<VV> Tires, sizes and "look"

Chris & Bill Strickland lechevrier at earthlink.net
Thu Oct 20 04:48:44 EDT 2005

Maybe I need to back track a bit and explain myself.

I agree that most 185/80-13 tires should be similar, size-wise, to the 
6.50 x 13.  It's just that some of them aren't. And they are all 
radials. By definition, none of them "look" stock -- radials just don't 
look biased.

There are a couple of different perspectives here I suppose -- are you 
trying to please yourself, or are you trying to please some concours 
judge who will appear in your future?  Personally, I'm not into 100%, 
100 point, original stock -- I'm into cars to drive them, but I do 
appreciate restored cars and the effort that goes into them (I have 
received paychecks for doing this type of work).

BUT, if you want that stock "look" of an original 1960 Corvair sedan -- 
like the 1959 Chevy ad I have copied for wallpaper on this terminal -- 
you better go get some wide white bias plys and make darn sure your ride 
height matches the picture in the ad relative to the tire & wheel -- 
that 60 rear wheel cutout needs to come right at the top of the wheel. 
Otherwise, you ain't got the stock "look". Same for all the other 
Corvairs, too. Now, if you want a different "look" to your car, that is 
fine by me. Lord knows I had 7.00x13 blackwalls on the front and D70-13 
TorqueMasters with the thin red line on the outside on the old 60 I wish 
I had never sold, but I wasn't trying for a stock "look" either.

That is what hot rods are all about -- having "the look". Yeah, they all 
mostly look like hot rods, but once in a while one really stands out -- 
not necessarily because some rich guy gold plated it -- but because it 
caught your eye, and perhaps your imagination, with "The Look".  Miami 
Vice wasn't about crime, it was about a "look".

Same goes for Corvairs, early, late, Devon, FC, whatever -- some of them 
have a "look". And just because you put 185/80 - 13 tires on your rig 
doesn't mean that it will "look" just right. Maybe your car, with that 
particular color of paint and trim needs maybe a bit different tire to 
"look" right. "Look" is not something that can be measured, except by 
the eye seeing it. Yeah, it has to clear and not rub etc if you want the 
"look" or perhaps the performance of oversize/undersize tires. But, to 
my eye, to be "stock" it has to "look" stock or very close to it, and 
since few of us want to drive on old timey wide white bias ply tires, 
maybe the tires you put on, because they are radials or whatever, just 
don't "look" stock (or maybe they do - it's your eye), even if they are 
the holy grail of 185/80-13's. And remember, part of the "look" is how 
the tire "looks" in the wheel well, meaning the ride height needs to be 
"right" <for that particular tire>. [That, or the tire needs to be right 
for the ride height.]

You do not know how a tire is going to "look" on your car unless you 
have the imagination of the automotive artist and can "see" these things 
on the easel of your mind's eye. How do you *know* how it is going to 
"look"?  I know I can't do it.  Stock or otherwise:
an example -- slow connections need to wait for the graphics to load -- 

Otherwise, go try 'em on!

Not Gospel, just food for thought  ---  not all will agree, but that is 
okay, too ...


Bill Strickland

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