How Do Mud Tires Perform In Snow


You’ve got a big set of mud tires on your truck or SUV, you should be able to go anywhere and do anything with those chunky, meaty treads, shouldn’t you? Not necessarily.

Mud tires can present several different problems when driving on snow or ice. The deep voids and chunky lugs of mud tires are designed to self-clean, meaning they eject soft mud, dirt and bits of gravel from their voids, just by centrifugal force. As tires self-clean, they have a fresh surface to bite into mud with every revolution. Think for a minute, though, about the consistency of snow that’s easy to pack into a snowball – that deep, powdery snow can easily pack its way into the voids and lugs of your mud tires and stay there, drastically cutting down on traction. When that happ ...[more]

Read More

Throwback Thursday: 1964 Pontiac GTO


The mid 60s were a different time for the automotive industry. Performance cars had been around for ten years, but were mainly large, heavy sedans with powerful engines, without the suspensions and brakes to really enable a driver to push the envelope. That all began to change with the ’64 Pontiac GTO, however.

The GTO started as a performance version of the lightweight Tempest, available in coupe, hardtop or convertible body styles. What you got with the GTO package, however, was a 389 V8 and 4-barrel Carter carburetor, dual exhausts and dress-up parts like chrome valve covers, yielding 325 horsepower. The GTO also offered sharper handling with a larger front sway bars, wider wheels and stiffer springs; options included a four-speed manual, two-speed automatic, more powerful “Tri-Power” carburetion (thr ...[more]

Read More

Are Winter Tires Worth It?


So what’s the difference between winter tires and other designs, such as all-season tires or mud tires?

Winter tires have come a long way since your dad’s clunky, heavy-treaded “snow tires” or “mud grips” of a generation ago. Winter tires are specifically designed with a rubber formulation that stays flexible in sub-freezing temperatures. That flexibility is essential for proper traction on dry or wet pavement either one; other tire designs will become stiffer and hard at low temperatures, encouraging wheelspin and a poor connection with the pavement.

The down side of this is that winter tires tend to harden at temperatures above about 40 degrees or so, meaning poor handli ...[more]

Read More

Throwback Thursday: 1968 Plymouth GTX


Chrysler’s entries into the muscle car sweepstakes were heavier midsize coupes that relied on sheer pavement-pounding horsepower to deliver performance, and the Plymouth GTX was one of the earlier examples.

The GTX was introduced in ’67 as a performance version of the Belvedere, although the Belvedere body was restyled considerably for ’68. The GTX came standard with the 440 V8 and automatic transmission, with Sport Satellite interior trim (it was marketed as a “gentleman’s muscle car”). Its stablemate the Road Runner was a more bare-bones version of the Belvedere, with a lighter curb weight for quicker track times.

The GTX was also available with the legendary 426 Hemi V8; in stock form, the 426-powered GTX could run through the quarter mile in a blistering 13.5 seconds ...[more]

Read More

World’s First Electric Formula One Car Makes Its Debut In Las Vegas


With the first race of the inaugural Formula E Championship scheduled flag off in Beijing this September, participants have begun unveiling their speed machines. The first to be unveiled was the Spark-Renault SRT-01E Formula E car. It was showcased to the public for the first time on Monday, January 6th, at a makeshift race course in Las Vegas. Brazilian Formula One driver Lucas di Grassi was on hand to show-off the car’s performance.

For the uninitiated, the Formula E Championship is a grand prix for electric cars. As such, the unveiling of the Spark-Renault SRT-01E Formula E car had been eagerly anticipated by electric car and racing enthusiasts. The speed machine, designed by Spark Racing Technologies, certainly did not disappoint.

The car can go from 0 to 62mph in just 3 seconds. At its peak, it can ...[more]

Read More

Simple Tire Review: Goodyear Ultra Grip


The Ultra Grip is Goodyear’s winter/snow tire, studdable for extreme conditions and designed with a silica-enhanced tread compound for flexibility at freezing temperatures. The Goodyear Ultra Grip features a directional tread design and aggressive tread pattern, with bold shoulder blocks for stability in dry conditions and even treadwear. Wide grooves in the tread help move loose snow and slush away from the tire’s contact patch to resist hydroplaning. Along with sipes cut into the tread for extra biting edges in ice and snow, the shoulder and intermediate tread blocks can accept alternating rows of optional metal studs for hard-packed snow and icy roads (where legal). The Ultra Grip’s tread pattern is tuned and computer-optimized to help ...[more]

Read More

Throwback Thursday: 1966 Ford GT40


In the mid-1960s, Ford wanted a serious contender for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and other European racing circuits; they needed a car to go up against Ferrari’s entries, with the word coming directly from Henry Ford II himself.

In ’63, engineers from Ford sat down with a team from Lotus, Lola and Cooper to start drawing up plans for a Ferrari-beater. The first versions of the car (powered by Ford’s 4.2 liter Fairlane V8) performed poorly; after the race season was over, the program was handed over to racing legend Carroll Shelby. Under Shelby’s tuning and management, the team won the Daytona 2000 in 1965 with a GT40. They went on to dominate 24 Hours of Le Mans in ’66, and the GT40 was now a serious contender.

The sleek-looking GT40 was available with Ford’s 255 V8, the 289 V ...[more]

Read More

SimpleTire Review: Hankook I*Pike RW11 & i*cept Evo W310


Hankook I*Pike RW11 Review

This affordable winter tire from Hankook is designed using their eco-friendly winter tread formulation, molded into a symmetrical winter tread pattern with a distinct center section and wraparound shoulder blocks. The central grooves on the I*Pike RW11 move water and slush away from the tire’s footprint for excellent traction. The I*Pike RW11 can be used with studs for extreme conditions (where legal), and is designed with a 6-row stud pin arrangement for minimized noise and excellent stud retention. The tread’s block stiffness is optimized and applied through the combination of wave and step kerf, making it an especially good choice for SUVs and light trucks.

The I*Pike RW11 delivers excep ...[more]

Read More

SimpleTire Comparison: Hankook Winter i*Pike vs Dunlop Graspic



The Hankook Winter iPike is a great choice for drivers of smaller sedans or crossovers who need an affordable winter tire. The Winter iPike W409’s tread formulation is designed to stay flexible in subfreezing temperatures, with a wider footprint for more positive handling. A dense pattern of sipes at the center of the tread enhance traction in wet, snow and slush, with an innovative V-shaped tread pattern to move water away from the tire’s footprint. The Winter iPike W409 can also be equipped with six rows of studs for extreme conditions (where legal).

The Dunlop Graspic DS-3 is another great choice for cars, minivans and ...[more]

Read More

Throwback Thursday: 1970 Ford Mustang


The lineage of the Ford Mustang is pretty well-documented at this late date. When the Mustang was introduced halfway through the 1964 model year, it established a whole new category of fairly compact, sporty-looking 2 + 2 cars for younger buyers. Mechanically, the Mustang was nothing revolutionary; it shared most of its chassis, suspension and drivetrain with the Falcon and Fairlane (along with the clumsy handling of those cars), but with a fresh and timeless body style and sporty interior. The ’64 ½ model was projected for 100,000 units in its first year; it surpassed that number in the first three months, and Mustang buyers were on waiting lists.

The original first-generation Mustang was around until ’73, and underwent cosmetic changes and restyling in the in ...[more]

Read More