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January 24th 2015

Baby Needs New Shoes
By Alan Brand

Alan and Elsie

One of the few things that my (new to me) 1959 Morris Minor van, Elsie, needs is new tyres to replace the aged Michelins that she currently wears. As you'd expect with very low mileage, there's lots of tread left but the tyre walls are beginning to crack - not surprising when a new internet Morris Minor friend reports that Michelin stopped making that tyre several years before he retired from Michelin, twelve years ago.

Original size tyres are just not available, so the first option is to fit wider rims that will accept common (aka cheaper) tyres. This option was soon discarded as (a) the price of the rim exceeds any cost benefit of a common tyre, and (b) I much prefer the look of the original narrow wheels and tyres ... with a top speed of 55mph it's not as if I'm going to be driving huge distances to force me to buy more tyres soon!

So, the rare-as-hen's-teeth 155R14 it is. There appear to be two options: Toyo from Japan via the UK, and Firestone from Coker Tires in Chattanooga, TN, USA.

Toyo 155x80/14

Charles Ware [http://www.morrisminor.org.uk/] quoted me 155 for 4 Toyo Tyres plus shipping of 115. By the time you add tax and duty, that comes out to about $600 the set, plus whatever exorbitant fee the shipper hits you with for "brokerage services".

Firestone F560 Radial Tire - 155R14

Buying through Queensway Tire Service [http://www.queenswaytire.com/classic-tire-rims.htm] in Simcoe, ON (the official Coker distributor in Ontario): $178 + tax for a total of $201.14 per tyre, or $804.56 the set ... plus delivery/pick up costs from Simcoe to Owen Sound, a round trip of 550km.

Shipped direct by Coker Tire [https://www.cokertire.com/155sr14-firestone-f560-blackwall.html] to my door: US$140.00 inclusive ... at current rates approximately $163.00 per tyre or $650 the set.

I'll be taking the direct to my door from Coker route ...


































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