With that in mind, I have drafted a petition. The following is a letter, and spreadsheet containing vital data, which was originally drafted by Stu McMillan and sent to Specialty Tires of America and Coker Tire, the leading reproduction tire manufacturers. The letter has been modified somewhat with Mr. McMillan’s permission. Apparently they didn’t think Stu’s letter on it’s own was convincing enough. We are hoping that getting all of YOU to voice the same concern, in the same place, and presenting a whole bunch of opinions in the form of a proper petition to STA, Coker, and anyone else that might listen, that we’ll get a better outcome.
You can read on, or click the button below to go straight to the petition.
The Case for 8-19.5″ Tires
Specialty Tires of America
1600 Washington Street
Indiana, PA 15701
1317 Chestnut Street
Chatanooga, TN 37402
Subject: Request For Reproduction Bias Ply 8-19.5″ Tires
We represent a large and growing population of truck owners that are in dire need of, and desperate to purchase, 8-19.5″ bias ply tires for use on trucks that have 19.5″ wheels as either OEM, RPO, or would benefit from using them as period correct replacements for OEM multi-part wheels. We are seeking your willingness to add bias ply 8-19.5″ tires to your product lines. We are owners of 4×4 conversions by NAPCO, Marmon-Herrington, FABCO, Coleman, and all manner of OEM 4×4 equipped trucks. We are students of old truck wheels and tires. We are active on forums that focus on vintage truck and 4×4 history, maintenance, and restoration. Wheel and tire safety is one of the most frequent topics of discussion, and concerns of enthusiasts of all experience levels. There are dozens of posts around the internet by truck owners looking for tires for their 19.5″ wheels, and the same frustrations have been echoed ad nauseum through the years.
Owners of trucks that originally came equipped with 19.5″ wheels for many years, and still today, have had only a very few tire options and those have all been radials.
Modern radials bear no resemblance to the old tread designs, and were never intended, approved, nor warranted for use on the early riveted center disc wheels.
Some four wheel drive owners go to great lengths to search out NOS tires such as the Courser Traction LT, Firestone Super All Traction, Goodyear Xtra Grip, Firestone Transport 110, etc., but do so knowing that these tires, even having never been mounted, are still old and therefore not considered to be safe to use.
We desperately need new, safe, period correct, 8-19.5″ bias ply tires available for purchase.
The attached chart lists the early riveted center disc type 19.5″ wheels by manufacturer number, NWRA cross code, description, and vehicle manufacturers’ assigned numbers. All US and Canadian light truck brands of the 1950’s and 1960’s offered these as optional and in many cases standard wheels. An added, more modern 19.5″ wheel, the Budd 89430 motor home wheel, has also become a common replacement the 15″, 16″, 17″, 18″, and even 20″ OEM multi-part wheels for trucks dating clear back into the mid to late 1940’s and up into the 1970’s.
The point is that there is already a large, and ever-expanding population of under-served truck owners. Original 19.5″ wheels command premium prices even though there are very few tires available to mount to them, and all of them radials. We believe that the enclosed petition with many signatures, proves our assertion that it is time to remedy this situation by bringing these tires to market.
We hope that you agree.
If there is a need for NOS tires to use for molds, they can be made available to any manufacturer willing to make this investment.
Josh Hooker & Stu McMillan, et al