Tires for my 1971 Chrysler 300

Brakes, Suspension, Rims and Tires

  1. Tony Lane

    Tony Lane New Member

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    I would like to purchase a set of tires for my 1971 Chrysler 300. Are tires like Toyo tires' Proxes A20 used in vintage cars like my C-body?
     
  2. Jon O.

    Jon O. Well-Known Member

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    I would go with mastercraft white stripe tires. They look original, and function well. They are also fairly cheap.
     
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  3. saforwardlook

    saforwardlook Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    I tend to prefer the Hankook Optimo 724 white stripe tires that have a higher load (XL) and speed rating (108S) than any other such size tire that I have found. While I am not crazy over the sidewall design itself, I don't really notice it when they are on the cars since there is so much other nice stuff to look at on a 1971 Chrysler 300! The information below is from the Discount Tire Company (aka knows as America's Tire Company). They are also one of the few tires approved for use in Europe for the Autobahn, etc.

    upload_2018-6-19_17-0-23.gif
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    BETTER
    Hankook

    Optimo H724

    P 235 /75 R15 108S XL WW

    ITEM# 10986

    70,000 miles manufacturer warranty

    XL Load Range

    Customer Rating
    4.4Read reviews (298)
    Compare tire reviews
    $64.00ea.
    Found it Lower?

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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
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  4. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Senior Member

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    The OEM tires were probably H78x15 Goodyear bias-belted whitewalls. If you go by the section width measurements, then a P215/75R-15 radial would be the equivalent, but most use the P225/75R-15 size. An alternative would be P235/70R-15

    I believe the Hankooks would be a good choice, especially as they are available without having to get into the repro tire vendors (and $200.00/each prices!). Many local tire stores usually have then, too, which might be even better if you're away from home and something might happen.

    Those Hankooks are supposed to have (according to their website) the "outer belt cap" for added tread stability, better handling, and other benefits.

    Just some thoughts,
    CBODY67
     
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  5. Mark McD

    Mark McD New Member

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    I also just recently bought a set of Hankook optimo h724 tires for my 1969 300 and they look and handle very well. I was able to find them online at the Walmart warehouse with the white wall. Very reasonably priced.
     
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  6. 69monaco

    69monaco Senior Member

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    bfg-silvertown-radial-215-70r15-pinwhite.png

    Not cheap but looking much better is this one ………...IMO
     
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  7. commando1

    commando1 Mr. Normal FCBO Gold Member

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    Hankooks or Toyo P235/75R-15 WW.
    Everything else is simply wrong..
     
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  8. saforwardlook

    saforwardlook Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    I strongly believe in getting the most tire possible under these C bodies as is reasonable and available at a good price in a white wall (unless the original tire was a RWL for example). The tread width is more narrow on these radials than the bias ply tires of the past and the overall circumference is less as well generally. To me, a C body looks best with the 235 series on them, as anything else just looks too small and makes the car look a little silly. I would not even consider a 225 or especially a 215 series radial tire on any C body.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
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  9. Jon O.

    Jon O. Well-Known Member

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  10. Carmine

    Carmine Old Man with a Hat

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    I agree with the points made regarding size. However any modern radial tire is lightyears beyond what was available in 1970 and any 15" whitewall is 25 years behind the best tech in 2018. I owned the Optimos myself on a '73 Imperial and they drove like crap compared to the 17" 60-series also used on Lincoln Towncars of the time, hardly a car on the cutting edge of performance.

    I've had the Mastercraft WW on a daily driver for 18 months now and I'm quite pleased with them. Tread still looks like new and I guarantee that car sees more miles and time at 70+ than anyone's collector car. I did hold out for a set of 15x7" rims, which I bet have more impact than brand. I also like knowing mine were made in Ohio, not Korea and don't say Kum-ho on the side.
     
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  11. saforwardlook

    saforwardlook Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    I am always willing to learn of a better option, so perhaps I should try out a Master Craft tire, as I like the appearance of them and I do like that they are really actually made in the USA and not outsourced. For some reason, they are hard to find in my area, but I think I have located an outlet finally.

    Also, Cooper makes both the Master Craft A/S IV tire and the Trendsetter SE - what is the difference between them and is one preferable to the other and why?

    I have a set of older Michelin tires on one of my other fuselage 300s, and I will say that they are superior to the Optimos particularly in terms of tracking more precisely. My Michelins were 235/70R15 rather than the 75 series. But those are long gone in terms of availability in a white wall. But they had a tread width almost twice of what the Optimos provide.

