Hey there! Jared from Tread Connection here. I hope you and all your loved ones are well and staying safe during these crazy times. It’s funny how just weeks ago we were all out enjoying these beautiful spring days and I was taking care of collector car tires.
In fact, one of my last social engagements (before most of us were asked to stay home) came to mind recently. Oddly enough, here at Tread Connection, we hear similar stories from car collectors all too often.
So I wanted to share this because the reality is that taking care of collector car tires is different (but, just as important!) as taking care of the tires on your everyday car.
Meeting a Friend Who Collects Cars
I was visiting Cars & Coffee in Morrisville, NC, and I ran into the owner of a beautiful Factory Five Shelby Cobra. This car was pristine!
The owner described his careful rebuild process. He explained how much he had worked on it to make sure that it was both well maintained and paid the proper respect to the Shelby brand.
Of course, like many other collectors, he rarely takes the car out. It usually sits in the garage waiting for that gorgeous spring day where it can shine in the fresh sunlight.
His Factory Five Cobra (just in case you didn’t know) was modeled after the 427 Cobra. It has been one of the top build kits for many years.
In fact, Factory Five has built more than 11,000 body shells and over 40,000 body panels and shipped them to collectors across the globe.
Factory Five has been praised by Ford & Mustang magazine and many others for their quality and authenticity to the original Shelby 427 Cobra. When done properly and the Factory Five Cobra can really stand the test of time.
As we were talking about his Factory Five we (of course!) started to discuss tires and wheels. That’s when this first question about taking care of collector car tires came up…
How Often Should Collector Car Tires Be Changed?
This is an age-old question! Whether you are the everyday driver of a classic, the racer, or the garage queen it’s important to know how frequently your tires need to be changed.
The answer is: it depends!
If you are driving your car more often then you’ll probably need to play by the normal rules and change your tires as often as needed.
However, some drivers of collectors cars can take years before they even begin to wear the tread on their tires. So, here are a couple of tips for folks (like my friend at the Cars & Coffee show) who don’t get to drive their collector as much as they like.
The Reality of Flat Spots When Taking Care of Collector Car Tires
This is hotly debated! Some say if you are using radials that they won’t “flat spot.” These same folks may say that if the tires do then the flat spot will go away after a couple of minutes driving on them.
Unfortunately, these believers are wrong.
Even some radial tires can permanently hold on to flat spots! This can cause lasting damage to that gorgeous collector car you’ve worked so hard on.
Here’s a straightforward tip for taking care of collector car tires:
If you plan to store your classic for longer than a month, we recommend you raise it on jacks and lower the tire pressure. That way the tires are better able to withstand both time and the fluctuating temperatures of the seasons.
What’s the Risk of Old Tires with Low Mileage?
The other thing we hear from collectors is that they don’t need to change the tires because they barely have any miles on them.
Now I understand that you may not think that tires age, even if you do not use them. Unfortunately, that is not true.
Like the soles of your shoes and many other materials, tire rubber also weakens over time with age.
We recommend that after 5 years you should inspect your tires properly on an annual basis for faults, like cracks. If your tires are over ten years, they should be changed no matter what.
You invested a lot of money in your collector, think of taking care of collector car tires by changing your tires as an insurance policy to keep you and your car safe.
Tread Connection is Here for You
In the end, my new friend at Cars & Coffee decided it would be best to change his tires on his Factory Five Cobra.
He loved the idea that we would be able to go to him, on his schedule and take care of it for him in no time.
We set him up with a nice set of Cooper Cobra Radial G/T’s and he was confident that he would be able to cruise safely once again.
Tread Connection is available during the Stay-at-Home ordinance. Our service is uniquely suited to be low contact. So if you need us to come and change your tires (while you are safely at home) just give us a shout! We’ll gladly come to you and stay a safe distance away while we work our magic.
We appreciate your business and wish you the best during these trying times.
Franchise Owner & Wheel and Tire Expert
“I’m thrilled to be part of the rapidly growing Tread Connection family, and to give the people I have grown up with the ability to take back their lives!”