Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

1951 Commander tires

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 1951 Commander tires

    I am in the process of restoring my 1951 Commander State four door sedan. This started out as a repaint and is starting to turn into a full blown restoration. I have decided that I want to install original type tires when finished. Their are lots of options out there and I guess I want the one that would be the most correct. So, the question is, what brand of tire did 51 Studebakers come with and what is the correct whitewall width?



    Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0026.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	106.6 KB
ID:	1757390
    1962 Champ

    51 Commander 4 door

  • #2
    They used a couple of suppliers but the majority I've see have been Firestone 7.10/15 on the Commander.
    I put Coker Firestone's on my '51 over a quarter century ago, but when I wore them out I decided to switch to the Diamond Back radial DB AS4 215/75/15 with a 3" WW. Much better ride, and safer in my opinion; though they probably won't last twenty years.

    I also switched my '53 to Diamond Back radials, but I tend to drive them more than show them.
    After owning Studebakers for over 50 years I see no advantage in the bias tires for anything but a show queen. MHO.
    "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

    Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

    Comment


    • #3
      A long talked about issue here... My preference, in all Studebaker matters, is best answering the question: how often and how many/what kind of miles do I (realistically) expect to drive in the course of a year (lifetime!). If you live in the occasional below freezing zones, its likely less than 2500 miles a year. If you wish the "old car" feel for those few miles driven, bias plys give you that memory, the old car look, and function many seek in the hobby. Especially so if driving less than 50-75 miles per event/drive and parking or maneuvering on hard top. If you drive more than 100 miles to events, shows, or family.... and parking/showing on grass.....radials with the wider, newer rims. If you're the latter, you likely want disc brakes, A/C, PS, and the other "modern" creature comforts in your every day driver. Radials do cover up some front end issues.
      With radials in a truck, you'll likely wear out your steering gear and front end components so as to return you to the bias ply feel anyway, not to mention the possible failure to stock rims and /or pitman arm. Just a few considerations...
      Last edited by jackb; 02-27-2018, 01:24 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        The bias ply/radial conversations has many twists and turns, facts and opinions.
        I had the opportunity to talk with an old highway paving foreman a few years ago that threw another monkey wrench into the discussion. It had to do with the smoothness and levelness of paving, both concrete and asphalt.
        When there were no radial tires the tolerances for smooth and level were more rigid so that ruts and crowns didn't cause as much road wander or sudden direction change.
        Once radial tires became the norm, those tolerances became more lax because the tire performance compensated for the different road conditions.
        I hope, with modern technology, that paving is better then it was 40 or 50 years ago, but have been on some fairly new highways that are not very smooth.
        Bottom line is that once radials were the common tires used, roads were not as good as before and those driving on bias ply tires were at an even worse disadvantage then before. Something to think about, huh?
        sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
        1950 Champion Convertible
        1950 Champion 4Dr
        1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
        1957 Thunderbird

        Comment


        • #5
          Thunderations, that's interesting about the quality of the road surface. My 1950 Champion has 205-75-15 tires and handles great.
          My 1928 Model A has the 4.50 x 21" bias tires, and gets pulled a bit side to side by the ruts in the road.
          The strange thing is though, 9 years ago I drove my Model A to South Dakota, and purposely drove on the rumble strip on the side of the road.
          I expected it to make a loud roar, but it was totally silent. I still can't explain that one.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the input. I have had radials on it for the last 13 years. it does drive a little better than when it had the old bias tires on it. I have really never liked the look of modern tires on this car. If I go with radials I will go with the ones that look lik the originals. At nearly $300 apiece I wonder if they are really that much better. Any opinions on that?
            1962 Champ

