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Radial Tire Size for Hawk

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  • Wheels / Tires: Radial Tire Size for Hawk

    I know this topic has been kicked around for some time, but I can't seem to find anything with the search feature and I need to go ahead and do something.
    I presently have 195 75R 15 tires on my 62 Hawk. They were purchase some 6-7 years ago and I can't vouch how old they were when I got them! A "goose egg" has shown up on the front passenger side tire althought all the tires have lots of tread left, and while not that intrusive, it does concern me quite a bit. Apparently this size tire is no longer made. The next size available is a 205 75 R 15. Unfortunately, I recall reading a well written article by Bob Palma which state that the rims on our cars are only 4 1/2 inches wide and modern tires are much wider than that and thus causes a problem when the newer tires are placed on the old rims (such as coming off or splitting the rim). I can't find the article, but need to find out what size radial tire I can use, or do I need to go to the local "U Pull-It" and purchase some used rims from a modern car... which raises the question, which modern car will fit!!
    I am wanting to drive the car to South Bend this summer from Louisiana and need new tires before we make the trip. Any information will be greatly appreciated!!
    Laisez le bon temps roulez avec un Studebaker

  • #2
    The 205s will run OK with the OEM wheels, but will look baloonish and feel a little less firm in the twisties. A 6" wide wheel looks much nicer (not baloonish), feels firmer, and can be used with 205 or 215 tires. With larger than 215s some Stude owners report clearance issues. Summit Racing's number WV 1-62-5612334 is the one I recently mounted on a 62GT. They accepted the OEM hubcaps also. They cost about $75 each though. Also, some Mopar and Ford fit from 1980s-90s vintage, full size cars. I have the Kelsey Hayes, and NWRA numbers around somewhere, but you can find them with a search on this NG.

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    • #3
      Joe is right. I have 5.5" Ford rims right now and using 215/70R15s and they are fine except I had to use a spacer on the fronts to clear the aftermarket disk brake setup. I am switching to some 6.5" rims from the junkyard (from a Chrysler police car) this summer to correct this, but will stay with the same tire size.
      Dan White
      64 R1 GT
      64 R2 GT
      58 C Cab
      57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

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      • #4
        I have a 62 right now that has some late 70s thunderbird rims. I believe that is what they are off of? I am going to switch over to a late 60's (I believe 67-68) Mustang GT rims and caps that have GT on them. I saw a Hawk with these mounted on it and it was a Studebaker should a been. They were made for that car.

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        • #5
          Has anyone tried the low rolling resistance tires like the Toyota Prius comes with?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Champ51 View Post
            Has anyone tried the low rolling resistance tires like the Toyota Prius comes with?
            Why? Unless you drive your car a lot, say as a commuter, and have done a lot to improve the efficiency it will not even be noticeable on a Stude. They also are typically poor in wet grip and not recommended for any type of performance application.
            Dan White
            64 R1 GT
            64 R2 GT
            58 C Cab
            57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

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            • #7
              The reasons I asked about low rolling resistance tires is that they have thicker stiffer sidewalls, thus perhaps feeling more like the original bias ply tires that were on the car when new. Also, with the smaller contact patch, the adhesion would also be more in line with what the car came with and thus would less likely stress the remainder of the car as much as a normal set of radials. The kind of driving I will do in my car is very unlikely to put me out in inclement weather, thus I don't care about that and with a stock flat head six, I'm clearly not into performance.

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              • #8
                Thanks for all the answers, they have been most helpful. The problem now is, finding new steel wheels. I can find some in the wrecking yard, but can't seem to find new wheels anywhere.
                Laisez le bon temps roulez avec un Studebaker

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                • #9
                  Joe, those Summit Racing wheels that you recommended. Are you saying that OEM "Hubcaps" as in Studebaker OEM hubcaps fit? Or do you mean full size " wheel covers"? If those wheels accept Stude hubcaps you are really on to something there.
                  Dean




                  CLEM

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Clem64 View Post
                    Joe, those Summit Racing wheels that you recommended. Are you saying that OEM "Hubcaps" as in Studebaker OEM hubcaps fit? Or do you mean full size " wheel covers"? If those wheels accept Stude hubcaps you are really on to something there.
                    Yes, the OEM Stude, full disc hubcaps fit those Summit wheels perfectly. The OEM caps also fit on all the other 6" wide wheels I've ran, (Kelsey Hayes and the Fords). I always run steel valve stems on all wheels on Studes, no matter if OEM or otherwise. The steel stems stop (full disc) hubcap walk in its tracks. I have heard of other remedies, but the steel stems only cost about $3 each, and last a lifetime.

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