Historic Hot Rod Gets A New Attitude
We love hot rods with history, especially when they end up in the hands of a true hot rodder. We've seen our share of significant hot rods get the modern street rod treatment with independent suspension, modern engine and billet wheels...it's enough to make a man cry. Luckily, guys like Kevin Gill (local hot rodder from Ooltewah, TN) are interested in keeping history alive by preserving old hot rods. His newest acquisition is a 1929 Ford Model A roadster that has deep roots in the hot rod world, and even spent some time as a racecar in the '50s. The car had what many would consider the "wrong tires" on it, so he came to Coker Tire with intentions of giving his historic roadster a new attitude. The tires on Kevin's roadster were cracked and dry-rotted to the point of no return, so it needed tires for safety purposes. In addition to the poor condition, the tires just didn't seem to fit the theme of the roadster. This car has pretty clear racing influence, and the whitewall tires just didn't have the right look in combination with the magnesium Halibrand wheels. By the way, those wheels normally rolled beneath Sprint Cars and other forms of dirt track cars, so they would normally feature a six-pin design with a knock-off hub. These wheels feature a bolt-on design with a Ford 5x5.5-inch bolt pattern. RARE! [products] Magnesium wheels are very fragile, and large chunks can break off if too much pressure is put on the wheel during the mounting and balancing process. Hal takes special care to install the new Firestone tire without using excessive force. Knowing the value and fragile nature of vintage magnesium wheels, Kevin only trusted Coker to do the mounting and balancing of his new tires. And to tie into the vintage racing look, he went with a set of our Firestone Dirt Track tires, sized at 5.00-15 and 8.20-15. The ribbed front tires and grooved rear tires offer the racing look, but these tires are DOT approved, so Kevin can get out and drive whenever he wants. If you're wondering about the authenticity of these Firestone tires or any of our bias ply tires, we have a few ways of engineering them: 1. We obtain the original mold, and refurbish it. Then, we used modern materials to build a new tire in the restored original mold. 2. If a mold is not available, or it is not serviceable, we use original Firestone blueprint drawings to build a brand new mold. 3. If a mold is not available, and drawings are not available, we search for an original tire. We can then reverse engineer the tire and have new molds built from our drawings. Even though Kevin had to remove the rear fenders to fit the larger Dirt Track tires, it was worth the effort to give this roadster a new attitude. With the port-o-walls and custom rear fenders, it was a cute '50s custom, and with these new Firestone's, it has a down and dirty vintage racecar appeal. That's the power of a simple tire swap. We're sure to see more of this roadster at our Chattanooga Cruise In events in 2014, and you can bet Kevin is patiently waiting for the spring thaw, so he can get out and enjoy this roadster.