Tire Availability Survey - Large 14 & 15 Whitewalls.
by Ed Mills

Seeing the recent tire discussions, and noting the decreasing availability of larger size whitewall tires, I thought this may be of interest.

By coincidence, I just completed a quick tire survey of 14 and 15 inch whitewalls in preparation for buying a set for my 300L. What I found was very disappointing compared to the last time I did such research a few years ago. Its not guaranteed to be complete and there may be some perfectly good inventory of some tires such as the Firestone F380, Goodyear Regatta II, Cooper Trendsetter SE, etc. that are no longer in production or now only in blackwalls in sizes that previously were available in whitewalls. All data best effort as of 2/28/2014.

I will admit that my personal interest was focused on the narrow whitewalls which would be correct for 1962-1965 300H thru 300L and for 1967-70 non-letter cars. The 1971 were dual white bias belted and prior to 1962, standard tires would be wide whitewalls of varying widths.

The sizes of most interest for the big Chryslers are typically the replacements for 7.60-15, 8.00-15, 8.00-14, 8.50-14, and 9.00-14. These are generally speaking P225/75R15, P235/75R15, P215/75R14, P225/75R14, and P235/75R14.

I would note however, that the metric sizes tend to be significantly smaller diameter that the tires they replace. Furthermore, radials of a given diameter tend to have a lower Static Loaded Radius than a comparable bias tire of similar OD. Hence a car on radials will sit a bit lower even if OD is identical. Hence there would seem to be a desire to upsize assuming you have clearance for the increased tread width.

I have provided typical OD and tread width from older files I have dating back to the 50's including some engineering data - but I would also note that in the 1950's thru at least the early 1960's there tended to be some variation in OD by manufacturer and tread width both by manufacturer and in different tire lines within a manufacturer.

Anyway, here's the bad news:

8.00-14 & 8.25-14 typically 27.5 inch OD x 4.6 inch tread width

Replaced by P215/75R14 typically 26.7 inch OD x 5.6 inch tread width

(Another option would be the 225/70R14) but its a bit shorter and wider still and mostly raised white letters

8.00R14 American Classic 3-inch WW 27.59 OD x 5.9 tread with 7.7 section width

P215/75R14 American Classic (both wide and narrow whitewall) 26.7 OD x 5.7 tread

P215/75R14 Coker Classic (wide whitewall) 27.1 OD x 5.7 tread

P215/75R14 Hankook Optimo H724 narrow whitewall 26.7 OD x 5.3 tread

P215/75R14 Toyo Extensa AS currently shows blackwall only - I think these were available in narrow white

Now Extinct: Firestone FR380 Narrow Whitewalls 26.7 OD x 5.6 tread

and Cooper Trendsetter SE (et al*) 26.55 OD x 5.4 tread

8.50-14 & 8.55-14 typical OD 28.2-28.3 OD x 4.7-4.8 tread

H78-14 typical 27.6-27.7 OD x 5.7-5.8 tread

Replaced by P225/75R14 - OD range 27.05-27.62 (small sampling)

8.50-14 and 8.55-14 BFGoodrich Silvertowns still available from Coker in correct tread for 1957-1960 cars

8.50-14 - Universal Tire and Lucas Tire also show a Lester tire with a 3 inch Wide Whitewall

P225/75R14 - Coker Classic (wide whitewall) 27.62 OD x 6.04 tread

Narrow Whitewalls Last Seen in Coker Classics 27.62 OD x 6.04 tread

and Cooper Trendsetter SE (et al*) 27.05 OD x 5.6 tread

* Here I would note that Cooper makes several other brands such as the Mastercraft AS-IV which is essentially the same tire and both TBC and Treadways market tires which have similar specs such as Multi-Mile Matrix and the ElDorado Golden Fury - both of which seem to be available in similar size and sidewall configurations. TBC brands include Cordovan, Multi-Mile, Sigma, and Vanderbilt. Treadways brands include ElDorado, Jetzon, Telstar and Sumitomo. Other tires of this family may include Dean, Hercules, Starfire as well as Mastercraft and possibly others. After finding certain similarities in line specifications and size / sidewall availability, I stopped searching individual lines and only list the Cooper entry into this field. The 14's seem to be extinct in Whitewalls, but 4 or 5 sizes of narrow whitewalls still show up in 15 inch production - including P215/75R15 and P235/75R15 but not P225/75R15 which is now Blackwall only.

Some of the above companies also list a common Gremax 5000 narrow whitewall tire at the end of the passenger section. The Gremax appears to be made by Crowntyre Industrial Co. Ltd of China and imported for distribution by TBC and possibly others. These are mostly 15 inch and a couple of 14 inch (195/75R14 and 205/75R14) narrow whitewalls only. The 15 inch narrow whites include 215/75R15, 225/75R15 and 235/75R15 plus 225/70R15.

