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Old 05/27/2017, 11:26 AM   #1
p51
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Vanishing tires

Has anyone else noticed that the selection of tires for R14 (and R15) rims is shrinking?

I currently have Firestone Firehawks Indy 500's on my car... IMO, they are a much better/safer tire than the BFGs. I've had both and the Firehawks stick better on wet roads. Anyway, I just happened to be looking on the web and apparently Firestone no longer makes Firehawks for R14 or R15 rims (!!)

So, the question is, does anyone have any suggestions on where one might buy either NOS or slightly used Firestone Firehawks Indy 500, 215/70-R14? I'd like to buy 1 (possibly 2) for spares...

Thanks
James

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Old 05/27/2017, 12:06 PM   #2
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I don't know of any spare Firehawks but for new tires the Cooper Cobras are still available.

Last edited by Mosesatm; 05/29/2017 at 11:46 PM..
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Old 05/27/2017, 11:20 PM   #3
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If you think that's bad, try to find a set of performance street tires in 13".
Before buying an "older" tire, check the date code on it. IIRC, at 7 years they are considered unsafe.

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Old 05/28/2017, 09:10 AM   #4
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Guys, thanks for the replies.

I knew that tires "spoil" but I did not know it was in the 6-7yr range and I had thought it was only correlated with service time/tread remaining. Apparently just environmental exposure (eg ozone) can also cause deterioration.

http://www.tiresafetygroup.com/tires...-in-six-years/

On the flip side, there is some opinion out there that tires stored in certain (tightly) controlled conditions will last a lot longer (last paragraph).

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-cult...last-10-years/

I was hoping to find a Firehawk for a spare so that if I damage a tire I can still keep a complete set of white-letter-out tires on the car.

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Old 05/28/2017, 09:48 AM   #5
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I've got 4 Firehawks 215/70/14 still mounted on chrome rims, I've had for about 5 years stored with my 'stash'. Tell me how to decipher the date codes and I'll check them out. They all have excellent tread. I could have them all dismounted, but shipping may be a bit pricey.

Neil

PS: I ck'd the date code as per your article. 0206= 2nd week of 2006.

Last edited by franklinair; 05/28/2017 at 10:37 AM..
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Old 05/28/2017, 08:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklinair View Post
I've got 4 Firehawks 215/70/14 still mounted on chrome rims, I've had for about 5 years stored with my 'stash'. Tell me how to decipher the date codes and I'll check them out. They all have excellent tread. I could have them all dismounted, but shipping may be a bit pricey.

Neil

PS: I ck'd the date code as per your article. 0206= 2nd week of 2006.
Neil

Thanks ever so much for the offer. But it's probably not worth the hassle taking them off the rims and shipping them across country. I checked my tires. They have great tread, look almost new (only a weekend driver) but they are a 2004 date! Given that the date is so old and what I now know about "use by" date, I'll probably run with my set for a while longer and then switch them out for a complete newer set. Maybe 15" or 16"(??) rims are in my future

Thanks again,
James

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Old 05/28/2017, 08:45 PM   #7
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Funny thing every tire that Rob puts on back of his Black 67 fastback is a vanishing tire!!!
LOL

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Old 05/28/2017, 09:48 PM   #8
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Yup, the 295 50R 15 Firehawks are almost gone!! Crap, another pair bites the dust!

Rob
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Old 05/29/2017, 10:46 PM   #9
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I spent the last year looking for Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tires to no avail. (205/70 15s) I was looking for the raised white letter ones. I could get black-wall Firehawks but I wanted RWL ones. I'm down to the bare minimum tread on mine now, so next month I will have to get the BF Goodrich TA ones.

From what I understand, Firestone sold the rights to the Firehawk Indys to Coker Tires, they have the Firestone Wide Ovals a bit pricey though, but they are making the Indys. DARN.

My spare is an unused Firehawk so when I have my Special judged, I guess I'll be dock a point or two for the tires not matching. But it's a good tire so why spend another $130.00 for the spare. Besides, I don't go to many MCA shows, so why bother.

Bill
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Old 05/30/2017, 12:10 PM   #10
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So... if I'm going to replace my rims anyway, go for 16" instead of 15"? Or are 16" also getting hard to find?

Harry Z

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Old 05/30/2017, 07:24 PM   #11
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The 16, 17, and 18 inch tire selection is way better than 15's. 14's are becoming very thin for any tire. I personally do not like anything bigger than a 16 on a 1st generation Mustang, but that is me. 16 inch tires have a nice selection of widths and aspect ratio's. Not to mention stickier compounds!

Rob
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Old 05/30/2017, 07:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryz View Post
So... if I'm going to replace my rims anyway, go for 16" instead of 15"? Or are 16" also getting hard to find?

Harry Z
Personally I really don't like large rims - especially on classic cars. There are only a few 16" rims I find attractive so if it were me making the choice I'd probably stick with 15" rims. Today there seems to be plenty of tires for 15" rims, just no Firestone Firehawk Indy 500s
Now whether 15" tires will go away in the future, and when... hard to say. BTW: You can still buy BFGs with RWL at 14" and 15" (but they seem to be getting more expensive). I'd recommend going to any online tire site and just checking for tire availability. Eg

https://tiresize.com/calculator/

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Old 06/02/2017, 12:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosesatm View Post
I don't know of any spare Firehawks but for new tires the Cooper Cobras are still available.
I'm running the Cobras. Real happy with them.
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Old 06/05/2017, 01:51 PM   #14
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What size is that Cooper Cobra?
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