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1950 Champion tires

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  • 1950 Champion tires

    Hey! Ok, now I need a simple honest answer about the best radials to put on a 1950 Champion. (I forgot to go to "tire class" when at Pharmacy School so I need help) I want close to original, including white wall (if possible) I can get. I want to use the original rims. Do I need tubes or are the rims ok for tubeless tires. I am not a fast driver. I appreciate your advice on the size, brand, and mounting (tube or no tube). I am going to Carlsile, PA for the car show and don't want to pay a fortune for "antique" tires. Thanks for the information. Tom LaMartina, Lynchburg, VA

    Tom LaMartina

  • #2
    Tom, I think the '50 Champion used 6.00 X 15 tires, certainly no bigger than 6.50 X 15. I'm pretty sure the rims are riveted, which means they aren't normally recommended for tubeless tires. I have seen posters here recommend that you sandblast the rims, and then coat the riveted area with epoxy before painting them, which should permit the use of tubeless tires. No personal experience there.

    If you want wide whitewalls in a radial, you are pretty much stuck with "antique" tires. I got 16" wide whitewall radials for my '40 Champion from Coker Tire, and I didn't find them all that expensive. Go to Coker Tire's website, and see if they will be at the show; they have a presence at a LOT of car shows and swaps. If you order on the phone or over the Web, they will bring your tires to the show and you can avoid the shipping charges. I did exactly that. and it worked fine for me.

    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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    • #3
      I have a good friend working for the local Firestone outlet, and when I decided to go with radials on my '49 he fixed me right up.
      No tubes, no hassles, and a real nice ride afterwards. His only trouble was the narrowness of the stock rims, but found some older stock that fit quite well.
      Good luck!

      Chris Pile
      The Studebaker Special
      Midway Chapter SDC
      The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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      • #4
        Gord, my dad had 6.00X16 wheels on his '50 Champion although I don't know if that's what orginally came on it. I remember he had a couple of old 47-48 parts cars, could they have been off of them?

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        • #5
          quote:Originally posted by John Kirchhoff

          Gord, my dad had 6.00X16 wheels on his '50 Champion although I don't know if that's what orginally came on it. I remember he had a couple of old 47-48 parts cars, could they have been off of them?
          John, I THINK all '47 and later Champions used 15" wheels, but the rims have the same bolt pattern as the '39 - '46 sixteen-inch rims. Maybe someone swapped wheels, or could it have been special-ordered with 16" for rural service?

          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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          • #6
            1950/51 Studebaker Champions came equipped with 6.40X15, bias ply tires. My Starlight has 6.40X15 bias ply whitewalls.
            Coker, as suggested above, is the only source I know of for radials close to this size and they are expensive.

            1950 Champion Starlight
            1963 Hawk GT
            Santa Barbara
            CA

            The 1950 Champion Starlight
            Santa Barbara
            CA

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