Should I use white tires, or black?

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Steve Jelf
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Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:31 am

I see that as a question with more than one right answer. If my brass era T were a show car and traveled by trailer, maybe I'd pursue the white tire dream. That would be historically authentic and correct. But I want to be like Dean when I grow up. That means lots of driving and lots of miles. My white tire fling was mighty short because the tires were NOS and country roads ate them up lickity split. But even if they had been new, they wouldn't have matched black tires for wear. That's why tires became black a hundred or so years ago. When my 1915 Ford was a ten-year-old used car it most likely would have been wearing black tires. So...

IMG_0463 copy.JPG
It did look nice in white...

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...but I'll travel in black.
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Tim Rogers
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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Tim Rogers » Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:35 am

Black Tires Matter!
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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by John Codman » Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:10 am

I agree with the above post. If you have nothing better to do then clean tires, get the whites; otherwise, black is beautiful.


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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by DHort » Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:16 am

Once you've tried black, you'll never go back. At least that is what they all say here in Milwaukee.


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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Norman Kling » Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:35 am

The black ones last much longer. Now, there are white sidewalls. Those have black treads which last longer, but you will spend a lot of time cleaning white tires or white sidewalls. It is my understanding that the original tires were gum rubber and looked about the color of chewing gum. Someone found out that zinc oxide made the tires white and they looked better. Then during the first world war, the source of the zinc was either behind enemy lines or the zinc was used for war effort, so they tried lamp black and found out the tires wear longer with black. So the cars made from the mid teens and later used black tires. And replacement tires for the older models were also black.
Anyway, if it were used exclusively for car shows where you pay to enter and the best cars win a prize, the white would be the way to go, however, for a driver black or white sidewalls would give you less trouble.
Norm

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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by VowellArt » Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:30 pm

Steve, you running Wards Riverside? Been thinking of those also...my Canadian Goodyear's are about shot (only been on the car for 40 years), time to look for a new set of wheel skins. I like the price of the Wards (not so much where they're made though) as opposed to the other prepro brands, I mean why buy Firestone's when they're not made by Firestone, because they have the look of the original? Nope not me, I'm shopping on the right hand side of menu, whatever is cheapest wins. So, how do those Wards wear, I know you put them on you 23, but I also know you drive the 15 more, sooo, how they doing?
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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Allan » Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:40 pm

Martynn, lowest price is not necessarily best value. If Blockley tyres at a 20% price premium give only 50% more service than the junk sold today, you are way in front, plus you get to punish the purveyors/suppliers of the cheap stuff, the quality of which they refuse to improve.
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Steve Jelf
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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Steve Jelf » Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:18 am

Yes, I'm running Riversides. I assume they are no better or worse than the other clinchers sold by US dealers, as they are all from the same factory. I believe the only differences among most clinchers are name and price, not quality. The tires on my 1915 have been on both trips to Detroit and back, plus a couple of Kansas tours, and they appear to have enough tread for that much more driving. When it's time to replace them I intend to try Blockleys. I believe Seamus is currently running Blockleys on his 1914. He makes trips of several hundred miles at a time, so by the time I'm ready for new tires I expect to have a report on how his are doing.
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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Susanne » Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:15 pm

It all depends on the vintage of your Riversides... I ran those on the back of my car until they started to seperate, those were darned fine tires, but eventually (like all rubber) they suffered the effects of age and became unusable. I'm hoping the Blockleys will be up to the task, but we're still waiting on 30x3's to do the change over. Until then we're running our non-skids (as we have for decades) and the whatevers at 30x3 1/2's...

Black or white? I had whites on the front of my car and they seemed to be just fine. The backs - well, I had a set that didn't make 750 miles and they needed to be replaced. The white tires were "sticky" (like drag slick sticky) but they wore out fast... My thought is I'll run black tires and take the 1/2 point deduction for "authentic" because I'd rather drive 'er than museum rot 'er...

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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by VowellArt » Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:23 am

Allan, I just went and looked at those Blockeys on their site, £149.00 ($194.39) sounds fine. but add onto that the bloody vat (Value Added Tax) and it's £178.80 ($233.36)...I suppose if they wear well, that would be worth it. The tires I've got currently are Canadian Goodyear's and been on my car since 1978, will these wear that well I wonder? And they also say you need to use their specially developed tube £29.00 ($37.83) too and with the vat it's £34.80 ($45.40), which are thicker than what you get from the vendors here. But do you also shove in the flaps or does their specifically designed tube alleviate the need too? Just curious.
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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by John Codman » Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:53 am

Flaps are another topic like oil and coolant; you will get a bunch of differing answers.


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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Allan » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:31 pm

Martynn, VAT is not payable on exported products. It's like state sales taxes in the USA. Steve Jelf worked out that the premium on Blockley prices was around 18%. Here in Australia it is about 20%. I agree older tyres wear much better than anything available today. I have 7 T models on old stock tyres made by Dunlop and Olympic, made no later than the early 1970's. The trouble these days is the present marketers will not specify that the tyres they have made meet any real quality standards for tread wear and carcase soundness. Blockley tyres have been developed to address these issues, and I am encouraged by this. They deserve our patronage.
They have also developed their own tubes, again to address the poor quality of the present offerings. I am not aware of a need to specifically use them in conjunction with their tyres. As mentioned, flaps are a personal preference which are often fitted just as insurance to avoid pinching the tube when mounting tyres. I prefer to use a rim liner.

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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by HalSched » Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:06 pm

The onlt T to have flats (more than once) on our local tours had white tires. 4WIW.


