• harveypj
  • Stock "Wolfie" Smith Topic Starter
15 years ago
What tyres should I fit to my 58 (Bug)
I want a safe tyre, but one that looks correct for the era.
I'm tempted to go for a white wall but not made my mind up on that yet.
Does anyone know what would have been fitted originaly (make / pattern)?
Any advice would be great 🙂
Stock......the new custom
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15 years ago
Good Evening,

On the westerm side of the pond we call them tires 🙂
but then again we totally changed the spelling and pronunciation of Aluminum! (aluminium?)

I have an book with some old photos of the VW factory. Looking at the cars they appear to be model year 1957 having the oval window and low front fender mounted turn signals on the front. The photo shows a parking lot full of beetles, a mix of blackwall tires with chrome trim so I assume they are Deluxe versions and Wide white walls also on what appears to be a deluxe trim package. There are 100's of beetles in the picture and probably 40 % of the visible tires are wide whitewall tires.

My guess is, and it is only a guess for I cannot find any written reference to whitewalls being "official" or not, that Wide whitewalls were a factory option in 1957. I'd search out more old factory and dealer photos and see for yourself.

I've also read that many whitewalls were installed at local dealerships during this time period also.

All photos in my 58 owners manual are blackwall tires.

Some photos in my 52 -57 Bentley VW service manual show blackwall as well as very narrow (maybe 3/4 inch) whitewalls! No wide whitewalls seen.

I think it comes down to answering the question of what you like and go with it I am not sure there is a wrong answer here. I have noticed (and remember) that Narrow whitewalls seem to have became popular in the 1960's

Others may have documentation on this ?

Good Luck

"If you don't have the time to do it right the first time, when will you find the time to do it over again later?"
15 years ago

I would recommend tires from Vredestein. I purchased a set of H rated 165s a few months ago. They're smooth, grip like crazy, and have a vintage look to them.

Paul Vickerman

Go Bruins!
  • JD
  • pre67vw Junkie
15 years ago
Depends on what you want. Crossplies are about the only tyre that really looks right. Seems funny to me that people go to so much trouble getting their restoration really accurate and then fit modern tyres that totally blow the look. But, if you want to daily drive the car in all weathers, then you'd probably be better off with Radials. Michelin XZXs are a really nice looking earlyish style radial. A good compromise, not too angular looking and something that might well have been fitted 10 or 12 years after the car was built. Or go back earlier and try to see if anyone remakes the original Michelin X.
"John, you need to get a grip and STOP MOANING AT EVERYTHING. ThumbDown "
  • harveypj
  • Stock "Wolfie" Smith Topic Starter
15 years ago
Thanks guys,
Scince originaly asking the question I have opted for a full set of Black wall 560 X 15" firestone crossplies, not cheap but about as correct as they come. I got a good deal on them from Northants tyres in Aldershot.
My old Radials are Vredestein classics in 155, compared to the Xplies they are about 1.5" smaller in overal diameter but too wide, to get the correct profile you need about a 165 but they are even wider. The Xplies look to be about a 145 equivelant (complete with pie crust edging 🙂 )
I passed on the white wall option, they were more of a US thing and originaly aimed at the Luxry car market, my car is a UK car and I think it will look both better and more original in black walls.

Yes I know it was common in the 50's to fit white walls and yes I agree on the right car (Beetles included) they look great. My choise was just a personal thing 🙂

By the way I'm opting to go 'Tubeless'. The original owners hand book states tubeless, I believe my rims to be original to the car + have a 'T' stamped on them (I understand to signify sutability for tubeless). The new tyres also state tubless on the side wall. so I figured "accept as designed"


Stock......the new custom
15 years ago
I have the Firestones also and I love them! they are a really pretty tyre albeit far from cheap.
I did spend an evening on the kitchen floor with a blade before I got them fitted as mine had excess rubber flashing around all the detailing from worn tyre moulds. And thats after I had hand picked them out of about 20! Hmm whitewalls are indeed tempting, but look so much more correct on a US car.
Who can resist that lovely pie crust! 😎 😃 [/i]
"it'll wreck the patina you haven't worked so hard to create" - 50Karmann
  • harveypj
  • Stock "Wolfie" Smith Topic Starter
15 years ago
Tyres ?

Many to choose from :?
Got mine 😃 😃  14667.jpg You have insufficient rights to see the content.
Stock......the new custom
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