When it comes to picking out a tire, there’s a lot to consider! Even once you narrow it down to the type you want — whitewall tires — you then have to choose a variety of whitewall tires — premium sport whitewall tires — and then pick a brand. Yeah, it’s a lot. But let’s start with figuring out what whitewall tires are all about and go from there! You’ll be driving off in style in no time, trust me.
At Tires and Wires, we have always been pretty fascinated by the history of automobiles and the various components that make them up. One such component that has captured our attention is the whitewall tire. That’s due to the tire’s beauty and its rich history.
What are Whitewall Tires?
Whitewall tires are simply tires that have a white band around the sidewall. They were first introduced in the early 1900s and quickly became popular among automobile enthusiasts.
Initially, they were made by adding a layer of white rubber to the sidewall of the tire. However, this method was not durable and would quickly wear off, leading to the development of a new method of manufacturing whitewall tires.
Types of Whitewall Tires
Standard Whitewall Tires: These tires are the classic style of whitewall tires that have been around for decades. They feature a white stripe that is approximately 1 to 2 inches wide on the sidewall of the tire. They are typically made using a layer of white rubber that is vulcanized onto the tire.
Thin Whitewall Tires: These tires feature a thinner white stripe on the sidewall of the tire, typically measuring around ¼ inch in width. They are a more subtle option compared to standard whitewall tires and are often used on vintage or classic cars.
Lowrider Whitewall Tires: Lowrider tires are often smaller than the car’s original tire and are fitted with hydraulic systems that allow the car to be lowered. These special tires are made even more desirable with the white band, giving them a retro and classy appearance. A favorite is Premium Sport whitewall tires.
Wide Whitewall Tires: As the name suggests, these tires feature a wider white stripe on the sidewall of the tire, often measuring between 2 and 3 inches in width. They are a popular choice for owners of vintage and classic cars and can add a touch of elegance to the vehicle's overall appearance.
Redline Tires: While not technically a type of whitewall tire, redline tires are worth mentioning as they were a popular option during the 1960s and 1970s. They feature a red stripe around the sidewall of the tire, typically measuring around ¼ inch in width.
Raised White Letter Tires: Similar to redline tires, raised white letter tires are not a true whitewall tire but have a distinctive appearance. They feature raised white letters on the sidewall of the tire, typically indicating the brand or model of the tire.
Custom Whitewall Tires: With advancements in tire manufacturing technology, it is now possible to create custom whitewall tires. These tires can feature a range of different sizes and styles of white sidewall stripes, allowing owners to create a unique and personalized look for their vehicle.
The Early Years of Whitewall Tires
In the early years, whitewall tires were a sign of luxury and were only found on high-end automobiles. They were considered a status symbol and were often associated with wealth and prestige. However, as manufacturing techniques improved and the cost of production decreased, whitewall tires became more affordable and accessible to the general public.
During the 1930s, whitewall tires became increasingly popular, and their design evolved to incorporate a thicker band of white rubber. This new design was more durable and could withstand the rigors of daily use.
The popularity of whitewall tires continued to grow in the 1940s and 1950s, and they became a standard feature on many new cars.
The Decline and Resurgence of Whitewall Tires
In the 1960s and 1970s, the popularity of whitewall tires began to decline. This was partly due to changes in automotive design and the introduction of new tire technologies. However, the popularity of whitewall tires was not completely lost, and in the 1980s and 1990s, they experienced a resurgence.
Today, whitewall tires continue to be a popular choice among automobile enthusiasts, and they are often used to enhance the visual appeal of vintage and classic cars. Most lowriders utilize whitewall tires for a clean and classy appearance.
Modern manufacturing techniques have allowed for the creation of more durable and long-lasting whitewall tires that can withstand the demands of everyday use.
Where to Buy Whitewall Tires
No matter the brand of whitewall tire you’re looking for, whether it’s Premium Sport whitewall tires or American Classic or Goodyear, we have a wide range of options for this special tire type.
Premium Sport Whitewall Tires
These tires are made specifically with lowriders in mind. They are often called the “original” lowrider tire since they are so trusted and specialized. Premium Sport whitewall tires are created to hold more weight and allow the car to sit lower, making them the foundation of the perfect lowrider.
American Classic Whitewall Tires
American Classic has a traditional design that will instantly elevate your vehicle. They come in a wide variety of styles so you’ll be able to find one that’s the right size and fit. Their whitewall designs are especially bold and distinguished.
Firestone Whitewall Tires
This is the most popular and trusted tire brand that has a specialized line of vintage tires that can’t be ignored. Their whitewall tires are made with the original molds to maintain authenticity and have actual whitewall instead of adding it after.