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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:22 pm

I have never understood the old car paradigm of keeping them "perfect".
Maybe it is because I never saw them new, but to me, the charm is in the
"old" .... the as-found, well worn and used look. I have strong doubts that
more than a few people ever cleaned their white tires. They just drove the
cars, tire color be damned. Members here often comment about cars in old
photos that still have shiney paint. If period owners didn't concern themselves
with the paint getting dull, why would anyone assume that they were out there
scrubbing the tires to keep them bright ? And by extension, if it is the "old" about
old cars that draws us to them, why do so many contradict that paradigm by thinking
that they gotta stay looking NEW ?
More people are doing it today than ever before !

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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:50 pm

...but add onto that the bloody vat (Value Added Tax)...

As Allan pointed out, we don't pay it. The exchange rate fluctuates daily, but the last time I checked the Blockley price of £149 was 19% higher than Wards, the least costly clincher sold here. It's actually cheaper than some of the other "brands" sold here. That's in quotes because all the other clinchers are different only in name and appearance.
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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by VowellArt » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:05 am

I don't know Steve, I just tired to go through their check out and they tacked on the vat anyway, even after giving them my home address and country...I think they mean to charge that along with shipping. Do you know if they have a stateside distributor?
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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by DHort » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:48 am

I think that is just their software adding the VAT. When the charge eventually goes thru it will drop off or you can send them an email and they will credit you for it. Doug Partington had blockley tires put on his car at Piquette. Since he is in Australia I wonder if they added VAT to his purchase?


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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Allan » Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:06 am

Afaik the VAT or value added tax is applicable only to sales made within Britain to residents in Britain, just like US states charge sales taxes to their residents.
Allan from down under.


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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Colin Mavins » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:00 am

We have 6 inch wide whites on the 1947 Chrysler a good cleaning with a SOS pad when the car gets a wash and they are still white , an all white tire would be more difficult . Its like brass if you don't want to polish brass don't buy a brass T . If you go white there going to be work. Cheers Colin
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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:05 am

Do you know if they have a stateside distributor?

Not when I checked in July. I believe you do have to pay US customs duties on shipments over $500 in value, so it may be cheaper to buy one or two tires at a time rather than a full set all together.
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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Burger in Spokane » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:51 pm

Colin Mavins wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:00 am
Its like brass, .... if you don't want to polish brass, don't buy a brass T .
===============================

Or you could just let the brass patina. Why does everything have to be shiny ?
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Pete Ratledge » Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:23 am

Petes Car Wash 11 copy.jpg
Hi Steve,
To be completely authentic, the white tires should have no tread on them. That makes them very dangerous to drive. I will say that they look nice.
As you know, I show and drive my 1911 Touring. I have always used black tires. I prefer the Black Universal straight Rib tire. They are easier to clean. I have had 9 sets of black tires since 1995. I wear them 1/2 down and them sell them.
Just my thoughts,
Pete


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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by ryanf1023 » Tue Oct 13, 2020 4:09 pm

Regarding wear, do different tread patterns wear any better or worse than others for an all black tire?

Barring any lottery win, I don’t think I can afford to splurge on Non-Skids when my car is ready for tires. I do wonder though how well those would hold up for regular driving in comparison to a ribbed tread, or any other tread design for clinchers. Does anyone have experience with non-skid wear?


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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Allan » Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:27 pm

Pete, 9 sets half worn makes 4.5 sets worn out. At 15000 miles / set that makes 67500miles. I'm guessing you do way less than that. This illustrates that the tyres we are presently offered really are not up to snuff. Sure they may last a long time, if the sidewalls don't crack, but they do not give anywhere near satisfactory mileage. Peter Kable wore his new ones out just getting from the west coast to Richmond for the Centennial.
It's time we had a better choice, and Blockleys may well be the answer. They could hardly be worse!

Allan from down under.


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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Pete Ratledge » Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:54 am

Hi Allan,
I have no idea how many miles that I have put on my car. The longest day I have driven on a tour in one day is 240 miles. The average day is 100-125 miles. I have a Stewart speedometer, but don't engage it. We do quite a few Model t Tours and we do a lot of driving on back roads around our home area.
I have never heard of Blockley tires. Where can I find some information on them? I may try them . I have tried Wards Riverside, Coker, Excelsior and Universal tires.
By the way, How is Peter Kable doing. He stopped by our house a few years ago.
Regards,
Pete

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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:20 pm

Ryan, Non Skids are way cool, but I have read on the forum that they wear faster than other tread patterns.

Pete, here's the Blockley website. I hope they will have front tires available by the time I'm, ready to replace my old ones. https://www.blockleytyre.com/
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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Susanne » Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:13 pm

Sadly, I'm beginning to doubt the Blockley 30x3's will happen. We've been waiting over a year, and we're still waiting. I wish they'd happen... but I'm starting to lose faith.

I've run Non-Skids on the front of everything we've had.... they wear like crazy on asphalt or concrete (they're actually a dirt knobby tire), but on the front where there's no drive force or braking, they seem to work just fine...

The ones I was most disappointed with were the "T Drivers" - they have no balance, the rubber seems to be some combination that does not hold up, and compared to those revered Riversides, they were pure trash. 250 miles and dead. ANY tire (even back when 30x3 1/2 WAS a normal tire size) is a crud tire, when some were advertising 3000 and 5000 mile tires.

I'll still hold out for Blockley, but I'm no longer holding my breath for them. Not in 30x3, which I kinda sorta need. When these go... they may have lost their chance.

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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:56 pm

This morning I took another look at these shots from three years ago during my failed white tire fling. Actually, I think black tires would look better. The white is just too glaring.


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Re: Should I use white tires, or black?

Post by TRDxB2 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:10 pm

to be in fashion Model T's with feminine names should only don white tires between Memorial Day (not Easter) and Labor Day. :lol:

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