Choosing Redline Radial Tires - 1967 Chevelle
My name is Jeff and I have a wheel addiction.
I’ve mentioned before how much I like the way that different rolling stock can transform a vehicle. I also mentioned that the Chevelle was somewhat designed around fitting the 10” wide rear wheels on the delivery. For interchangeability. Does anybody else think this way? No? Just me? Okay, cool.
Something else that has become painfully obvious to me over the years is my tendency to put the cart ahead of the horse. Some of my projects are so far behind, it looks like I’m ahead of the game. At least if you look at the pile of parts waiting for my attention.
Naturally, about two years before I actually needed them, I bought and mounted not one, but two sets of wheels and tires for the Chevelle project. Because who doesn’t want to trip over stacks of wheels and tires in the garage? My first choice of styling on the Chevelle follows Teddy Roosevelt’s, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Black paint, black bench seat interior, black steel wheels with base model (66 Caprice, actually) dog-dish caps. With the one performance oriented visual cue being redline tires.
Once the decision was made to shift from the 283 to a 496 for power, the not so Wide-Oval tires originally planned would be woefully inadequate. A torquey big-block needs all the help it can get in the traction department. That’s where I ran into a little bit of a bottleneck. You can get drag radials and you can get redline radials. But thus far, I’ve only found one outlet that combines both into one. Diamondback Classic offers a Nitto Drag Radial with a vulcanized 3/8” redline sidewall.
I chose a conservatively sized 275/60R15 for the steel wheels to try and maximize tread contact. This size tire fit very comfortably in the space and I may be able to step up to a 295 or larger later.
Like I said before, I have a problem. We’ve established that. Now let’s talk about the other set of wheels and tires. I bought a set of Real Rodder mags to add a little flash to the Chevelle’s alter ego. I thought a continuation on the 60’s redline theme would be something a little off the beaten path as well. Which brings me to another great tire company that I’ve worked with for years. Towel City Racing Tires. They re-tread new radial tires with a pie-crust slick tread and shoulder. However, again, they don’t offer this tire in a redline. However, they agreed to make my slicks and ship them over to Diamondback to have redlines added to them. Again, part of product management is being a bit of a guinea pig for new products.
What I received was nothing short of a work of art. Both companies hit it out of the park. I opted to go with a little taller profile on this set and used a 255/70R15 tire as the basis.
I’m anxious to get everything together enough to put some miles on both personas. Only a couple more years of work yet to go.