Published in the 250 GTE Register & Newsletter, Volume 27 - No.4, October 2010.
Editor's Note:This item was written by Dougal Cawley, firstname.lastname@example.org who is associated with Longstone Tyres in the UK. He has an agent in the U. S. at www.lucasclassictires.com and will serve U.S.clients. Shipping is free anywhere in the world. I thought Mr. Cawley's history and comments were worth repeating here. My research indicates that all GTEs were fitted with PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ 185x15 tires on Borrani RW3690 wheels and that the 330 Americas were fitted with 205x15 CINTURATO ™ on Borrani RW3801 wheels. But, as with all early Ferraris, there are exceptions. Ferrari's brochure for the 330 America shows 185x15 tires while Luigi Chinetti's advertisements show 205x15. Apparently some GTEs going to Europe outside Italy were fitted with Engelbert tires. I welcome comments on both wheel and tire fitment.
PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ Tires for your 250 GTE / 330 America
In the early Fifties the world of Sports cars was rocked by the introduction of the PIRELLI CINTURATO ™. The CINTURATO ™ moved boundaries forward as to what could be expected of a tyre as, until then the 'Michelin X' had been the only radial tyre. Michelin developed the 'X' to enhance tyre longevity using their new radial technology which considerably improved grip.
PIRELLI tailored this new technology to suit sports cars by developing the CINTURATO ™ which are more progressive.
It was because of this new progressive radial technology that many of the World's best cars fitted CINTURATO ™ as original equipment; Lancia, MG, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Morgan, Maserati and Lamborghini to name but a few.
The PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ brand is thriving today with a range of sizes in the CA67 tread-pattern (155HRI5, 165HR400, 185VR15 and 185VRI6). The 185VR16 and 165HR400 CINTURATO ™ CA67 tyre is of particular importance to early Ferrari fans as they were the radial tyre choice for the cars of the 50's.
At the beginning of the 60's Ferrari tended towards fitting 15" wheels and cars like the 250 GT fitted the 185VR15 CINTURATO ™ CA67. This exact tyre has just been remanufactured by PIRELLI. 50 the most desirable cars in the world can again look and feel the way they did the day they left the factory all those years ago
Throughout the 60's a lot of the world's best cars fitted the same tyre 205VR15 PIRELLI CINTURATO ™. Cars like Maserati Mistral, 5ebring, 5000GT, Quatroporte, Ghibli Mexico, ISO Rivolta and Grifo, Lamborghini 350 GT, 400 GT, Islero, Espada all used the same tyre. Ferrari also chose to use the 205VR15 CINTURATO ™ for their range of cars. 50 in the mid 60's the 330, 500 5uperfast, and 365 Fitted the 205VR15 CINTURATO ™. Today so many of these cars will be incorrectly fitting 70% profile tyres. Either 205/70VR15 or 215/70VRI5. In the 60's Ferrari didn't use 70% profile tyres, because they simply weren't around until the early 70's.
This 205VR15 PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ has not been available for some considerable time now. It was at the end of the 60's that the development of the 70 profile tyre happened, but for some time now all these cars have been forced to fit more modem tyres, which although they handle well are smaller in diameter. Which is why often when you look at these cars from the side the wheel arches look a little empty. For instance if your car fits a 205/70VR15 tyre instead of the original 205VR15 tyre, you are going to find it 4cm (nearly 2 inches) smaller in diameter.
This 205VR15 tyre has just been remanufactured by PIRELLI, using PIRELLI's clever new up-to date compounds to make sure we get excellent grip and all the tests have given excellent results.
Available from Longstone Tyres. www.longstone.com or 00 44 1302 711123. Free shipping worldwide.