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  • Whitewall tire width

    What is the correct whitewall width for the 53 Starliner HT?

  • #2
    I guess I should ask: do you want what is absolutely CORRECT or what looks the best?

    I own a '54 Starliner and my personal opinion is the correct 1953 to 1955 type "Wide Whitewalls" look like Gangsta Tires!
    Some especially in larger sizes have the Whitewall rolling onto the shoulder like the Original.

    These '56 to '62's are much nicer looking.
    These P215X75R15's Have 2 1/2 Inch White Walls:
    https://www.jegs.com/i/Coker-Tire/257/587050/10002/-1

    https://www.cokertire.com/tires/coker-classic-radial-wide-whitewall.html



    IMG_5693.jpg Coker P205X75R15 Radials These are 2 3/8"
    64 Budd1.jpg < Even the WRONG ones look better than the TOO Fat Whitewalls.
    Last edited by StudeRich; 04-04-2019, 11:06 PM.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner



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    • #3
      So what’s the width of your correct whitewall?

      Comment


      • #4
        This comment will not answer you question, but add to whitewall width information. In 1961, I somehow managed (I was 15 years old) to convince my mother to buy a brand new 1961 Hawk. It came with US Royal “Safety 8” tires, and the whitewall width was 1-3/4”.

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        • #5
          55 Speedster restored.jpg 55 Firestone tire.jpg These are getting pretty close to the Original '47-'55 Look, they must be pushing 3 Inches.
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner



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          • #6
            I have the narrow ones on my '56 Sky Hawk which are not factory correct, but after over ten years, no one seems to notice or care. That is, until some over-zealous AACA judge takes a ruler to them and deducts points, which happens anyway as I have life-saving radials and not skinny and skiddy bias plies.
            peter lee

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            • #7
              You can also get Portawalls, if you just want to add whitewalls to your current tires

              http://portawallshop.com

              Ive never used them, but will consider them when its time to swap out tires next.

              Someone on here probably has used them and can comment on whether they are worth it or not.

              Comment


              • #8
                Didn’t think this was going to be such a tough question to get an answer for.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Tim,

                  I'm really not too surprised that this group seems not inclined to give a definitive answer to what was correct. Most don't know, or care what was correct. Personally I don't know, but I am interested in the answer. Tires went through industry wide changes, so whitewall width would not be specific to Studebakers. I know what I used on my Speedster, but I wouldn't go so far as to recommend what I used. The fact is that we are limited to what the tire industry has available, at the time, so we do the best that we can.

                  You might pose the question to members on the AACA forum. Original type tires are a much more discussed topic there. At their judging events they are really sticklers for period correct tire design.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm far from a stickler for originality but if I were looking for original looks, I'd probably just find the appropriate years sales brochures and see what the factory showed. Here's a 53 brochure from Ebay. It shouldn't be difficult knowing tire size and diameter to proportion the whitewall width.

                    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1953-Studeb...p2047675.l2557

                    I would think it would be hard for a judge to argue with a factory brochure.

                    Bob
                    , ,

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The problem with THAT is, as Hallabutt (Bill) said; we are subject to TODAY'S sizes, Whitewall Width, Brand, Ply Type and Design, so "Original" in Our tire size with the correct W/W width is very likely impossible, and we do what we can or like.

                      It is Tim's decision not ours.

                      If you liked the LOOK of the Two Tone Green '53 H/T in Post #2 that I sold, then just buy them, the size is shown they ARE available, and NO they are not 100% Wide enough.
                      Last edited by StudeRich; 04-05-2019, 02:04 PM.
                      StudeRich
                      Second Generation Stude Driver,
                      Proud '54 Starliner Owner



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sweetolbob View Post
                        I would think it would be hard for a judge to argue with a factory brochure.
                        Couldn't the width vary slightly between brands of tire, and possibly sizes (aspect ratio). I don't believe there ever was an 'industry standard' on white wall widths.

                        Craig

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
                          Couldn't the width vary slightly between brands of tire, and possibly sizes (aspect ratio). I don't believe there ever was an 'industry standard' on white wall widths.

                          Craig
                          Of course they do and I'll agree with you on a lack of industry standard, but the question was "what was the correct width for a 53 Starliner HT?". My point is, it's hard to get a better data point than literature published by the company.

                          In the real world, they probably came with about any width the factory could get a good deal on.

                          Bob
                          , ,

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tim333 View Post
                            What is the correct whitewall width for the 53 Starliner HT?
                            I checked the Coker web site and they have a page called, "The History and Timeline of Whitewall Tires" located at: https://www.cokertire.com/blog/whitewall-tires/

                            About half way down the page, just below the photo of the 56 Chevy convertible is the following, (I highlighted the area of interest to you):

                            An interesting note to consider is the width of whitewalls. When whitewalls really became popular, they were used on Firestone Balloon tires, which featured tall sidewalls. These tires had whitewalls of nearly five inches. By the 1950's, whitewalls were at a pretty standard 3 inches, but that didn't last long. Around 1954 through 1956, you could expect to see whitewalls from 2-1/2 to 2-11/16 inches on American cars. Then, 1957 through 1961 saw another change with whitewalls ranging from 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 inches. Finally, the big change happened in 1962, when most American automotive manufacturers made the switch to 1 inch whitewalls. From there, whitewalls got even more narrow, until finally getting down to 3/8-inch during the muscle car era. The only exception in this whitewall width timeline is luxury cars. Some Lincolns and Cadillacs retained the wide whitewall look longer than other passenger cars, and they also held onto the 3/4-inch whitewall for quite some time.

                            Some years ago, I met an original owner of a 1956 Golden Hawk who told me he still had the original spare tire in his trunk. I measured the whitewall width and, as stated above, it was 2-1/2 inches. I hope this helps.

                            Frank

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                            • #15
                              To add to the above (and confirm a bit of the Coker data): I have the original 7.50x14" spare from my 62 Impala, and it's a 1" white wall. Not necessarily asserting that Stude used the same width, but I would assume so.

                              For a while in the mid-90s, several tire brands (especially private brands) offered radials with 1.5" WWs. I put some of those on my Avanti II with Magnum 500 wheels, and like the look. Unfortunately, no one except Diamond Back and American Classic offer radials with that WW width. I believe Diamond Backs are essentially custom made, and their price reflects that.
                              Skip Lackie

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