New Tires For Classic Cars
by Pat Goss
Goss: John, lots of folks are into restoring antique collectible cars, they build hotrods, all kinds of things. But when they get all done, they may have a problem, and that is what to do with the tires and wheels to make the car look authentic or give it that look that they want. And to help us with that, we have Mr. Corky Coker of Coker Tire.
Coker: Hi, Pat.
Goss: Hi. Tell me, what do you do?
Coker: Pat, I’ve got the best job in the world. I get to fool with old cars, collector cars and hotrods, antique motorcycles, and provide vintage, original rubber for those guys.
Goss: Hmm. Tell us, we’ve got a lot of displays here. Let’s start with this right here.
Coker: This is our Coker Classic wide whitewall radial. We were the first to do a wide whitewall radial. We’ve got a variety of sizes in this. And this is a special tire because collectors like this ‘56 Vicky, they get to have the modern technology of a radial and the old original look with the wide white.
Goss: Now, as opposed to bias, what are they going to feel in the car with the radial?
Coker: Well, a bias ply tire is a stronger carcass than a radial tire. So consequently, the original car, like this ‘56 Vicky right here, will be pushed around on the road by the bumps. So it gives you the feel that the car’s wandering. It might be tight in the front end, but it still wanders because of the bias ply. A radial tire, because the radial cords are from side to side, it will flex right over those bumps, giving you a smooth, straight ride.
Goss: Much more like a newer car.
Coker: That’s correct.
Goss: All right. You’ve got some interesting wheels here.
Coker: Well, thank you. We’ve got original wires, hotrod wires, Jennies, etc. And we sell them with the wide whitewall radials. We’ll mount them and balance them and supply the complete assembly.
Goss: Give them the look that they want.
Coker: The look that they want.
Goss: All right, now here’s something that looks right out of my past. I used to be into muscle cars and restoring them and so on. What have we got?
Coker: GTOs, Camaros, Chevelles, Barracudas, all those came original equipment with Firestone Super Sport wide ovals. Those are available in redlines and raised white letters. For the guys that have a muscle car and they want their car to look exactly right. [right]
Goss: Ah, love it! All right, B.F. Goodrich here. [left]
Coker: Yeah, that’s a 670-15 B.F. Goodrich Silvertown. We have 80 sizes available for cars from 1800’s all the way up to the ‘70s.
Goss: Ooh, that’s a lot of territory.
Coker: That’s a lot of tires.
Goss: But I’ve got to ask, this is one chunk of tire.
Coker: That’s a big honkin’ tire right there, Pat, I’ll tell you. That’s our Pro-Trac. That tire fits on hotrods, tubbed out rears, T-buckets. We sell them a lot for hotrods.
Goss: Hmm. It puts a lot of rubber onto the road.
Coker: Absolutely, and they smoke good, too.
Goss: I’ll bet they do. Corky, thank you.
Coker: Thank you for having me, Pat.