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Technical Cheater Slicks?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Forty-eighter, Jun 29, 2021.

  1. Forty-eighter
    Joined: May 8, 2009
    Posts: 11

    Forty-eighter
    Member
    from Indy

    Ford 1929 Model A 5 Window Coupe 2.jpg
    Have nice 29 Model A street rod coupe, Chevy small block, with Firestone Cheater Slicks 8.20-16 in back & Goodrich Silvertown 550–17 in front.

    Have mixed feelings on the cheater slicks. Don’t know anything about their performance & not certain about their appearance on the car, the cosmetics.

    Would appreciate any comments, the good, the bad & the ugly. Thank you.
     

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  2. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,369

    wvenfield
    Member

    It's a set up many run. It's up to you whether you like it or not.
     
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  3. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,281

    slowmotion
    Member

    Looks good to me. You know about rain, right?
     
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  4. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,555

    chevy57dude
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    Looks good! Run 'em!!
     

  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,774

    squirrel
    Member

    Get the car outside, take some decent pictures of it...I bet it looks good!

    Like he said, if you plan to drive in rain, or expect you might get caught in rain, they're not so good for that.
     
    mad mikey likes this.
  6. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,926

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    Hard to tell from that pic, but it looks good to me. BTW, looks like you have a full engine to me. Maybe you meant "small block"?
     
  7. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 1,346

    427 sleeper
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    OK, I guess I'll be the turd in the hot tub here, but I think the Firestone cheater's look too much like truck tires. Kinda' prefer Radir's or Towelcity cheater's myself, better looking pie crust design to me. The rest of the car looks Killer from what we can see of it though!
     
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  8. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 7,958

    wicarnut
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Been There, Done That, RAIN, Ran them back in the day and took them off car, only put back on car when going street racing. they look cool and work but Street Slicks on, the car reacts like black ice in rain, Caution/Be Very Careful in rain.
     
    Lost in the Fifties likes this.
  9. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,354

    5window
    Member

    I can't really see from the photo, but it looks like you don't have windshield wipers either? That and cheater slicks might be an interesting ride in the rain. It will rain again, right? Pretty dry around here.
     
  10. CME1
    Joined: Aug 10, 2010
    Posts: 201

    CME1
    Member

    Cheater Slicks....They do look good! A very long time ago... I had a pair on the back of my 1960 Chevy. I can agree, they are very crazy in the rain or wet surfaces and it doesn't have to be raining! Even on wet grass! That is my opinion!:rolleyes:
     
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  11. 1ton
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 578

    1ton
    Member

    I thought cheater slicks were the tires that we did endless burnouts with that went bald. Then to take it one step further, once all the rubber was gone and the steel belts were showing, we would do more holeshots at night on the pavement to watch the sparks fly.
     
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  12. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,035

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    I've got Towel City pie crust on both of my cars, and I agree with 427 sleeper's statement about the looks of Firestone cheater slicks. Don't care for the sidewalls.

    I've driven mine in the rain several times, but not going freeway speeds. They aren't like driving on black ice at all. The car can spin them easier in the rain, but the tires don't just break loose going around corners, or stopping. Use common sense in the rain and stay off the freeways when raining, and they're fine.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,926

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    I would like to see more, I think I see 3 carbs on top of a tunnel ram? How about some more pics? With better lighting!
     
  14. I was 17 when I bought a pair of cheater recaps for my stock 55 ford. Nobody told me about problems in the rain. Driving in Oregon, I was driving on a 2 lane when it began to rain. I was able to get the car pointed in the right direction to avoid hitting the ditch! I kept them on the car but took it real easy from then on. 55fordin66.jpg
     
  15. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,702

    Atwater Mike
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    Take another look at the overall 'plan' of that neat coupe. 5.50 X 17" on front, the rears look like, "What's wrong with this picture?"
    Bias ply narrow tread BIG rears would show up better, cheaters have no 'shape'. (aesthetics & handling)
    Yeah, we know about cheater slicks...(they work cool in the rain, slippery rear-steer... Wheee!)
    Taken a few rides sideways with "the RAIN TIRES" (satire)
     
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  16. Corn Fed
    Joined: May 16, 2002
    Posts: 3,008

    Corn Fed
    Member

    I like slicks, but not on spoke wheels. Nobody back in the day woulda done that. But from what I can see from the pic you posted, your car is kinda a mix of everything from the 50's thru the 70's. So if you want them, go for it.
     
