300E and 300F Blue Streak Tires and Captive-Air

By Nick Taylor

For years, I've had a set of factory 300F photos that I got from Chrysler after getting my 300F. In this set of photos includes the car above, which I nicknamed the Zig Zag car due to the flooring seen in the several photos of it. One of the photos in the set is a close up of one of the tires, and I could see that looks like the sidewall fill valve used on the Goodyear Captive-Air tires that were available in the 1950s-1960s. Captive-Air tires had an inner "Safety Spare" liner that would let you drive along if you had a loss of air in the main tire due to a puncture or other cause, as long as the inner liner was not punctured. The inner liner was filled with the regular tire valve and the main tire was filled through a blue rubber tire valve in the sidewall. Filling the main tire was accomplished with a special inflator tool on the air hose, much as you would fill a football. This inflator tool, and an instruction booklet, would have been provided in the glove box of each car equipped with Captive-Air tires.

I was always curious about this photo but assumed it was an early press car that they had fitted Captive-Air tires to instead of the standard Blue Streak tires. The fact that the tire looked like it was a little low on pressure reinforced this idea. While looking at some other Captive-Air tire information related to my 1960 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country wagon, I came across some documentation that showed that Goodyear did actually make Blue Streak Captive-Air tires in 1959 and 1960. I went back to these photos and under further examination, it does indeed say Blue Streak on the sidewall. It doesn't say Captive-Air on the front of the tire though.

This lead me to ask 300 club members to see if anyone had an original Blue Streak tire in their 300F to try and get some clarification. The following information is a summary of what was found. Some of the statements below are my own assumptions and opinions as factory information is very limited. While this started out to just be about the 300F, it appears that the 300E used the same tires and falls under these conditions, so it is included here as well.

  • Click here for the list of tire details for all letter cars.
  • Click here for more information on Captive-Air tires.

  1. The Chrysler 300E and 300F cars came standard with 9.00x14 Goodyear Super Cushion nylon cord Blue Streak tires.
  2. The build card code for the Blue Streak tires was 77 for the 300E, and 96 for the 300F.
  3. No evidence has been found that Captive-Air tires were offered from the factory for the 300E or 300F as a regular option.
  4. Cars with Captive-Air tires would be coded 99 on the build card as it would have been a non-standard option. Build records indicate the following:
    • 654 300Es have standard code 77 for tires.
    • 2 300Es have code 7 for tires.
    • 16 300Es have no tire code.
    • 6 300Es have code 99 for tires.
    • 1200 300Fs have standard code 96 for tires.
    • 1 300F has code 97 for tires. First 300F built.
    • 1 300F has no tire code.
    • 11 300Fs have code 99 for tires. 1 of these is a convertible which also happens to be 999 paint, and one of the coupes was the Carl Kiekhaefer 999 paint car.
    NOTE: Code 99 does not imply Captive-Air tires. Could have been any other non-standard tire choice.
  5. The Blue Streak tires came with the blue Captive-Air sidewall rubber fill valve, even without the Safety Spare liners.
  6. These tires were capable of being converted to Captive-Air by adding the Safety Spare liners.
  7. 300E and 300F cars came with 5 wheels and tires, as well as a jack assembly.
  8. Cars equipped with Captive-Air tires from the factory would not come with spare tire or jack.
  9. Owner's manual packet came with Captive-Air tire warranty card even if car didn't have the tires.
  10. Captive-Air warranty card not filled out indicates that this card was probably included in all owner's manual packets and just unused.
  11. Cars that came with Captive-Air tires should have come with tire service instructions and filler valve.
  12. Assumption that any cars with the Captive-Air Safety Spare liners had them added after they arrived at dealers if they had the standard code for tires on build card.
  13. Captive-Air tire label on cars may have been added when tires were installed or converted.
  14. Period classified ads listing Captive-Air tires might have mistaken the blue dot as an indication they were so equipped, or the cars were fitted after arriving at dealership.

Original Blue Streak 9.00x14 tire. Shows the blue filler valve in sidewall. Also shows text on back of tire stating that the valve is for use with optional Captive-Air Safety Shield. Note that no Safety Shield liner is visible between rim and tire.

Blue Streak tire in 300F convertible that appears to have Captive-Air Safety Shield liner installed. Note space between whitewall and rim. Car was coded 96 for the standard Blue Streak tires. Unfortunately, the tire was lost during restoration of car.

Blue Streak tire on a 300E project car. Note that no Safety Shield liner is visible between rim and tire.

Captive-Air tire label found on 300F driver door. Decal was reproduced by Gary Goers. Car was coded 96 for the standard Blue Streak tires. Jack instruction label was in trunk.

Vintage classified ads for 300Es and 300Fs from 1959-1963 that mention Captive-Air tires. Note that one states it has 5 tires.

This is the Safety-Shield inner liner that was used in the Captive-Air tires in this era. There would have been different sizes to match the tires.

Thanks to the following members for providing photos and information used in researching this article; Bob Merritt, Dave Mason, Marshall Larson, Steve Beard, Dan Reitz, Steve Albu, John Cote, Noel Hastalis and Randy Guyer.

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