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Technical Running slicks on the street

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Model A Mark, Jul 17, 2018.

  1. Model A Mark
    Joined: Apr 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,267

    Model A Mark
    from dallas
    1. Holley 94 Group

    Hey guy's, its time for new rear tires and Id sure like to run some Firestone drag slicks.
    I was just wondering, if I kept the burnouts and donuts down to a minimum, would the tires last a year ?
    Here's a link to the tires in question ..
    Thanks .. cok-613127_ml.jpg
  2. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,033

    Jalopy Joker

    Ha-Ha - hang the receipt for the cost of tires, mounting, etc from rear view mirror, that may be help
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
  3. bigbob55
    Joined: Mar 19, 2010
    Posts: 808

    from Pittsburgh

    You better hope it never rains in Dallas when you are out and about, you'll be going nowhere on a wet street
    sunbeam likes this.
  4. badvolvo
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 472


    Three years on my Radir cheater slicks. They look good, dont hook too good, but they still look new. Not alot of street miles, but somewhere around 35 drag strip passes.
    55belairx2 and Model A Mark like this.

  5. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,488


    he might spin around in circles
  6. bigbob55
    Joined: Mar 19, 2010
    Posts: 808

    from Pittsburgh

    This is the voice of experience telling you to think twice...ran a pair Caslers on a 55 Chevy in 1967 on the street. Went to a drive in one Saturday night and had to throw handfuls of gravel under the rear tires while the squeese drove to get out the uphill asphalt paved exit when it rained.
    Jet96 likes this.
  7. buffaloracer
    Joined: Aug 22, 2004
    Posts: 805

    from kansas

    Do not run slicks on the street. It's an accident waiting to happen and it won't wait long.
  8. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 20,571

    from Michigan

    What he^^^^^said!!!!.....:rolleyes:
    zzford likes this.
  9. lcfman
    Joined: Sep 1, 2009
    Posts: 280

    from tn

    Don't plan on going up even the smallest incline with rain. Been there done that not good.
    jeepsterhemi likes this.
  10. Radirs can be ordered with grooves cut into the tire. I have ran them for years on the street and track. As mentioned they are no fun in the rain but the grooves do help. If the radirs don't hook it's not the tires fault. It's the poor suspension. No tire made can cure a poorly designed chassis set up. My opinion is the firestone look horrible. They don't come close to resembling a old pie crust slick. They look more like a tractor tire.
  11. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,597


    I used to run N-50 14's on my 48 when I lived in McGregor, Tx and spun out into the bar ditch twice after hydroplaning when hitting standing water during a Texas Gully Washer rain storm.
    We can all bullshit ourselves into the idea that we never intentionally drive our hot rods in the rain but if you head down to Austin or off anywhere else more than an hour from the house in Texas that thunder storm coming from no where is always a possibility.
    wingnutz, XXL__ and zzford like this.
  12. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 7,507


    If you get caught in rain, you'll need to stop and wait it out, as a kid I ran them on the street and they are dangerous beyond what you would think. After a few white knuckle trips, took them off, ( 2 sets of wheels) only put back on for street racing/cruising when SURE of NO Rain. Can't speak for whats available today, but mileage/life is not what they are built for. Some of my Pro Street friends say the Hoosier wide tires are very good, lot's or grooves to let the rain out, But not traditional like the old recaps we used to buy.
  13. Model A Mark
    Joined: Apr 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,267

    Model A Mark
    from dallas
    1. Holley 94 Group

    And this is why I post here, you don't always get the answer you want, but you do always get the answer you need ...
    Thanks guy's ........
    blue57ford, slv63, Roothawg and 8 others like this.
  14. Latigo
    Joined: Mar 24, 2014
    Posts: 662


    I won't even tell you about the early fall snow shower that caught me years ago with the slicks on. But you are from Dallas.
    Jet96 likes this.
  15. Raunchy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2007
    Posts: 378


    I got 30K out of a set of Towel City slicks with grooves before they wore down below the little dimple they mold in. Lots of spinning them on purpose and lots of hydroplaning. If you are rich buy 2 sets of tires and run the slicks in good weather. I like the looks of them. Probably won't buy another set because of getting caught out in the rain ,cause I drive the truck a lot.
  16. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,995


    Hey M,
    We bought some original, Bruce Slicks for the 58 Impala to use at Lions Dragstrip from 58 on to early 1960. But, in 1960, they were used strictly on our Willys build. After our 1960 671 SBC Willys accident, the Bruce Slicks were solely for use on the 58 modified Impala.

    For street use, I had to pick and choose when to run them. Even the slightest moisture and it was game over. So, it was being "Cinderella" as the midnight "dew point" or coastal fog made it time to go home.

    I was a good driver with a limited budget, so those slicks were not used unless it was absolutely necessary. No burnouts, spins or anything else that would use up the softer rubber compound fast. The Impala actually got off of the start line faster with the slicks/C&O hydro and 4:56 gears, so there was never any smoky burn outs or spinning. Besides, isn't that what slicks are for in racing, good starts?

    Driving all over So Cal on specific Friday and/or Saturday nights with the slicks were special occasions. (Spring Break, holidays, etc.) But, definitely not during any moisture days/nights. They lasted well and I sold them with the Impala in 1965.

