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Author Topic: Original tires  (Read 2060 times)
kdjZ28
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« on: November 03, 2013, 06:52:40 PM »

Jerry
 
Question:
 
There seems to be a controversy as to whether or not belted tires, like Goodyear Polyglas were available on 1969 Camaros. Could you please settle this question once and for all so many of the “experts” stop bugging me about the fact that I have them on my 1969 SS-396 with a July 1969 build date?

Thanks.
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Jerry@CHP
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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2013, 07:23:44 PM »

For years now this has been a very controversial question. Many have believed that only the F70 x 14" Wide Treads were available for the 1969 Camaro SS. I remembered seeing the Polyglas tires on brand new 1969 Chevelles when my Dad and I were out car shopping for me. But in today’s Camaro hobby, hearsay does not get it. Over the past three years I have broken the code on this issue.  I have had the pleasure of inspecting several original SS Camaros with build dates starting in April 1969 and later.  In April, GM revised it’s option list for the 1969 Camaro adding “Belted RWL Tires” to their option list. One very nice Z10 L35 that I certified still had the original spare in the trunk of the car on the original dated wheel. I recorded the serial number and code and sent it to John Kelsey of Kelsey Tire who makes the Goodyear reproduction tires. John got back stating that the tire was manufactured in April of 1969 at the Gadston, AL plant. The build date of this car was April 1969. Since that Z10 car there have been others adding to this data. So, for anyone stating that a 1969 Camaro cannot have Polyglas tires is false.  If you have a 1969 Camaro SS built from April 1969 through November 1969, The Polyglas “no size” RWL tires are correct and accepted in concours judging.  John Kelsey and others also added that tire shortages during 1969 Camaro production could have got you the Polyglas tires even if the car was not ordered with the belted tire RPO code.  Plant workers that I interviewed many years ago also stated this too.  We accept the Polyglas RWL tires in “Legend” concours judging at the Camaro Nationals as long as the car was built in April of 1969 or later.
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william
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2013, 01:30:17 PM »

The tires became available for order as of April 1969. A car ordered that day would have been built 3-4 weeks afterwards.  This web site shows them as “5/69 intro”

While the explanation is mostly accurate it implies Goodyear was the only supplier of the optional FG Belted RWL F70 x 14 tire. The only known documented [dealer invoice] car built with them still has its original Firestone spare. Uniroyal was also a supplier; DeLorean’s book mentions this very issue.

Having bought cars back in the day it was very common to upgrade tires on a new car prior to delivery. All 5 were swapped out for something else so even a correctly dated spare does not necessarily mean the car was built with that tire.

No matter how you want to look at it PL4 was a very rare option; few cars were built with it. Not all of those few had Goodyears.
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Jerry@CHP
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2013, 03:12:24 PM »

Bill, since the first SS car that turned up with an original spare, two others for me have surfaced in my travels that have the original window sticker and original dated Polyglas spare and wheel in the trunk.  No mention of the RPO code on the window sticker.  It appears that J. Kelsey and Norwood plant workers were correct about installing what they had to get the car out the door.  A best friend's Chevelle who bought it new got the Polyglas and car was not ordered with them either..........the saga continues.

Jerry   
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169INDY
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 11:07:34 PM »

Q: What does the CRG mean by "normative practice?"

A: The first-generation Camaro was produced at two US factories and at least four foreign sites, in large numbers, for more than three years. Mid-year changes were deliberately made for marketing, production, and safety purposes. Each factory had specific unique assembly practices, many of which are undocumented. The CRG strives to document the released and accepted factory procedures for each major vehicle configuration, and additionally, attempts to document as many of the major variations as can be easily noted.

However, in order to keep assembly lines rolling, some exceptions to "normal" procedure could be and were made by GM. In these cases, GM had a internal process to determine what components or process could be substituted (normally based on fit and function). There were also assembly errors made, including mismarked tags and stamps. Buyers searching for original vehicles should realize that such unusual features can be real, though the CRG does not encounter them frequently.

Therefore the CRG focuses on what we call "normative practices," which are the factory configurations per released procedure for the model year. To the extent that we can, the CRG will also document normative practices as a function of assembly plant and mid-year time frame, though these will never be complete, and in many cases must be observed indirectly by collection of a statistically significant population of vehicle data.

The point is that when inspecting first-generation Camaros an occasional "non-normal" feature will pop up. The reason for documenting typical practice is that the more unusual the feature, and the larger the number of exceptions to practice on a single car, the more the originality of that vehicle should be questioned. While it is difficult to say "never" or "always" about a first-generation Camaro, too many liberties from normative practice should sound a warning bell to any interested in an original vehicle.


