For the Love of Zora, Please Don’t Drive on 17-Year-Old Tires

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Don’t drive your vintage car on tires that are nearly old enough to vote.¬†

Your pride and joy vintage Corvette is connected to the road only by four small contact patches of rubber about the size of your palm. The big round donut of rubber on your wheels is more than just a device to keep the rims of your wheels from riding directly on the pavement; they’re a safety device, a part of the suspension, and possibly the difference between life and death. Whether you’ve had your Corvette since it was new, or if you just purchased yours yesterday, this thread should make you run out and check your tires immediately.

old tires

Corvette Forum member Capt_Bill took his 1971 Corvette out for a drive the other day. The weather was nice, so he drove out to the local airport to check out some planes and take in a bit of sun. Everything went well on the trip, and he returned the car to his garage. But the next morning, Bill found this catastrophic tire failure waiting for him. This is hellaciously scary, as this could have happened to Bill while he was out driving, and who knows how that could have ended.

CHECK OUT: What Forum Members Are Saying About Old Rubber

In the thread, Bill comments “I guess it’s true what they say about old¬†tires. They probably had over 90% tread left but were 17 years old.”

It absolutely is true what they say about old tires. The overlapped steel belts inside this tire corroded over the years and failed with age. For your sake, and the sake of your car, please do not use them. If you don’t know how to identify the age of your tire, here is an excellent guide from the experts, There are markings on the sidewalls of your tires to let you know when they were manufactured.

Bradley Brownell is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

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