You won't find white wall tires on many vehicles today, but some auto enthusiasts demand them for style. The drivers that do usually own vintage cars and are trying to maintain a classic look. For example, could you imagine a 1955 Ford Thunderbird truly complete without a set of white wall tires?
White wall tires, also known as white side wall (WSW) tires, are still manufactured for the sake of vintage automobiles, although in relatively small numbers. They can also be mounted on modern cars, but they aren't commonly used.
A Brief History of White Wall Tires
Since the pneumatic, or air-filled, tire became the standard for automobiles, the rubber used in them has been black. That meant that the whole tire was black. During the 1920s, some tire manufacturers developed tires intended to look more luxurious. Those tires were white wall tires. Because they stood out from all the black tires on the road, white wall tires exploded in popularity during the 1920s and 1930s.
This trend continued into to '40s, '50s, '60s and even the '70s, as white wall tires carried a sense of classic style. However, the difficulty of maintaining white wall tires and their higher prices led to a decline in their popularity throughout the 1980s.
Purchasing White Wall Tires
Despite their rarity, there are a variety of white wall tires available for purchase. They're made to fit everything from classic autos to contemporary cars that look better with a set of white walls. When purchasing white wall tires, bear in mind their intended use. They're meant for looks, not high performance. If you expect to drive for long distances, at high speeds, or in consistently bad weather, you should consider skipping white wall tires.
If you want help finding the white wall tires that are right for your vehicle and for your driving style, contact RightTurn. Our tire experts on standby can help match you with white walls that will give you the look and the performance you want and need.