Classic Car Tyres

Michelin offers a range of classic car tyres which will fit a number of vehicles manufactured between the late Twenties and early Eighties.

LOAD INDICES AND SPEED SYMBOLS

Most tyres bear instructions for use such as the load index (number) and the speed symbol (letter). The load index indicates the maximum load per tyre. The speed symbol indicates the maximum authorised speed.

Load index Load per tyre (kg) Load index Load per tyre (kg) Speed symbol Speed (kph)
62 265 75 387 K 110
63 272 76 400 L 120
64 280 77 412 M 130
65 290 78 425 N 140
66 300 79 437 P 150
67 307 80 450 Q 160
68 315 81 462 R 170
69 325 82 475 S 180
70 335 84 487 T 190
71 345 85 500 H 210
72 355 86 515 V 240
73 365 87 530 W 270
74 375 88 545 Y 300
Load index Load per tyre (kg) Load index Load per tyre (kg) Speed symbol Speed (kph)
88 560 101 825 K 110
89 580 102 850 L 120
90 600 103 875 M 130
91 615 104 900 N 140
92 630 105 925 P 150
93 650 106 950 Q 160
94 670 107 975 R 170
95 690 108 1000 S 180
96 710 109 1030 T 190
97 730 110 1060 H 210
98 750 111 1090 V 240
99 775 112 1120 W 270
100 800 113 1150 Y 300
Load indexLoad per tyre (kg)Speed symbolSpeed (kph)
1141180K110
1151215L120
1161250M130
1171285N140
1181320P150
1191360Q160
1201400R170
1211450S180
1221500T190
1231550H210
1241600V240
1251650W270
  Y300
  VR>210
  ZR>240

TUBE TYPE AND TUBELESS

Tube type: Inner tube separate from tyre.

Tubeless: Inner tube incorporated into the tyre. Needs an air tight rim, however on vintage cars, if the rims are not air tight, we can allow the fitting of certain TL tyres with a special inner tube. When this is possible, the corresponding tube is given in the tables.

Authenticity and Technological Know-How

Michelin’s choice of continuous innovation and technological leadership can be found in this collection range. These tyres benefit from the progress made in grip on rubber mixings. However, the dynamic characteristics of these tyres remain entirely appropriate in association with those of the vehicles of time. Made in small production runs often by hand, these tyres call on the technical skills and the know-how of the finest craftsmen.

IN KEEPING WITH THE STANDARDS OF THE AGE

The technological excellence of this range goes hand-in-hand with the historical authenticity of the vehicles. These tyres, reproducing the exact configuration of the model of the time in terms of size, tread pattern and aspect ration thus ensure that the vehicle remains entirely in keeping with the period.

In this way, Michelin, by offering you tyres which are both safe and historically accurate, intend to make their contribution to safeguarding, promoting and perpetuating motoring heritage.

Tyres made for fitment of classic cars – F.I.V.A. definition of a classic car:

  • Which is at least 30 years old
  • Which is preserved and maintained in a historically correct condition
  • Which is not used as a means of daily transport
  • And which is therefore a part of our technical and cultural heritage

CROSS-PLY TYRES WITH BEAD WIRES

The incorporation of wires into the bead in 1925 led to an improvement in tyre retention on the rim. These tyres also benefited from two major innovations prior to their creation:

  • The introduction of carbon black in 1917 which led to a five-fold increase in tyre service life.
  • The appearance of layers of textile wire cords parallel with each other in the tyre’s carcass, which gave rise to the so-called “cable” tyre in 1919 and the “cable confort” in 1923, the first low pressure car tyre (2.5 bars 36 psi).
 

Double rivet: “Double rivet” is in fact the name of a tread pattern which first saw the light of day with the first generation of tyres for motor cars, beaded edge tyres. This tread pattern was retained for first tyres with bead wires in 1925. This tread pattern, with its old-fashioned appearance, was truly revolutionary at the time. It was also the inspiration for the first radial tyres.

Superconfort: Resulting from research which led to even lower pressures and slower wear, Michelin brought out a very low pressure tyre in 1932, the Superconfort. 1935 saw the launch of the Superconfort Stop S the first tyre with a heavily siped tread pattern, specially designed for wet surfaces. At the time, Michelin was the only manufacturer who knew how to make this type of tyre with the famous zigzag sipes, which greatly improve safety because of the excellent grip they give. As its name suggests, the Superconfort Stop tyre offers exceptional comfort, in addition to its performance on the road.