How does this figure into a restores choice of tires when attempting to select from the reproduction markets offerings? assuming he has NO evidence of original configuration of his late 69 SS NOR car.
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Jim
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69 Pace Car L48 Th-350 LOS
Charley
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 01:11:37 AM »

It would be nice to actually see pics of the paperwork, pics of car, tires, dates to confirm this.
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crobjones2
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 05:48:08 AM »

I had a polyglas spare when I recieved my car. Original owner said they were on the car at the dealership
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Chris
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2013, 06:17:04 AM »

I just looked at the Hi Res Image of the SS verts on the transporter in the book "Echoes of Norwood". 

They all have Firestone Wide Ovals on them.
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Jerry@CHP
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2013, 12:11:21 PM »

Here is one from an 05A pace car with car shipper.  No mention of PL4 on the shipper.  Original owner car.  I will ask owner to post copy of shipper.  Rally wheel dated K19-3-22,   
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Jerry@CHP
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2013, 12:14:52 PM »

Tire date code, April 1969.  I know that many PC's were equipped with Firestones but Coker has not made a correct tire yet for '69 Camaro production.  I have an original Firestone tire photo posted in my '69 Camaro book.  The RWL's on the repro Firestones are not correct and too big.  Originals were much smaller in size.

Jerry
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william
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2013, 01:23:37 PM »

I believe that a very, very few 1969 Camaros were built with Goodyear Polyglas tires, none prior to April 1969. I would be more comfortable if those alleged existing cars had documents establishing they were ordered with PL4.
 
The statement that the Camaro hobby has progressed to the point where “hearsay does not get it” is correct. Hearsay is defined as “something heard from another person.” Abiding by that statement I have no use for what someone who has a vested interest in selling reproduction tires has to say on this matter. I doubt he was at either plant 44 years ago; the “tire shortage” yarn is more hearsay. This requires one to believe the THREE suppliers of RWL F70 x 14 tires used in daily production simultaneously ran out forcing the plant to use a far more expensive alternative. It’s a convenient way to explain a car that has an FG spare but docs that show it was not ordered with PL4. Very common for dealers to swap out tires in those days. I believe the Goodyear Polyglas tire was introduced in 1968, any tire dealer could have had them in stock.

While I do appreciate what the workers at Norwood had to say the memory of a rare option used over 4 decades past could be a bit fuzzy.

The few facts pertinent to this issue remain: the rev to the dealer ordering information showing the addition of FG belted F70 x 14 tires to the Camaro option listing as of April 1969; the existence of ONE documented PL4 car-with a Firestone spare.

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crobjones2
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2013, 08:18:48 PM »

William
With the little information of original polyglas tires, is there any corelation to the trim level? i.e. more likely on an RS equipped vehicle, etc?
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Chris
69 SS 350
william
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2013, 09:52:25 PM »

None noted. The April 2, 1969 rev states:

(5) F70-14/B Fiberglass Belt White Lettered Blackwall….PL4

But it has two listings and prices. For Camaro SS PL4 replaced PL5 and listed for $26.25. For non-SS Camaros PL4 replaced the standard E78 x 14 tire and listed for $88.60. I have several docs for cars built with them and most are not SS.

The example that is known to exist is a COPO, price is $88.60.
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69Z28-RS
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2013, 10:14:54 PM »

that reads only for 14 inch Polyglas tires (F70/14 to replace E78-14)  $88.60?  and to replace F70/14 on SS cars $26.25?  Did the non-SS cars also get a wheel upgrade to 7" for that option to justify the higher price?   Whereas the SS already had the 7" wide tire so the price was only for the tire upgrade?

No mention of 15" wheel cars ??

Didn't the COPO already have F70/14 tires on 7" wide rims?    so why the higher price?  (because they could?) *G*
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
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william
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2013, 11:20:36 PM »

Non-SS cars with F70 x 14 tires still received 6" wheels. SS equipment included PL5 tires so PL4 was an upgrade.

The 'standard' tire for COPOs 9560/9561 was technically the E78 x 14 black wall. One of the few unrestored ZL1s has an E78 x 14 tire label but was ordered and built with PL5 F70 x 14s. Most of the factory COPO docs I have seen list an optional tire: PL4, PL5 or COPO 9737. An optional tire could have been a requirement. Problem is I know of one that doesn't list an optional tire so it may have been built with E78s.

COPO 9737 was limited to cars also ordered with 9560 or 9561. There was no optional 15" tire; Z/28s and COPO 9737 cars were built with E70 x 15 Goodyear Wide Tread GT or Firestone Sport Car 200.
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