            51 Commander 4 door

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kurt View Post
              Thanks for the input. I have had radials on it for the last 13 years. it does drive a little better than when it had the old bias tires on it. I have really never liked the look of modern tires on this car. If I go with radials I will go with the ones that look lik the originals. At nearly $300 apiece I wonder if they are really that much better. Any opinions on that?
              Any time you replaced quite old tires with new tires, the ride will improve. I have replaced ten year old tires on a car using the same brand, model and size. There was a noticeable improvement in the ride and handling.
              Gary L.
              Wappinger, NY

              SDC member since 1968
              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by studegary View Post
                Any time you replaced quite old tires with new tires, the ride will improve. I have replaced ten year old tires on a car using the same brand, model and size. There was a noticeable improvement in the ride and handling.
                that is why I am thinking about bias 7.10-15 tires. They look right on the car. They will be new. I will probably only drive the car 500 miles a year.
                1962 Champ

                51 Commander 4 door

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kurt View Post
                  that is why I am thinking about bias 7.10-15 tires. They look right on the car. They will be new. I will probably only drive the car 500 miles a year.
                  I feel the same way, and was wondering where you buy these and how much do they cost?

                  My 1950 Land Cruiser needs tires due to age cracking, but due to cost, I bought a set of 4 radial narrow white walls for $278.
                  They look nice, but would have looked better with wide white walls, especially for an all black car.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This has nothing to do with which tires are best for '51 or any other Studebaker older car or truck. What it does have to do with is the cost of tires. When the $300 per tire was mentioned, I did not read that with surprise. I recently bought two BFGoodrich TA Radial tires for my Cruiser and the price was much higher than I had ever paid for those tires (I have used them on a couple Studebakers over the years). The same was with tires I purchased for my F150 pickup. Two tires from it cost over the $300 dollar price mentioned here. Just be aware that any good tire cost much more these days than when we purchased the last set of the same tire.
                    Joe Roberts
                    '61 R1 Champ
                    '65 Cruiser
                    Eastern North Carolina Chapter

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TWChamp View Post
                      I feel the same way, and was wondering where you buy these and how much do they cost?

                      My 1950 Land Cruiser needs tires due to age cracking, but due to cost, I bought a set of 4 radial narrow white walls for $278.
                      They look nice, but would have looked better with wide white walls, especially for an all black car.
                      Coker has bias ply wide whites for just under $200 apiece. Blackwalls are about 180 and American Clasics are $278. Not cheap.you could buy 4 P215 75R15 on sale at Walmart for what one American classic would cost. That is what I did 13 years ago when I got the car. Now that I am restoring and those tires are getting old I am looking at other options.

                      Again in thanks for all the input
                      1962 Champ

                      51 Commander 4 door

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hey Kurt, within the last couple of months, both the ‘47 Land Cruiser and ‘53 Commander hardtop that are here were treated to a new set of Coker bias ply wide whites. Both cars had 10+ year old Coker Classic wide white radials on them previously. The radials were coming apart due to age as neither car sees many miles.

                        Given the limited amount of miles you plan on doing, you’d get more for your money if you went the bias ply route. A set of 4 is north of $800, but at 500 miles a year and being stored indoors, they’ll still be good in 15 years.

                        Btw, glad to hear you’re giving your 51 a thorough redo. I remember seeing the car in Cedar Rapids. Looking forward to seeing pics of it finished.
                        Last edited by mbstude; 02-28-2018, 06:03 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Referencing posts #2 and #11. Did you keep original rims? If you did, then did you use tubes? Thanks.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you buy the bias ply tires, with your driving demands, put the car up on blocks. Although...likely you'll be driving on hot roads so they will stretch out after some few miles. Also, relating to road conditions..... they do change from state to state, especially on 2-lane roads..

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Robert Crandall View Post
                              Referencing posts #2 and #11. Did you keep original rims? If you did, then did you use tubes? Thanks.
                              Most all 1951 and Newer Wheels do not require Tubes, never had a '51-'66 Stude. Wheel leak mounted tubeless.
                              StudeRich
                              Second Generation Stude Driver,
                              Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X