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Tires/175/80R13 for 1962 Chevy Nova

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Question
QUESTION: Hi,
Apparently the factory tires were the above.  However, when I look online on Ebay and elsewhere it seems they almost always specify this size as a trailer tire.  Two questions.  Are there manufacturers of this size car tire?  How can I tell once I get it if it is intended as a trailer tire or if it really is a car tire?
Art

ANSWER: Art,

According to Tire Guides, a 1962 Chevy II came with 6.00-13's.  Those are bias ply tires, and those are obviously no longer produced as regular tires.

I've anticipated questions like this, so I put together a web page on vintage tire exchanges:

http://www.barrystiretech.com/vintagetireexchange.html

On that page I have a spread sheet that will help those who are trying to find the modern equivalent - if there is one.  In many cases, there is not.

But in your case, there is a good fit:  155/80R13.  It's not an exact fit, but it is close enough - and Kumho does make one!

Just an FYI, my first car was a hand-me-down from my father - a 1962 Chevy II.  It wasn't even good enough to be a Nova.  It had  a 4 cylinder, three on the tree, and 2 options - backup lights and seat belts.  My father bought it new as his very first new car.  I sort of inherited it many years later (I did have to repay me father) as my first car and it served me as both a learning experience and basic transportation.

My first upgrade was to 6.50-13 tires.  When I started working for a tire manufacturer and learned about tires and how they worked, I realized I had made a good move.

But taking this a step further, I am going to guess a 175/70R13 would also work - there are a few folks who make those.  What I don't know is if there is enough clearance for that size.

But if you are interested in authentic tires, you need to see folks who specialize in vintage tires - like Coker Tire.

http://www.cokertire.com/popular-tire-applications/chevrolet/1963-1964.html

I looked up their web site and found they do produce appropriately size 6.00-13's and 6.50-13's.  They are pricey, but if authentic is what you want .........   







---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks.  I was so interested in your commentary and website that I forgot to go back to my second question.  And now I thought of another question too.

So the second questions was about buying an online tire.  That size tire is common for trailers.  Sometimes the seller doesn't specify if it is a trailer or a car tire, or I guess in some cases could do it on purpose  Once I get the tire, how can I tell if it's a real car tire or a trailer tire?

My new question is to know if I need to find inner tubes too, or are these tires for the old 62 Nova tubeless, whether I get a 175/80R13 or 185/80R13?

Art

Answer
Art,

First, I think you will be hard pressed to find a 6.00-13 that isn't a vintage passenger car tire - at least at the retail level.  The same with a 6.50-13.  

But the 175/80R13 is another issue.  The way to tell is the letters ST in front of the tire size (Special Trailer).  And of course, you can ask the seller


Nevertheless, if this is a concern, post back with the specific website you would be ordering through, and I'll try to sort it out.

At that point in time, all passenger car tires and rims were tubeless.  And that might be a clue if you are getting a trailer tire.

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Barry Smith

Expertise

I have over 30 years experience in the design, manufacturing, and testing of tires. I have served as the technical advisor to the "800" number. I have authored or co-authored many publications - usually without credit. I can answer almost any technical question, but please don`t ask me to compare brands. I probably have prejudices because of my work experience.

Experience

Member SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Member Tire Society (Tire Technical Organization) SCCA Regional Competiton License holder Authored many training manuals on tires, their care and use.

Organizations
SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) Tire Society

Publications
You may want to visit my web site: http://www.barrystiretech.com/index.html

Education/Credentials
I am a graduate of the University of Dayton, Dayton, OH - BME, 1971 I attended graduate school at the University of Akron - but did not complete my PhD - something I regret.

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