    It is hard to make direct comparisons of different tires unless you try both brands on the same car, as alignment, suspension wear, steering gear adjustment/wear, condition of the coupler and so many other factors go into the equation of what determines a "good tire".

    I was just wondering what aspect of the Optimos on your Imperial bothered you the most when using the word "crap". I haven't been able to really fault the ride or handling on my 71 300s using them at least.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
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  12. saforwardlook

    saforwardlook Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    How about a photo of your car? Don't see many of those very often on this site.

    But I might be part of the reason for that. :)
     
  13. Carmine

    Carmine Old Man with a Hat

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    I'm guessing they're harder to find because California is closer to Korea than Ohio, but Cooper tires are relatively common around MI.

    Regarding the difference in handling... again, I agree all variables must be controlled. In this case they were. I'd term this Imperial's suspension as "good used", meaning I did the usual K-mart Auto Service ball-joint and sterring linkage shakes and found nothing grossly in disrepair. However I'm sure new bushings would have made things better.

    I actually put some major mileage on that car, driving it from Detroit to LA, then to Vegas (lots of high speed). Phoenix for about a month as my only car, then back to MI but coming through Minnesota. All of that was done on my 17x8 rims with Michieln radials.

    When I decided to sell the car (which I regret), I bought 15" Optimos, mounted them on the OE rims (how wide in '73? I don't know?) and added a pinstripe whitewall by removing the 1/32 of black rubber on the sidewall. The car's driving dynamic totally changed. Much less surefooted into a sweeper turn, more frequent steering corrections and just a feeling of "sway" that didn't exist with the 60 series 17" tires. There is no way I would have enjoyed the highway travel as much with those tires.

    I still have another set of 17" aluminum Torque Thrusts and I think I'll mount up a set of performance SUV tires for the Royal Monaco. It's also what you get used to, I imagine. Right now, the Monaco feels like a slot-car compared to my tall-riding SUV, but I'm sure the 17s will make the Mastercraft's feel more like the Optimos.

    There is a 17" aluminum rim out there that is designed to accept a 15" wheel cover. The extra diameter can be painted balck/white to mimic a whitewall. Never seen it in person, but I love the idea. Best of all worlds.

    I"m sure you know I lean towards originality, but I don't sweat rims/tires very much since the changes are not permanent.

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  14. Pete Kaczmarski

    Pete Kaczmarski Senior Member

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    I like your idea. I'm looking for tires for my '62 Chrysler 300 convert. The ones on it now are 3" wide whites on bias. That year 1" W/W was on the car but I don't like the narrow of the w/w. I found that Cadillac had basically the same thing you did in 1970. But, the w/w pattern is in reverse or yours.

    01212_2CMpEENSrVt_600x450.jpg
     
  15. Carmine

    Carmine Old Man with a Hat

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    Rubber is much more like turning wood than you'd ever guess. To cut that extra stripe was just a few mins on each tire with a 36-80-120 sanding disc folded to about an 1/8". Next time I do it, I will make a video. The ones I've seen on YT are lousy.
     
  16. saforwardlook

    saforwardlook Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    While I do understand your comments, it seems a 17x8 rim with some stiff suv type tires is not a very good comparison to stock wheels and low $$ tires on the relatively small side and therefore doesn't say a whole lot about the relative performance of the Hankooks vs the Cooper Mastercraft/Trendsetter comparison. I believe your upgrade had to help the overall handling/feel of the car substantially.

    I might still do the comparison back to back, but I am not going to expect much difference in the performance of the Hankook vs. Cooper brands either on the same car with the same wheels that matters to those of us trying to keep the appearance of a vehicle as stock as possible. Maybe I should investigate more fully using the original size radial tire in the Michelin brand that would be blackwalls if a 15" size is even available anymore and have white walls added as well as other suspension ugrades that would not be visible.

    Driving one of these basically original old "boats" is a night and day comparison with driving my 1997 Concorde that tracks and handles basically "perfectly" in my judgment. I don't know how it could be any better for the kind of car that it is........................
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  17. Carmine

    Carmine Old Man with a Hat

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    I don't know if any of us could tell a seat-of-pants difference between either the MC's or the Optimos. I thought you were looking for the reason I liked the 17's.

    I found the rim that I was talking about, but unfortunately it's a 20" rim... 17 or maybe even 18 would be great, but just not enough sidewall on a 20. Maybe in California...