Inflation Pressures of Cross-ply Tyres

  • Maximum speed is 150 kph (94 mph).
  • The inflation pressure has to be between 2 and 3.5 bars.
  • To get the best out of your tyres, use the pressure which corresponds to the actual (measured) load on each tyre (fully-loaded vehicle).

Whenever the vehicle is to be used at speeds or with loads or pressures that are outside the above recommendations, first consult the Michelin technical department.

THE REVOLUTIONARY X TYRE

With its X tyre with radial casing piles, Michelin set out to conquer the world with a considerable advance in technology. Its revolutionary construction for the time had the special feature of separating the sidewall function from the crown function.

The first major innovation from Michelin, the radial tyre was first marketed as the “X” tyre in 1949. At the time, Lancia was the first car manufacturer to fit the X tyre as original equipment on the Aurelia model. From 1955 onwards, radial technology became more popular and the majority of European car manufacturers opted for the radial solution. The X could be fitted to cars of very different categories, from the original and popular 2 CV or Beetle to the fascinating Mercedes 190SL or Facel Vega.

The advantages of the radial tyre compared with the cross-ply tyre could be clearly seen in all areas:

  • Greater safety (road-holding, grip, braking)
  • Economical to use (double the mileage, considerable reduction in fuel consumption)
  • Increased comfort thanks to the flexibility of the sidewalls. In the 50’s, the superiority of the X tyre was such that a number of racing drivers adopted it, although Michelin was not officially involved in any racing.

Crossply: This cross-section shows the single-concept structure of the cross-ply tyre. From bead to bead, four layers (at least) of textile fabric extend from one sidewall to the tread, going over to the other sidewall. The sidewalls and tread are not differentiated. The detailed pictures portrays the overlapping cords. These make up a thick mass of innumerable superimposed layers which represent as many areas of friction. A consequence of this is the appearance of “shearing” motions. The longitudinal cross-section show on the bottom left-hand side illustrates the shearing effect between the superimposed layers.

Radial: One can easily see the specialisation of the functions of sidewall/casing and tread. The sidewalls are made up of single layer of textiles plies, and so are not affected by the “shearing” phenomenon. The textile layer, like the rubber layer covering it, is thin and is therefore flexible. The considerable flexibility of the sidewalls results in better handling as well as fuel savings. As for the tread, it is made rigid through a triangulation effect brought about by combining the casing layer with two layers of steel cord bracing plies (3 for the X tyre). The rigidity of the crown reduces wear of the tyres an improves road-holding.

XAS TYRE: DRIVING PRECISION

From its launch in 1965, the XAS remained the reference tyre until the end of the 70s. The first tyre was an asymmetrical tread pattern, the inside and outside of the XAS work differently to give the car a good balance.

Michelin made more progress by differentiating the many elements that form the tyre, leading to the creation of the XAS, the first tyre with an asymmetrical tread pattern. The XAS was constructed taking into account the different kinds of work done by the shoulders, sidewalls and different parts of the crown, depending on whether they are on the inside and outside relative to the car. Just like a person’s foot is asymmetrical, the inside and outside of a tyre work differently to give the car good balance and sure handling.

This major progress allows the XAS tyre to give:

  • Remarkable stability,
  • Exceptional road holding on bends,
  • Previously unknown level of grip in all conditions.

The first production tyre designed to run at 210km/h (131mph), its exceptional performance naturally led to the XAS being used in racing, in Formula France as from 1968, circuit racing, rallies and hill climbs.

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Fitting and service charges include the following:

Tyre Fitting & Wheel Balancing – Our friendly team will remove your old tyres and fit the new tyres to your wheels, while also balancing to ensure even tyre wear, a smooth ride and even weight distribution.

Tubeless Rubber Valve – This is the valve you use to put air into your tyres. Over time, these can deteriorate, creating a safety hazard. By installing a new valve we can ensure your safety when you need to put air in your tyres in the future.

Tyre Disposal – Your tyres do not go to the rubbish dump but to a sustainable processing plant to get broken down and reused for other products and projects.