B arry's Tire Tech

This is a series of articles on the technical aspects of tires, their care and usage.

My primary purpose in these articles is to help people understand tires and thereby reduce the risks we all face every day.

..........and since tires is just about the only thing I know about..........

Please drop me a note if you have a topic you want to see:


Vintage Tire Exchange

From time to time, I will get questions concerning the use of modern tires in place of the tires that came originally on a vintage vehicle. By vintage, I mean any vehicle that was produced before the advent of the current tire sizing system. If you don't have a good grasp of how tire sizing systems work, visit here:

Barry's Tire Tech - Tire Sizing

I've created a spreadsheet that - to the best of my ability - represents everything I know about how an exchange might work. But some words of caution:

  • I have never verified any fitment - EVER - so I can not guarantee this will work. On the other hand, I don't think there are many people who know as much about the subject as I do. But if you know something is wrong with the chart - drop me a line. I'll update it - and everyone will be further ahead.

  • There are some quirks in some of the tables I will reference below. One of them has to do with the group names. I've found the yearbooks to be a bit imprecise. They will sometimes label a table one thing and scattered within the table are tires from a different group. I suspect this is historical in nature - that is, these are likely carryovers from previous groups - and rather than create a separate table, they put all the current tires in one table to save space in the book.

  • There are blanks in the spreadsheet, because I either do not think there is an appropriate substitute, or because I have seen references to an old tire that I don't have any data on.

  • Pay particular attention to where I have indicated there may be a problem. It ought to be obvious where the problem is you ought to be sure before you take the plunge.

    For heaven's sake, please don't skimp on the load carrying capacity issues. I would hate for your vintage car to wind up as a ball of twisted metal just because you didn't use enough load carrying capacity.

So, without further ado, here it is. Click on the image to the right and a new window will open with the spreadsheet in it.

Here are the source documents for the spreadsheet.

Please, someone, copy these files somewhere. These pages are very difficult to find and once the books are gone, they are gone. The only record of them just might be these images.

1950 Tire & Rim Association excerpts:

1960 Tire & Rim Association excerpts:

1970 Tire & Rim Association excerpts:

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