I bought a 1992 corvette coupe two weeks ago with 22,000 miles and I think I need to buy new tires. The car still has the original Goodyears but the tread life is just fine. The car was owned by a woman that never took it over 65 mph. My first question is if I plan to take this car up to at least 100 mph do I need new tires? Secondly, I have noticed the car does not corner very well and tends to want to slip in the rear, if I do go for a new set of tires what would you recommend that would hold the road and not drive as stiff as it does on these Goodyear’s? I live in Southern California so no need for all season tread.
Buy new tires. I would not go 55mph on these.
100 mph per hour on 18 year old tires? Is your life insurance paid up? I wouldn’t drive any further than the nearest tire shop, at a crawl of 30 mph.
You’ve already done a search on tires and resurrected a post from 6 weeks ago. There are many posts about driving on old tires, one just recently about using a 7 year old spare. Tires should be replaced if they are more than 8 years old, no matter what they look like. And this was advise for standard street speeds up to 65 mph.
Can’t go wrong with a set of Goodyear Eagle F1’s.
What tire would you recommend replacing these with?
Goodyear is a solid tire. I prefer the Eagle GTs. Pirelli P-zero is also good. Michelin has good tires as well.
But, the ride from a '92 Vette is going to feel stiff. Your not going to improve that much with a set of tires.
But if you expect to maintain speeds up to 100 mph, make sure you have Z-rated tires. I have a set of H-rated tires on my Supra because I don’t go above 80 mph in it. But my Dad, who I bought it from, used to take it out to some road race events, and used Eagle GT Gatorback Z-Rated tires like OEM stock at speeds above 100.
You might check out tirerack.com. Depending on what you want to do, there’s probably a wide range of tires/prices/capabilities. They also test tires and compare them, giving you some hard data to use when you make your choice. I’ve had good luck buying from them, too.
Coincidentally, another '92 Corvette buyer just asked the same question:
And, as others have said, you must replace them, both for safety and for handling. They’re old, they’re hard, they’re dangerous.
Replace the tires. They’re well past the safe age, especially for those speeds.
The age could explain your handling issue. If the tires have hardened over time, the grip could be reduced quite a bit.
You also need to go over the rest of the car. That’s a problem with ‘low miles’ cars - they often weren’t maintained adequately, with maintenance that has time limits (like fluid changes and, here, tire changes) ignored.
The lousy cornering is probably due to aged, hardened rubber and I’m in agreement with everyone else about replacing them.
Just being curious of course, but did a car salesman give you this story about a woman owner who never took it over 65 or was that from the horse’s mouth?
H rater tires are rated for sustained speeds of up to 125 mph.
My H-rated say 96. Maybe I was ripped off?
That was straight from the woman I purchased it from, she did resemble a horse a bit. Thanks for all the info!
Ok, just wondering because I’ve seen several vehicles over the years in which the buyers were told something along that line.
One was a late 80s Mustang GT that a friend of my son bought and had “belonged to an elderly lady who only drove it on occasion”. It did have fairly low miles on it and was clean.
The friend of my son never questioned why granny would outfit the engine with custom valve covers, intake that had been polished, larger throttle body, side exit exhausts, and a supercharger along with some other stuff.
He did find out about 6 months later that the car really did belong to an elderly woman when a young guy approached him in a the parking lot. This guy turned out to be the elderly woman’s grandson who happened to be doing most of the driving with granny’s name on the title. Much of the mileage was a 1/2 mile at a time; quarter mile down the track, quarter mile back.
I agree with everyone about replacing them and I also agree with BustedKnuckles that you should be looking for Z rated tires. While other tires are rated to be safe (not explode) above 100 mph (S tires are rated for 112, V for up to 150 and so on) if you’re going to go that fast and put the tires under stress you need the better handling of a Z rated tire as well as the largest margin for error you can muster. Over 100 mph things happen fast. Don’t compromise on this. It ain’t worth the risk.
What about saving some money for pre-paid legal?
What are the tire sizes that are on the car?
What type of driving do you do?
Are you an aggressive driver, and do track days on an actual road course, or are you a tool around town driver, who bar hops, and occasionally does burnouts to impress your drunken friends?
Do you live in Colorado where there are mountains to drive in, or do you live in Florida, where there isn’t a curve to be seen until you get into a neighboring state?
Tires are a product of the environment that they are going to be run in.
Are you planning on only driving during 80 degree days, or does the car need to get you to work in a snow storm, if that happens?
His post said he lives in southern California, does not need other than fair weather tires, and plans to drive it in excess of 100 mph.