View Full Version : Need tires for 59 tbird

01-25-2017, 07:47 PM
I am looking for a set of tires and where to buy for a 1959 Teebird, size 8.50 x 14 radial with a 2 1/2 inch white wall. Coker tire sells them for $950 including shipping, they have the molds for BFGoodrich as well so I am at a loss as to where else to buy them except from Coker. Any help would be appreciated.

01-25-2017, 08:05 PM
Coker's a good source if you intend to go with period correct (or correct-look) tires. IMO for better performance you're better off with modern radials. What I did for my '64 was to determine the larger of two sizes fitted by the factory, find the chart of the old tire sizes then find the modern designation (for example 225/70R 15). Then you can buy tires locally for a lot less money and with a usable warranty.

I summarized the process with this post here (http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=98082&postcount=3).

01-26-2017, 11:48 AM
I'm not happy at all with the handling of the Coker Classics I just purchased.

Smooth ride, look and quality seem fine but the car handles much worse with the Coker.

There is an alternative and I had these whitewall tires on my car for 10 years - completely happy with them.

Diamondback Radials (http://www.dbtires.com/)

You might check with Coker for something other than the Coker Classic. As you mentioned maybe the BF Goodrich has a different tread design and I believe they make a performance wide whitewall tire. If you're not on the interstate much or don't drive over 45-50 mph you'll probably be happy withe the Classics.

No changes were made to my car other than installing new tires the same size. I replaced my Diamondback Radials made by Dayton tire with Coker Classics and the difference is very noticeable on the interstate especially grooved interstate roads. Car rides more like it has polyester tires if you have ever driven with those - very loose feeling. The Cokers I bought were the exact same size, number of belts etc as the Diamondback just a slightly different tread design. (215 75R 14)

Only reason I didn't go back with Diamondbacks is that I was ordering a few items from Summit (who sells Cokers) and they had free shipping so I opted for the Cokers (you might want to check Summit if you go with the Cokers - could save you shipping costs).

Also I was told by the folks at Discount Tire when I went to have them installed that they are a Coker distributor and can get them at a reduced price. I use Discount tire for the free rotation and balance for the lifetime of the tire (which over 10 years really pays off).

Here's the Diamondback tread design although after 10 years the tire broke a belt and thus the reason I replaced all 4.

And the Cokers. Which I thought looked like a nice quiet tread design for my interstate travels.


01-26-2017, 12:46 PM
I was a kid when radial tires were new technology. My car at the time was a '72 full sized Ford with bias plies. There was an urban myth going around that you had to have a suspension "designed for radials" to take advantage of the performance advantages. I bought a set of steel belted radials for my car and found out that was not the case. The car rode better but there was hugh difference in cornering performance, and i made no modifications to the suspension at all.

01-26-2017, 01:21 PM
I, too, bought Coker's 215/75R14 (2 1/2") last Spring and so far so good. I got them shipped free from 3910pplus (seller) on EBay for $836.00. There was a $40 rebate on top of this.

Since these are going to last a while, I was open to the 3 other choices maybe mentioned below: The Diamondbacks, Goodrich, and American Classics. There doesn't seem to be any product comparisons on these tires. I couldn't get anyone to spend any time explaining the pros and cons of each brand. Only the marketing material on websites discussed the tires.


01-26-2017, 02:35 PM
Went through this a while back with the Classics, wide whites. Since Summit was mentioned, our research was with Jegs. There was no speed rating listed so the technical department was emailed. The email response from Jegs indicated the speed rating to be "P", 93 mph. This is a whopping 6 mph above an "N" rating for temporary spare. No thanks. Your research may yield better results.