Classic Tyre age
It has often been said to us that back in the day tyres lasted longer. In large they did. Back in the day, there was very little restriction as to what materials and chemicals were used. Tyres were made out of plutonium, white rhino tusk, kryptonite, whales blubber and asbestos. Everytime someone did a wheel spin a 6 inch hole was made in the ozone layer. However today the production of tyres is under much stricter control, and they are far greener. However we do have the benefits of modern compounds which move water out the way much better than it did in the day. The current quality control systems in tyre factories today are also much more thorough. The 2 top brand classic tyres Michelin Collection and the range of Pirelli Collezione are making tyres that can compete with modern tyres, yet benefit from having a carcass design suited to the chassis design of cars of that period.
How Long Should a Classic Tyre Last
Many manufacturers state that a tyre that has been fitted and used on a car for 5 years will not be working as well is it should be and should be changed. It is important to note that the rate of deterioration of a tyre dramatically increases after the first time it is used, as the molecules with the tyre have started working as the carcass flexes and any coating that might be on the tyre is lost.
As a catch all for classic tyres we say that when it is 10 years old you should change it.
How can you tell the Age of a Classic Tyre?
Since the 1980s all tyres have had a date code on them. This century it is a panel of 4 numbers on the sidewall of the tyre. There should be a series of letters and number starting with DOT on both sides of the tyre. On one side of the tyre, at the end of the DOT series of numbers and letters there should be a stadium shape stamped into the side of the tyre. If this is not on either side of the tyre, it is a pre 1980 tyre. Throw it away. If it has 4 numbers in it, then it is from this century. If it says 1705 that means it is from the 17th week of 2005; throw it away. If it says 2311 it is from the 23rd week of 2011; throw it away. If it says 2921 Bull's eye! 29th week of 2021. if the panel has 3 numbers and a triangle in it; throw it away its from the 1990. If the panel simply has 3 numbers in it; throw it away it is from the 1980s and made out of plutonium, white rhino tusk, kryptonite, whale's blubber and asbestos.