    Here is a post from 2017:

    Birth of the Slick
    “Pie-crust slicks originated as truck tires with solid, ungrooved retreads on top. Alex Xydias of the famed So-Cal Speed Shop produced the first asphalt slick in 1953. It was a recap with 7 inches of tread. His tires produced roughly four times the traction of a then-standard tire. Inglewood Tire Co., Bruce’s Slicks, and M&H Tire Co. were the first to manufacture dedicated drag slicks in 1957.
    From Hot Rod Network”

    1957 Cook and Bedwell Bruce Slicks: Top speed record holder set at Lions Dragstrip
    upload_2018-7-17_16-25-37.png upload_2018-7-17_16-25-56.png

    In early 1958, my brother and I bought a pair of Bruce 7 inch slicks for the 58 Impala. We could run the slicks in the timed runs at Lions, but had to take them off for the A/Stock eliminations. Those 7 inch slicks fit perfectly on the standard Chevy rims and were put in the trunk when we went to the drags. The officials at Lions allowed us to use the slicks during the timed runs, but not for class eliminations.

    upload_2018-7-17_16-26-37.png upload_2018-7-17_16-26-22.png
    58 Impala with Bruce Slicks for TIMED RUNS
    upload_2018-7-17_16-27-28.png upload_2018-7-17_16-27-47.png
    58 Impala then A/Stock eliminations without Bruce Slicks

    How good were they? In those days, it improved the times for the 58 Impala, over the stock tires. On the street, it had to be definitely dry days to drive safely. One time, it was dry to start off the cruising night and after a number of runs at the Cherry Ave. drags, the late evening dew came on fast. (Coastal influence and all...) On the way home, a quick red light around midnight brought on a complete 360 degree spin in the Impala, in the middle of the intersection. All of this came on after trying to stop for that quick, light. Luckily, no one was around on either street or intersection. After that, 5 mph all the way home.

    But the traction on any dry surface far surpassed any cheater slick or regular tire. Plus, they fit under the Impala rear fenders without any mods and they also fit underneath the 40 Willys rear fenders, too. Practically was important for these low buck teenagers.

    JNAKI, MAY 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
  17. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 11,405


    I ran Hurst Slicks for 5 years, I had Ron make them with the old 'Dirt track' tread.... ran them all the time, rain or shine, put 20+ K miles on them plus drag strip runs. "My" Coupe handled just as good as it did with regular radial tires, I drove in down pours on the highways at regular speeds without any issues.

    Today, I would go to Towel City and have them make them the same way.
    See here:

    Daytona 084.jpg

    Glenn racing Dave.jpg

    I have also ran the Radir Slicks on my Sedan and in the rain it handled 'ok', but it kept me on the edge all the time, I had to slow way down and be extremely careful. If you could find a experienced racer or shop that would groove them like the dirt track pattern, you would be in good shape.


  18. 26hotrod
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 959

    from landis n c

    I live close to Towel City and their caped slicks look very gud. I may run a set in the near future. Go to their web site for a look see. It is family owned and their quality is gud………………...
  19. mountainman2
    Joined: Sep 16, 2013
    Posts: 323


    The evidence presented here makes it obvious that it is not the best idea to run slicks on the street, so, I will spare the details. I will state that it is amazing how much damage a row of fence posts can do to the side of a '65 Malibu SS. (and I waited for the rain to stop):(
    Clay Belt and zzford like this.
  20. There is nothing safe about the cars we drive. No abs. No air bags. No crumple zones. Buggy spring suspentions. Bias ply tires etc. And now we are worried about slicks.
  21. Hombre
    Joined: Aug 22, 2008
    Posts: 1,053


    The pie crusts on my Model a are three years old, and have quite a few miles on them. They are not real happy in a rain storm, but are not a disaster either. I did have them grooved and I think that helps. Give e them a try! IMG_2658 (Medium).JPG
    Ron Funkhouser, wraymen and AHotRod like this.
  22. Forever Blue
    Joined: Sep 20, 2012
    Posts: 12

    Forever Blue

    I've run Radir piecrust slicks on my T bucket for years, I've had no bad experiences, though my son and a friend got caught out in a sudden thunderstorm with it, that got interesting.
  23. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,521


    Ran Hurst Cheaters on my 55 for about 6 years, mostly on the street, but ran them on the strip, too. Never had any problems with them. They finally wore out this year, and I replaced them with a new pair of Towel City Cheaters. Had the Hurst's in the rain a few times, without any trouble. Course, I also have a 4:88 posi, which may have helped. :D

    55 with cheaters Rt. Rr..jpg
  24. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,113

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    o_O What in heck does gud mean? :confused:
  25. You can't run straight slicks.

    20 years ago I bought a 307 powered dog of an '87 Pontiac station wagon for a beater and the tires it came with were just about flat bald. In a mall parking lot after a rain pulling from a stop that damn thing about slid sideways on the one wheel peel - and I wasn't even trying to punch the gas. I was looking at the road 45' to my right with it and wondering if I'd even be able to get out of the frigging parking lot.

    Next stop was to get some better tires on it.
    Deuces likes this.
  26. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 20,571

    from Michigan

    Smooth move!..... :cool:
  27. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414


    That's the southern spelling of good.
    zzford likes this.
  28. They gots no O's down there.
  29. Amen! Could you imagine this conversation taking place in the 40 -50's?
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  30. badvolvo
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 472


    My Radirs are 7" wide, grooved and hard as a rock, cheater slick yes, drag slick no. Suspension is stock 59 Corvette, so not the best, but a real wrinkle wall 8" slick it will dead hook and yank the front wheels. Don't get me wrong, I like my wide white wall Radirs. I ran 18.5" ET Streets for over 20 years on my OT 600+ hp car. Truth is, my stock daily 4x4 can hydroplane in a sprinkle. Radirs in action, listen to the audio.

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