Another company which has several narrow whitewalls is Milestar in their MS775 line. Milestar according to their site is a trademark of TIRECO a US registered company since 1970, but according to Wiki, the tires are made by Nanking Tires, a Taiwanese based company. Again, these are a few smaller 14 inch up to P215/70R14 and some of the larger 15 inch in narrow whitewall only. The 15 inch narrow whites include 215/75R15, 225/75R15 and 235/75R15.

9.00-14 & 8.85-14 typical 28.7-28.8 OD x 4.8-4.9 tread

9.00-14 and 8.85-14 BFGoodrich Silvertowns still available from Coker in correct tread for 1957-1960 cars

P235/75R14 American Classic (both 2.5" Wide and 1" Narrow Whitewall) 27.9 OD x 6.3 tread

9.50-14 - Lucas Tire has both a Lester with 2.5" Wide White and a General Dual90 with 2.25" wide White

As to 15 inch, there are several of what I would call "major" brands - at least those that I recognize as having been around a while - I have listed only the Whitewalls which include Cooper, Toyo, and Hankook - all of which are competitively priced ($70-100) as well as the specialty brands from Coker and American Classics. And there are the many variations off Cooper, TBC, and Treadways as well as the Gremax 5000 and the Milestar MS775. Also I noticed after I had compiled my list that Coker is listing a new Maxxis Narrow Whitewall, but its size range is limited to those already represented in my tabulation - no 14's larger than P215/70R14 and several 13's and a good sampling of larger 15's.

There are also a number of Blackwall and Raised White Letter tires including BFGoodrich, Goodyear, Firestone, Michelin, etc which I did not list due to their great population - which would make good candidates for the Diamondback Whitewall Vulcanizing Process.

7.10-15 & 8.15-15 typical 28.0-28.1 OD x 4.5/5.0 tread

7.10R15 American Classic Radial 28.21 OD x 4.70 tread with 2.75" Wide White

P215/75R15 Cooper Trendsetter SE 27.55 OD x 5.4 tread Narrow White

P215/75R15 Hankook H724 27.7 OD x 5.3 tread Narrow White

P215/75R15 Toyo Extensa AS 27.6 OD x ??? tread Narrow White

P215/75R15 American Classic 27.6 OD x 6.24 tread - 1.6" Narrow and 2.75" Wide White

P215/75R15 Coker Classic 27.62 OD x 6.04 tread - 2.5" Wide White

7.60-15 & 8.45-15 typical 28.7-28.8 OD x 4.6/5.0 tread

7.60R15 American Classic Radial 28.87 OD x 4.90 tread with 3.25" Wide White

P225/75R15 Hankook H724 28.3 OD x 5.6 tread Narrow White

P225/75R15 American Classic 28.29 OD x 6.52 tread - 1.3" Narrow and 2.75" Wide White

P225/75R15 Coker Classic 28.29 OD x 6.24 tread - 2.75" Wide White

8.00-15 & 8.85-15 typical 29.2-29.3 OD x 4.8/5.2 tread

8.00R15 American Classic Radial 29.41 OD x 5.00 tread with 3.25" Wide White

P235/75R15 Cooper Trendsetter SE 28.65 OD x 5.9 tread Narrow White

P235/75R15 Toyo Extensa AS 28.9 OD x ??? tread Narrow White

P235/75R15 Hankook H724 Extra Load 28.9 OD x 5.8 tread Narrow White

P235/75R15 American Classic 28.8 OD x 6.72 tread - 1.6" Narrow and 3" Wide White

P235/75R15 Coker Classic 28.91 OD x 6.58 tread - 3.125" Wide White

8.20R15 American Classic Radial 29.91 OD x 5.60 tread with 3.25" Wide White

Information has been compiled form my personal BFGoodrich, Goodyear, Michelin, and Firestone historical files as well as information obtained over internet sources including both historical and current data from Wiki, BFGoodrich, Bridgestone-Firestone, Hankook Tire, Toyo, Cooper Tire, TBC, Treadways, Milestar, Gremax as well as Coker Tire, Lucas Classic Tire, Universal Tire, Diamondback Tires, and Wallace W Wade Specialty Tires.

All information is provided for reference use only. Please check specifications of individual tires before any purchase. I have endeavored to provide correct references and attributions - if I have failed to correctly list complete names of tires, trademarks, manufacturers,or resources, or have included typographical errors, I apologize in advance.

No animals were harmed in the production of this data - unless you consider my dogs waiting an hour for dinner.

Best, Ed