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white_fly HalfDork
6/30/20 7:47 p.m.

Soon I will be picking up AAZCD's Boxster and I've been attempting to figure out where it will fit into my life. I have a 1999 911 with 100 more horsepower for going quickly (and comfortably) and a Jaguar XJ-R for going comfortably (and quickly). I started thinking about a fun livery. That led me to Porsche's 804 F1 car, 718 RSK and 550 Spyder. They're all silver and they all used stamped steel wheels with skinny tires. 

I've always been fascinated by the way racing cars used to be driven with lots of slip angle. I assume that much of this is down to the use of bias ply tires. Could that feeling be recreated with a simple change of tires? They're sure to be expensive, but it would be something I've never done or even seen before. 

Pirelli, Avon and Dunlop all seem to have vintage looking radial tires that would absolutely fit the aesthetic I want, but would they actually handle like the old tires? I'm guessing not. In the meantime, here's the closest thing I've found to what I'm looking for.

Tom1200 Dork
6/30/20 9:18 p.m.

Most vintage tires, including vintage race tires are using modern tire compounds. I don't see it being an issue beyond what it might do to the gearing and ride height.

nderwater UltimaDork
6/30/20 9:37 p.m.

So this is along the lines of something I’ve been wondering for a while now.  Conventional wisdom is that the first and most effective mod for a car is performance tires. I’ve added sticky tires to car after car—and I’m now thinking that the added noise and reduced tire life and ride comfort might not be worth it for a car that spends most of its life on the street.  Maybe I should try the opposite, with skinny slippery tires that let my car move around more in the corners.  

Tiff Nedell says he learned to drive as a young teen by drifting his father’s old Morris through roundabouts on its skinny tires.  I keep thinking back to a Chris Harris video from a decade ago where he gleefully drifted an AMG Mercedes on save-a-spare tires.  When it comes to grip and fun, does less equal more?

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/30/20 9:43 p.m.

In reply to nderwater :

The westlake $40 specials we put on the miata made it awesome 

Cactus HalfDork
6/30/20 10:04 p.m.

Yeah, if you want worse tires, the solution is dead simple: buy the cheap E36 M3ty ones.

nderwater UltimaDork
6/30/20 10:05 p.m.

Oh wow, $160 for the set?! Was that a Walmart sale?  I’ve spent more for a single tire, unmounted.

Time to see if anyone in Atlanta has a cheep set of Porsche wheels.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/1/20 12:12 a.m.

Go back and reread our 2019 Civic Si project updates. The stock tires wore like iron but still delivered predictable handling--just at lower limits. Something like that might be the Easy Button.

frenchyd PowerDork
7/1/20 6:36 a.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

I grew up driving on skinny treaded tires and drove all winter on those.  Back then anything faster than walking speed you were sliding around.  It taught you how to use the slide( drift) to place your car exactly where needed (wanted ) to be.  

Once  vintage racing became popular some of those " Vintage engines" pushed 500 +  horsepower and virtually anyplace on the track we were sliding. Yes, including down the long straightaways.  With treads limited to 5.3 inches you couldn't relax a second. Even approaching 150 mph +. Or the back end would want to swap places with the front end. 

That is pure Joy!!!  Us "damn Yankees" had a real advantage over southern boys not familiar with driving on ice.  Well they might have an inkling if they grew up racing on dirt. 

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
7/1/20 7:05 a.m.

I used to to rally cross in a Volvo 122 with skinny A/S tires.  The car was pretty much sideways the whole time.  It was a hoot. 

The danger in running "crappy" tires is if you get into a situation where you need to stop, or make an emergency maneuver, your limits are much, much lower. 

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Reader
7/1/20 8:04 a.m.
Patrick (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to nderwater :

The westlake $40 specials we put on the miata made it awesome 

Aside from motorsports competition, I think this is the ideal form of the Miata and how the car was designed to be set up from the factory in 1990. All of the common complaints (low power, soft suspension, etc) go away when you're hooning around like a teenager on trash all season tires. 

white_fly HalfDork
7/1/20 8:31 a.m.

