Vintage Radial Tyres
- Radial tyres were first patented in 1946 with the vintage Michelin X.
- The movement towards radial tyres started slowly throughout the 1950s.
- In the 1950s with the introduction of the Pirelli Cinturato, sports car manufacturers started using radial tyres.
- By the mid-1960s radial tyres were the predominant technology throughout Europe.
- In 1965 Michelin developed the asymmetric radial tyre with the XAS.
- Radial tyres were not the main tyre technology in USA until 1970.
- In 1968 low profile tyres became available with Pirelli CN36, Dunlop SP Sport and Michelin XWX.
- Pirelli were making 60% profile Cinturato CN36 for Porsche 911 RS in 1972.
- Ultra low profile tyres hit the streets in 1974 with the Pirelli P7, and then Michelins millimetric TRX.
Items 1-40 of 379
Items 1-40 of 379
Radial Classic and Vintage Tyres Recommendations
Radial tyres became the predominant tyres in the 1950's and 60's. Longstone Classic Tyres can offer
radial tyres as an alternative to classic cross ply tyres.
For help finding the correct classic radial tyres for your classic car, phone us on
+44 (0) 1302 714 072 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Radial Car Tyres Construction
The first radial car tyres were marketed as the Michelin "X" in 1949. At that time Lancia was the first company to offer Michelin's radial tyres as original equipment on the Aurelia. The Radial Michelin X began a long line of revolutionary tyre designs which include:
Classic Radial Tyres
The radial tyre was first patented by Michelin in 1946 after years of research. The beauty of the radial tyre design is that it separates the functions of the sidewall and crown of the tyre, allowing greater vertical flexibility whilst ensuring that there is still as much tyre surface in contact with the road as possible. In classic radial tyres the sidewall has a one or two layers of textile cord giving good flexibility and the radial tyre tread is made rigid by combining the casing layer with two (or more) layers of steel cord bracing plies of the radial tyres. Both these factors give the classic radial tyre excellent road holding capabilities and a longer life span when compared to classic cross-ply tyres.
Radial Tyres FAQ
A: Radial Tyre technology was invented by Michelin during the war, but they chose not to patent it while they were under the control of the Nazi party so the Michelin X radial tyres were first patented in 1946.
A: Since the 1960s in Europe and 1970 in America most car tyres have been radial. For classic cars of the 1950s onwards we would often suggest fitting a radial upgrade such as a Cinturato over what might have been an original crossply. But importantly fitting a classic tyre carcass to suit a classic car chassis.
A: Before radials took centre stage, vintage cars fitted crossply tyres, which don’t last as long, don’t grip as well (specially in the wet), and tend to wander more at cruising speeds due to a less sophisticated carcass design.
A: The Cords in the carcass come radially from the centre of the wheel, and there is a separate belt in the tread.
A: Yes, for road use. Though often off road tyres are still crossply or Bias ply. Most road cars fit radial tyres, since the mid 1960s.