  17. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,354

    5window
    Member

    I'm kind of a mix of everything from the 50's to70's too, so I don't mind it.
     
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  18. I look at it this way. My wife has a a ton of different shoes! So why not have more than one set of tires for the Hot Rods. I have a set of Radir slicks mounted on a set of smoothies. I have both Chevy, and Ford lug patterns on the Hot Rods. That's the reason for the smoothies. It's a fast and easy change. I did have to wait for the road to dry once years ago. But with today's doppler radar. My phone gives me an alert. I may just have to go in the wrong direction to out run it though. lol But I do love the look of old pie crust slicks. 009.jpg 20180279.jpg 273.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2021
  19. Friends ran them back in the early sixties in SoCal, most just slowed down if the roads were wet. I ran a set on my '26, it didn't see much wet weather! 17.jpg
     
  20. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 716

    brianf31
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    Yeah but are there any with a soft enough compound that they actually hook?
     
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  21. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,555

    chevy57dude
    Member

    Brian, there's dudes here who "Saran wrapped'' them overnight in softening compound. It takes work to get them to hook up. They don't act like a modern slick.
     
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  22. I have been in rain with my RADIRS on, got caught in a down poor. Luckey for me I was all but home. Still a WHITE KNUCKEL drive. However, I have a lot of H.P. Bottom line is, yea I run slicks alot on the street, but they do not mix with rain.
     
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  23. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,774

    squirrel
    Member

    Just curious....would someone call this a Cheater Slick? It has grooves...

    jegs slick.jpg
     
  24. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,399

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    ^^ yes, what cheater slicks are - grooves meet minimum requirement for legal street use
     
  25. Forty-eighter
    Joined: May 8, 2009
    Posts: 11

    Forty-eighter
    Member
    from Indy

    Yes, thanks.
     
  26. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,013

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    All I am going to say is that I have spun out and been in the bar ditch three times in my 48 with N -50 tires with legal tread on them in the past. The whole set of Crager mach 8 wheels and the tires got pulled off after the third go when I had my wife and two kids in the truck.
    Sooner or later just about everyone who actually drives their car will get caught in a rain storm . A little Oregon drizzle doesn't match a Texas or Oklahoma gully washer that dumps 3 months of Oregon rain on the road in ten minutes and then moves on. Still to each his own and until you have been spinning on the wet road with another driver giving a spin by spin report on his CB you won't understand.

    On the other hand I'd say that Ron Funkhouser nailed it perfectly. There is no reason except $$ and maybe storage space to not have more than one pair of rear tires or more than one set of tires. I'd put a pair of "road tires" on the wires and put the slicks on some period correct steelies and call it good and then dress for the occasion.
     
  27. wheeldog57
    Joined: Dec 6, 2013
    Posts: 2,136

    wheeldog57
    Member

    Cheaters look wicked cool. You can run them on the street but as stated above, if you have a lot of HP you just need to take it easy if caught in the rain. Easy on and easy off the gas pedal!
     
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  28. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,774

    squirrel
    Member

    I have a set of those M&H "Cheater Slicks" on one set of wheels, I bring them with me to the drag strip when I go racing. On the street, I use street tires.

    btw they say that it might not be wise to drive on the street with them.

    slick.jpg
     
  29. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,035

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    I asked the same question of Daniel at Towel City before I ordered the first pair. I had previously had Hurst pie crust on my car, and I couldn't get them to hook at all at the dragstrip! My car would spin them through all gears as I shifted during the 1/8th mile strip!
    He assured me their cheater slicks were close to a D or medium compound, and not hard like my Hurst were. So I put them on my little Austin gasser that's pretty darn light, and plenty of power. They hook up extremely well on street or strip. But not so soft they'll wear out too quickly either.
     
  30. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,212

    jnaki





    upload_2021-6-30_3-57-24.png
    A nice looking hot rod and very cool header pipes... It is nice and aggressive looking, but well designed.