Trash tires are obviously an option, but I remember seeing a BMW 2002 on the  Pirelli CN36 tires and I was just blown away by the cool factor. They're so right.

I also think there's more to the old tires than just having low grip. The breakaway characteristics seem fundamentally different.

I definitely am at least a little bit inspired by the Chris Harris AMG. The best looking wheels for this idea are old Porsche space savers.

Tom1200 Dork
7/1/20 10:32 a.m.

The Hoosier bias ply vintage race tire I run is every bit as stick as the latest R7; I even consulted with Hoosier and they recommended I stick with the vintage tire (lighter) for my application.

Point being new "old tires" offer way more grip than the originals, the difference is the taller sidewall. The taller sidewall has a ton of windup that allows you to hang the car out, at huge slip angles they tend to be super predictable..................read  driver looks like hero. They are also super fun.

LanEvo Dork
7/1/20 12:26 p.m.
Apexcarver UltimaDork
7/1/20 1:17 p.m.

I have run an autocross run or two in my STS Miata on 165 snow tires as also some runs in a Celica GTS (I cant remember if it was the one that won GS nats or not, if not it was a clone by the same owner) on snow tires. 


Its kinda fun having a good chassis on lower grip tires. Its more about the balancing act than raw speed at that point, so a different kind of fun. 

iceracer MegaDork
7/1/20 6:29 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

I was going to suggest a bigger aspect ratio. 

Remember when tires were around 80 or so.


white_fly HalfDork
7/2/20 9:24 a.m.

Yesterday I discovered 5x130 to 5x205 wheel adapters and I'm pretty confident that using 356 style wheels and tires made for air cooled VW's is the way to go. I'll have skinny tires with a big aspect ratio that is only 2% bigger in diameter than the OEM 16" size, tires will be incredibly cheap and the wheels themselves will be easy to find. I would expect to have the wheels on spacers, but I'm still not positive that they'll clear the brakes. In any case I'm excited. This would be a pretty unique project to pull off well.

AAZCD confirmed that 15" BMW steelies will fit.


jimbbski SuperDork
7/2/20 11:31 a.m.

Back in '97 I bought a '92 5.0L Mustang with "Tiger Paws" on it. They were OK in the rain and stopped and started OK too.

But when you dived into a turn they let out the loudest squeal you ever heard!  I could drive the car and gage the limit just by listening to the pitch of the squeal  the tires make. The higher the pitch the closer I got but to the limit but when it was reached the pitch would fall off and you knew to back off or get ready to do some quick steering to avoid spinning the car.  Lots of fun.

OjaiM5 Reader
7/2/20 11:41 a.m.

I really like the style of the Boxster posted. 

These wheels would be awesome as well 

white_fly HalfDork
7/4/20 9:59 a.m.

So, if nothing changes, I think I'm going to go for VW wheels like these.

And tires designed for a similar application like these.

The VW market is incredible. Prices are extremely reasonable compared to anything else in the vintage world. 

7/4/20 7:22 p.m.

That car looks like a beast

Sidewayze New Reader
7/4/20 10:03 p.m.

I love these. 

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/5/20 7:55 a.m.

In reply to white_fly :

Not sure if they'll clear your discs but you can get 5x130 to the wide 5 vw pattern adapters

white_fly HalfDork
7/5/20 10:38 a.m.

In reply to Patrick (Forum Supporter) :

Oh, that's absolutely the plan. I posted a picture of some really pretty adapters in this thread.

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/5/20 11:36 a.m.

Doh, just looked up a bit.  I have some 15x15 5x205 if you want to get ridiculously stupid 

slowbird SuperDork
7/5/20 12:12 p.m.

Tangent: is the VW wide-5 pattern the same as what race cars use? Could one bolt some roundy-round wide 5 wheels to a bug? (evil laugh)

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