Chances are you wouldn’t venture out in the snow wearing only flip-flops. Likewise, you probably don’t wear your Uggs to the beach. Nor do you attempt to run a half-marathon in 4-inch heels.
Cars also need to have the correct footwear. You likely have “all-season” tires on your daily driver. Or you might put Z-rated “summer” tires on your sports car and even “winter” — no longer “snow” — tires on your SUV for the cold-weather months.
The point is that you need to think about tires as the shoes for your vehicles, because ultimately, the only things enabling you to accelerate, stop and turn are those four rubber contact patches.
In fact, while we often compare the size of those patches to the palms of our hands, the soles of our feet may be an even better comparison, literally and figuratively.
Throughout the month of October, the ClassicCars.com Journal will be doing a series of stories about tires, from the basics of checking tread depth and air pressures to how to decide what tires are best suited for your vehicles and your style of driving, and taking in consideration the driving habits of those with whom you share your keys, garage and driveway.
While we’re at it, we’ll also explore the history of rubber (a story worthy of a Hollywood who-done-it), visit a rubber plantation and follow tire production from raw material to finished product, and consider the future for such things as airless tires.
We’ll also explore the reason that racing tires appear to be slick yet provide amazing grip, and we’ll even go for a ride on a Goodyear Blimp.
So check the air pressures in your tires and get ready for the ride.