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Tires 1950 champion

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  • Wheels / Tires: Tires 1950 champion

    Hello everyone,
    I’m going to be replacing the tires on my car this winter ( current ones are too old). I know the size is 640-15. What brand tire did this car originally come with? If that’s available I’d go with that , otherwise I’ll get bias plys from Coker or Bridgestone.
    thx,
    Jim

  • #2
    I believe Hankook makes a very nice radial that is 195-75/15 that rides smooth and does not put a lot of stress on your original rims. You may need tubes since your original rims are likely not made with a bead for tubeless tires. Going with Coker bias plys is another good, but more expensive option.
    Ed Sallia
    Dundee, OR

    Sol Lucet Omnibus

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    • bensherb
      bensherb commented
      Editing a comment
      The "safety bead" built into wheel rims was not put there for tubeless tires. In fact it was first used almost fifteen years before tubless tires. It was first used by Dodge, and put there to keep the tire on the rim in the event of a flat tire. I have run tubeless tires on 1934 Ford wheels with no problems for decades.

  • #3
    I agree, I am aiming for the most original choice. I’m keeping the bias ply’s but wanted to see if I could get the original brand. If not, I’ll go with Coker.

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    • #4
      Take a look at Diamond back tires. They are made with new tires with the whitewall vulcanized on. Less expensive than Coker and probably less troublesome, too.
      RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.


      10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
      4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
      5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon

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      • #5
        Originally posted by Flthdchamp View Post
        I agree, I am aiming for the most original choice. I’m keeping the bias ply’s but wanted to see if I could get the original brand. If not, I’ll go with Coker.
        Yeah, I'm pretty sure that Studebaker had preferred suppliers for tires, though I can't quite remember where and when which brands were used... I know they almost exclusively used GE for sealed beam headlights, with Tung-Sol as a secondary or backup supplier, but that info doesn't do much good where the rubber meets the road. If ever I have some spare time, I'd like to figure out what flavor of tires my cars likely had when new.
        Whirling dervish of misinformation.

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
          Take a look at Diamond back tires. They are made with new tires with the whitewall vulcanized on. Less expensive than Coker and probably less troublesome, too.
          I thought Diamondback mainly added whitewalls (or gold or red or whatever) to modern radials?
          Whirling dervish of misinformation.

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          • #7
            Originally posted by Lark Hunter View Post

            I thought Diamondback mainly added whitewalls (or gold or red or whatever) to modern radials?
            They do. To me, that means the tires are more likely to be fresh and being part of larger production batches, they will be more consistently made and less expensive than specialty shops like Coker.

            I've had bad luck with Coker and can relate the story if anyone is interested.
            RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.


            10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
            4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
            5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon

            Comment


            • #8
              Studebaker installed a LOT of Firestones, but most any of the popular tire brands from the 1950’s could be considered “authentic”. Coker sells bias ply Firestones and a few other brands.

              Diamond Back and Coker aren’t really comparable. DB only sells radials. A wide whitewall from either company is expensive, so it boils down to more about what kind of tire you want vs cost.

              DB does sell new off the shelf radials that they’ve added a whitewall to. But they also offer a radial with a piecrust edge that looks like a bias ply at first glance. These aren’t a regular radial tire with a whitewall added, they’re DB’s own product. I have a set on the ‘53 (with 6” wide wheels) with about 1000 miles on them so far. They drive and handle like any other decent radial tire. I’m happy with them, but that’s mostly because I hate driving on bias ply tires.

              If you want bias ply, Coker has the most options. Though you might also consider Kelsey Tire in Missouri - they’re the exclusive dealer of reproduction Goodyear bias plys.

              I will say that a 6.40 bias ply, even though it may be “correct”, is going to look tiny on a 50 Champion. A 6.70 will look more proportional and fill the wheel wells a bit better without looking oversize.

              For the sake of comparison - DiamondBack “Auburn Deluxe” radials that look like bias plys:

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              Last edited by mbstude; 12-02-2022, 04:08 AM.

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              • #9
                ‘51 Champion with Coker Firestone 6.70 bias plys.

                Click image for larger version

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              • #10
                Thx guys, good info. I do like the look of the 6.7 bias ply tires. I can use those with no issues or tire rubbing on wheel wells?
                Jim

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                • #11
                  Originally posted by Flthdchamp View Post
                  Thx guys, good info. I do like the look of the 6.7 bias ply tires. I can use those with no issues or tire rubbing on wheel wells?
                  Jim
                  Yes, no problem. 6.70 was a much more common size than 6.40, and probably a lot of 6.40s got replaced with 6.70s back in the day.
                  Skip Lackie

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                  • #12
                    Thx Skip, I think I’ll go with them.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      I have DB on my 61 Hawk and Coker on my 54 Commander. My Hawk rides and drives so much better than the Commander, it is like night and day.
                      Wayne
                      "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

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