    Purchase the Full and Half Profiles / 20" rim to accommodate big brakes and modern tires | Deluxe Wheels

    TWO MODELS AVAILABLE.
    We have produced a revolutionary, patent pending 20” rim that replicates a 15” steel wheel with a 2 ½” section of whitewall tire attached. This unique design allows for the installation of today’s low-profile tires to create the nostalgic, old-school wide whitewall look, but have the performance of today’s modern sports cars. Our wheels are also compatible with the car’s original hubcaps to complete the original look.

    fullprofile.png
    THE FULL PROFILE
    • Fully replicates a steel wheel profile
    • Fits most 15” hubcaps, center caps and trim rings
    • Made with 31/2” of forward spacing from the edge of the rotor’s hub to the outside bead of the tire
     
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  18. Pete Kaczmarski

    Pete Kaczmarski Senior Member

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    So would a "Dremel" tool with a proper attachment be even better? if the tire rotates and you hold the tool stationary.
     
  19. Mike66Chryslers

    Mike66Chryslers Well-Known Member

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    That's very sneaky. Yeah, if they made a 17" that looked like it had a narrow w/w I might be interested.
     
  20. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Senior Member

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    I saw an ad from YearONE with both alum Magnum 500 and Rallyes in 17".

    There are TWO criteria I use in looking at equivalent tire sizes. One is actual section width (convert mm to inches) and THEN the "revs/mile" number for that size. GR70x15, for example is about 750revs/mile, according to some of the later '70s BFG literature I have. P245/70x14 replaces the earlier H78x14 in the revs/mile spec. The P215/75R-15 is the old G78x15 or non-Pmetric 205-15 size. The slightly larger P225/75x15 size is what the earlier J78x15 was, which is the earlier 8.85x15 size. P235/75x15 hits the "L" size.

    When I put the Pirelli P76s on my '70 Monaco in the later '70s, I chose the JR78x15 over the HR78x15 so it would raise the car's height enough that the rear factory duals didn't drag on some steep approaches. Remember THAT problem? And it worked. I read all of the Chrysler factory information on radial tires (which was in the '70 Owner's Manual) and might have been a little gunshy, but did it anyway. I experienced nothing of what I'd read about UniBody cars and radials, back then. Just a better situation.

    When I saw my first set of Cooper Trendsetter SEs on a '66 Newport at Mopar Nats one year, I was impressed as they looked just right on the car. Tread width matched the OEM Goodyear Custom Power Cushion 8.55x14s in all dimensions and looks. Narrow tread and all.

    For the '67 Newport, I went initially with some Kelly P225/75R-15 glass belt radials, for impact harshness concerns AND that size matched the dimensions of the earlier H78x14 tires. Those were replaced with a set of NOS P245/70R-14 BFG Advantage T/As. On '65 C-station wagon 14x6.5" rims. Those tires had some rolling resistance! 6-ply fabric belt radials.

    To me, the best fit is the P225/75R-15 size. There's enough weight carrying capacity too. I generally run 30/28 tire pressures, possibly a little higher, so the tires are firmer and handle better. I've seen W23 16-slot Class II Road Wheels with P235/75R-15 whitewalls on a '66 Chrysler and they look pretty good, just a tad too big for my tastes. BTAIM.

    The wider rim width keeps the sidewalls more vertical to the road. This will increase steering response with a little more impact harshness, but not so much it outweighs the handling benefits. A wider wheel is always better as long as strength is maintained.

    Falls MasterCraft tires used to be sold through the Farm Bureau offices, in the '80s or so. Now, they are in more tire stores in rural areas, from what I've seen in TX. A good value line.

    The pre-'69 Chrysler C-body cars were supposed to be more sensitive to radial harmonics in the 45mph speed range. Our service station guy had a '65 Fury III with radials designed for cotton trailers on it. Branded not for road use, but they worked fine on his '65. He like the highway ride, which is smoother on steel-belt radials and said the lower-speed harmonics didn't seem too noticeable. This was in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Yet some CAR LIFE readers with B-bodies said radials didn't ride well on their cars, but bias-belted worked great. Differences in tire brand? Other car/tire interactions? Many variables.

    By this time, the current-design P-metric radials have most of those "old habits" designed out of them. Some seem to ride more like bias-belted than radials, by observation. I wish I could find some Michelins, but others have used the Diamond Back Toyos and raved about them. I concur with the "buy American" theme, but sometimes that isn't possible with tires. The Hankooks do have some very nice and sharp graphics on their sidewalls, though. Better prices than the repros, though, plus better availability. I suspect that if I had good performance from the old bias-belted, any current radial should be just as good, as far as that goes.

    I do like the wider tread width, but I also suspect that the old OEM tread width was narrower than we might remember, by observation. We've become too used to seeing wider treads on newer tires, very possibly.

    To each their own.
    CBODY67
     
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