and it’s this combination of different surfaces that helps the car turn safely.
The difference with today’s tires is quite significant. The tires we use now are called radial tires and their pattern is different to that of a bias-ply tire. Bias-ply tires have their beads running in a diagonal motion, whereas a radial tire has them running at 90-degree angles.
This changes the way in which the car drives. The radial tires have a lot more give in them which means that they usually provide drivers with a more comfortable ride.
They also make a difference to road safety as well. The radial tires provide more grip on the road and aren’t as badly impacted by heat, so you know you’re going to brake properly and be safer on a longer journey.
The reason for this is that we are now used to driving for much greater distances. In the time that these classic cars were made, cars were more of a luxury, and you wouldn’t be driving them too far. In modern times, we’ve come to be more reliant on cars which means that they in turn have had to become more reliable.
Why do Classic Cars need Classic Tires?
So, why can’t we just fit the classic cars with some modern tires? You’d think this would be an improvement but instead, the opposite is true.
Due to the extra traction of the modern tires, their braking is more powerful. This might sound like a good thing, but it causes a lot of issues for the car.
The extra braking power means that more pressure is put on the car’s suspension and chassis. This can cause the tires to lose those elements that make them safer. It puts more pressure on the tire which can cause them to crack whilst you’re driving.
Although the advancements in tires have been useful for modern cars, they cannot be transferred onto classic cars seamlessly. So, despite classic car tires having their own issues, these issues cannot be solved by adding a modern tire to them.
One way to resolve this issue is to adjust the suspension on the classic car to match up with the modern tires. This way, you can still upgrade the tires to a more reliable radial tire without worrying about the car and its suspension.
However, this is a big upgrade for anyone to take on and could become expensive. And if you’re only driving your classic car around the town, it shouldn’t be necessary.
Classic cars are beautiful and can be a joy to drive around in. The best way to make sure that your tires are sufficient for your car is to have them checked regularly so you can continue to enjoy your driving experience.