    Hello,

    Cheater slicks are what they are labeled as, from the beginning. "Cheater" style slicks that have some sort of grooves to qualify for a standard tire for any stock sedan or hot rod. Why are they called a cheater slick? The very active stock car class had plenty of high performance cars from the 1957 year until the classes were dropped by the ruling associations. For lack of a better reason, now the little guy’s racing outlet was gone.
    upload_2021-6-30_4-0-57.png 1959
    When most of the stock cars from the factory were lumped together in their respective classes, the need to win was evident. Some knew the inspections upon entry was only a cursory, “open the hood” and given a pass. Looking for headers, wrong carb set ups and being able to define which class the inspected car was going to be labeled, depending on what was from the factory.

    So, as the performance enhancing parts were being scrutinized, regular slicks were used during the timing/tuning runs. We used our 7 inch wide Bruce Slicks to tune our car and go for the fastest times. Obviously, the Bruce Slicks or any real smooth surface slicks were not stock. But, along with open exhaust cut outs, it was test runs like a real drag racer in the open competition race car classes.
    upload_2021-6-30_4-2-17.png
    Bruce Slicks during timing/tuning runs prior to class eliminations. Since the real slicks were not stock factory approved, it was back to the standard tires for the elimination races.

    Standard tires: 15 seconds E.T. average… The cheater slicks E.T. mid to high 15s. Bruce Slicks: 14.68 E.T. best... Average, always in the 14’s. Top speed 98 MPH on standard tires.

    Jnaki

    But, for a while, when the cheater slicks were introduced, they were used since the grooves were considered legal street tires.
    upload_2021-6-30_4-3-47.png
    Bill Moxley from the Moxley Tire Company, makers of cheater slicks…photo G. Sharp

    When the cheater slicks arrived on the scene, this sales guy/owner of the company parked next to us (Impala days) in the pits. He somehow continued until the photo in 1960. (our 1940 Willys B/Gas Coupe in the background) He was a relentless sales guy. Eventually, my brother fell to the sales pitch and bought a set for the 58 Impala in the early days.
    upload_2021-6-30_4-4-51.png cheater slicks...different color rims upload_2021-6-30_4-6-23.png

    The cheater slicks looked great. The narrow grooves were just enough to qualify for being street legal replacement tires for factory stock racers. So, they began to infiltrate the ranks of the factory stock car classes. Then of all things, there was a protest that the cheater slicks were not stock.

    No one could not get them from a certified factory car dealer and was not listed as an accessory from the factory options list anywhere. So, the inspection teams deemed them slicks and not factory legal options. Plus, it was said that it was a disadvantage to those that could not afford extra tires like "slicks" for their stock cars. Bye-bye cheater slicks…


    My brother sold his set to a friend and they were happy. As far as performance, better reaction times made much more of a difference in E.T. and the better tuning/timing made the car win with some regularity. The times/speeds were not as good as a good start and just the powerful stock motor.

    The "cheater slicks" were gone from the drags about the same time as the chrome scavenger pipes as being stock… ha! The term “cheater” has a bad reputation, but it has stuck as a replacement name for real slicks in racing and street applications, even to today.

    Your coupe looks good with the cheater slicks. The word cheater has some bad connotations, but they add a good look to any car. The only thing we can add is that on slightly misty days, drive slower than normal as the wide surface does not grab as well as a real full grooved tire for the street.

    Yes, the Formula F-1 racers wide tires are slick with some holes in them for traction…that is another story. They are not for the street daily usage during wet, slightly wet or rainy days. The grooves should send some water off, but the wide surface of the slicks just makes it too dangerous to drive in the moisture. Easy hydro planning happens all of the time, even on wide tires with grooves. But. with smooth slicks with a minimal groove or two, it is an accident waiting to happen.


    DRIVING CONDITIONS: Rain, no... Fog, if you drive slowly, but probably not. The late evening mist is possibly ok, if you drive slowly and not make any sudden lane changes or go around corners too quickly. The distance following a car is increased 10 times…just because… Hard braking makes the rear end slide around and all over… You can’t stop the hot rod or sedan with just the front brakes, although they do most of the braking.

    For pure day time dry conditions without puddles or water in the intersections, keep using your slicks. But, if you have to drive in the heavy moisture times, get some grooved real street tires with the same size and width to keep the hot rod running gear happy. YRMV



     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2021

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