Surely you’ve noticed the wide range of tread patterns and styles available between different tire brands and models. Here’s a brief technical breakdown of how they all work:
- Tread patterns: Tires are commonly designed with symmetrical, asymmetrical and directional tread patterns. Symmetrical treads are the most common, with ribs or tread blocks where the inboard and outboard sections of the tire come together and match. Asymmetrical tread patterns vary the groove pattern of the tire to help deflect water and snow in all-season conditions, making them a good pick for year-round use. The grooves on directional tires form a V shape at the tire’s center, helping to displace water and avoid hydroplaning. The geometry of the tread blocks and tread pattern is designed to fulfill very dedicated, s ...[more]
The Sixties were a golden age for performance cars and sports cars, as technology blossomed and stylists were given free rein to come up with sexy-looking, sleek body styles. Maserati was no exception, with its V8-powered Ghibli two-seater. The Ghibli has since been named as one of the top ten sports cars of the Sixties (in the magazine Sports Car International), and outsold its contemporaries the Lamborghini Miura and Ferrari Daytona. Giugiaro designed the Ghibli’s body, with its low, shark-shaped nose and low profile; under the hood was a 330-horsepower 4.7 liter V8 engine.
The Ghibli could sprint to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds and top out at 154 mph – not so impressive by today’s standards, but remember that many of the mechanical features common on today’s cars were introduced 40-plus years ag ...[more]Read More
When you go shopping for all-terrain tires for your truck, SUV or crossover, you are typically going to be looking to split the difference between good off-road capability and decent road manners, such as handling, ride and noise suppression. Manufacturers know that many SUVs and trucks with all-terrain tires are never going to stray that far away from public roads, so they carefully compromise the tire’s off-road performance with a slight bias toward road use. So what goes into an all-terrain tire?
- All terrain tread is designed to perform under a variety of off-road conditions, while still offering decent road qualities. An all-terrain tire typically has smaller voids (meaning the lugs are tighter together) than a mud tire’s more aggressive tread, meaning they don’t have the off-road ...[more]
One of the great things about Facebook is the way it can bring communities of people together. Regardless of whether you’re interested in heavy metal music, politics, certain movies, certain authors, or if you want to reunite online with people from your hometown, FB has great resources to form these little tribes of people and let them share ideas, opinions and reminisces with each other. For classic car enthusiasts, here are three fantastic little communities:
- Classic Cars: Ford, Dodge, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile…regardless of what your preference is, you can find it here. FB’s Classic Cars page doesn’t go into the tech detail that many forums and brand-specific sites do; instead, it’s mo ...[more]
Along with all the womanizing, drinking, fighting and spying that James Bond does, the other thing he’s always been really, really good at is driving. Bond’s been through a lot of cars over the years, including some ones you wouldn’t expect…like a Ford Galaxie and an AMC Hornet…but we picked out three of our favorites:
- Sunbeam Tiger – This one dates back to the ’62 film “Dr. No”; in the early 60s, Carroll Shelby took the cute, mild-mannered little Sunbeam Alpine roadster and jammed Ford’s 260 V8 into it. Bond put this little sleeper to good use, of course.
- Toyota 2000 GT – Featured in ‘67’s “You Only Live Twice,” Toyo ...[more]
Tire warranties and treadlife ratings are a popular marketing tool for tire manufacturers, and as tire technology and engineering has improved, 100,000 mile warranties are not uncommon. Of course, they do come with certain strings attached, considering the variety of weather conditions, usage and road conditions that tires might see – that’s why they’re always referred to as a “limited warranty.” Here’s a quick breakdown of some common conditions of tire warranties, and how they are calculated:
- Treadlife and mileage warranties are only applicable to the original owner and original vehicle, meaning it’s crucial to retain the paperwork that certifies proof of purchase and original installation date and vehicle mileage. You may also be required to prove that tir ...[more]
First, let’s clear up any potential confusion about all-terrain vs. mud-terrain tire.
All-terrain tires are designed for a whole range of off-road conditions, which could include large rocks and boulders, snow, gravel, loose dirt, sand, mud, you name it. Mud-terrain are specifically designed for mud. While the two designs are similar, mud-terrain tires have a more “open” tread pattern that helps the tires claw through mud, with open segments (or “voids) designed to eject the mud and debris, giving the tire a clean area to grip with as it turns. Mud tires also use a softer rubber formulation for enhanced t ...[more]Read More
Although the Stutz Motor Company was only around for a little less than 25 years, their cars made history with some forward-thinking advances. Early Stutz models featured things like a 4-cylinder flathead engine with four valves per cylinder, safety glass, a low-slung chassis for improved handling and center of gravity, a hill-holding manual transmission, hot-water heating, an oil cooler and a supercharged straight-8 engine. Their multi-valve engine was one of the first of its kind, and was Stutz’ answer to the “cylinder race” of the early 30s, when manufacturers were scrambling to produce V12 and even V16 engines for their cars.
In 1927, a Stutz set a speed record, averaging 68 mph in a 24-hour race. Stutz’s development engineer doubled as team driver, prompting the company to expand their line f ...[more]Read More
I’ve got an older Chrysler 300 with high miles on it, and have always leaned toward grand touring or all-season tires to bring out the best in handling for my car, while still offering a good ride and low road noise. I went with Nitto Motivo this time around, and the Motivos do a very good job of connecting 300-plus horsepower to the pavement.
They’re quiet and forgiving, without transmitting much vibration or harshness from the road up through the steering wheel, and they don’t get rattled easily on irregular road surfaces. In the rain, they’ve got some pretty good-size tread grooves and channels that help direct water away from the tire’s contact patch, so I don’t really h ...[more]Read More
If you’ve ever felt your car “get away from you” on wet pavement, even for an instant, chances are you experienced hydroplaning. It’s scary at best, and can be downright lethal at worst.
Hydroplaning is what happens when your tires are overwhelmed by more water than they can scatter or channel away. The water pressure at the leading edge of the tire’s contact patch pushes water under the tire, and eventually enough water builds up that the tire loses contact with the road surface. The thin film of water between the rubber and road means a loss of braking, traction and steering control.
The first ten minutes of a light rain are actually the worst in terms of hydroplaning. In that ten minutes, the oil and rubber residue on the surface doesn’t have time to wash away, and inst ...[more]Read More