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yet another post on tire size; '57 Golden Hawk w/ 4.5" rims; current radial options?

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  • yet another post on tire size; '57 Golden Hawk w/ 4.5" rims; current radial options?

    Sorry to you long-time forum members, I've searched and read many other posts and know this topic is "tired", but I couldn't find specific info relating to my car and rims.
    We have a '57 Golden Hawk, and original (but like new, still 90%+factory paint/finish!) 15X4.5" rims that we bought at our local swap meet in Hudson Wisconsin a few weeks ago. The seller said they came off a '57 President, but list in the Chassis book to be the same set for '57 Golden Hawk.
    I see from the Chassis Parts Manual that '57 GH had 5" width early in the year, and then changed to 4.5" mid-year. Curious....
    So, my question is this. What radial tires will fit my 4.5" rims? From previous posts, I'm guessing best I can do is P205, and the TiresPlus guy said anything smaller than P215 is tough to get. So I'm willing to go the Coker route.... I'd LIKE the wide whitewalls, but not dead-set on them.
    Bottomline, with excellent condition (truly look factory fresh on the inside; no tires on them currently) 15x4.5 rims, what would I be risking/sacrificing by going with a P205 radial, instead of searching for wider rims? Thanks! and sorry for yet another post on this subject for those of you who have grown tired of it.
    Barry & Dawson
    PS: why did we already buy new rims? Our GH came with Cragar S/S mag wheels on it and HUGE tires that almost rub the rear-fenders!! So was our first purchase at the swap meet :-)

  • #2
    The NWRA (National Wheel & Rim Association) does not recommend any tire larger than a P195/75R15 on a 4.5" width wheel. They surely have the resources and load / sidewall support engineering data to know more about the topic than anyone here on the forum, or anyone working at a tire store.

    Coker offers a nice, S-rated P195/75R15 radial with 2.25" whitewall in their American Classic series radials, USA-manufactured, on Page 8 of their 2010 catalog. If you are staying with 4.5" wheels, that is the tire to use. (A 1957 Golden Hawk with 5" wheels would be better suited to a 205/75R15 tire, however.) BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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    • #3
      Be aware, general conversation 6 or 8 years ago was that Coker wouldn't stand behind their tires for road use, claimed they were for show. I cannot document this.

      I do know that the Coker bias ply 7.10 - 15 tires I had on my '53 coupe, while they would hold together, were very uncomfortable to drive on. They were hard, and the car wandered erratically.

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      • #4
        In 2006 I purchased 5 MIT P205/70R15 DB 2-3/4 WW from Norm'sTire Saleson Little Canada Road In St. Paul. Haven't had any problems with them yet on my '53

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        • #5
          thanks Jim; have purchased tires there in the past myself! Are your '53 rims 4.5" or 5" width?

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          • #6
            All 1951 to 1957 Stude. rims were 5 in., you have the '59-'65, rims for the 6.40X15 Tires incorrect for a Golden Hawk.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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            • #7
              The Chassis Parts book shows that the 57H and others changed from 5" to 4.5" mid-year. It asterisks the listing with the serial number of the change for President, Commander and Champion; I couldn't find Golden Hawk listed separately for any of the wheels, and assumed it was contained within the "all '57H" series, and would have changed to 4.5" mid-year like the President and others did.....?
              Separate question I'd have is "why?"...... :-)

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              • #8
                All my spare wheels are 5 inch so I presume the ones on the '53 are to.

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                • #9
                  shucks... and these were such a nice set of wheels too.
                  But, I guess I better start looking for at least a 5" width set. Got the name of a guy from the Hudson swap meet who said he had wheels, don't know what size, but I'll check it out.
                  Anyone need a great set of 4.5" wheels? :-)

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                  • #10
                    I have 2, 5" X 15" rims that I can't even give away.

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