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Custom History

June 6, 2015

Choosing White Wall Tires 2

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Written by: Rik Hoving
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CHOOSING WHITE WALL TIRES

 

Since the early days of Custom cars, back in the 1930’s and 1940’s, the number one choice for tires to use was a White Wall tire, they would add instant class and style to your car.

 
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A lot of the coachbuilt cars back in the 1930’s used huge white wall tires. Since these coachbuilt cars are one of the main inspiration sources for the early Custom Cars, it is no wonder that the tire of choice for the early Custom Cars where white wall tires. Also the high end production cars, like Duesenberg’s and Cadillacs had often white wall tires. The more common cars on the street used mainly black wall tires. Using a set of white wall tires on your custom car added something luxurious to your ride. Around WWII a lot of stuff was hard to find, so a lot of Custom Car went to black wall tires, but most of them switched to white wall tires as soon as they came available again. In the 1940’s till about the mid 1950’s, the most wildly used white wall tires where the once with the wide white wall inserts.

 

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After the mid 1950’s the white wall sizes went smaller and smaller. In the 1960’s the white wall sections were sometimes built up from two or three smaller strips of white, sometimes even in color. But the white wall tires, even a lots smaller in those days, were still the favorite tire choice for your Custom Car.
 
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I have received a lot of emails from people asking me what the best white wall tire was for their car. Or more specific what a certain historic custom had for tire size. There are sites that offer modern replicas of a lot of the original white wall tires. Places like the Coker Tires website offer a great selection and all nicely photographed. But one thing is often missing. How do these white wall tires look on my car. What size is the best to use, what white wall size fits the best with the theme of my Custom.

 

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Over the last couple of years I have started to photograph the white wall tires I like, close ups of the whole tire and from the whole car to show how that particular white wall tire looked on the car. I have started a thread on the CCC-Forum and posted a lot of the white wall tire photos I have with the names and sizes, and where I could the width of the white wall size. The plan is that more people will add their photos of white walls with the brand name, size and white wall size on the thread so that it will be of great help for other people to find the right tires for their cars. So if you have a set of white wall tires on your car. Please take two photos, one dead on side view, and one from the whole car. Email it to me Email Rik, or post it on the Forum Post (see link above) so that we can build a huge collection which everybody can use as reference to find their perfect white wall tire. Or just enjoy the photos of these parts of art.

The more input the better. 

 
 
 

 

 
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About the Author

Rik Hoving
Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)




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