Keep the Tradition and Traction Alive - Kustomrama's Guide to Buying Nostalgia Slicks

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The Firestone Dragster Cheater Slick 1000-15 2 1/4 Inch Whitewall is a popular 15 inch Pie Crust Slick by Coker Tire. The pie crust slicks, named so after its appearance was made necessary because they were wide treads recapped onto passenger car or truck tires. The true, Inglewood Pos-A-Traction slicks, for instance, had 10" treads on 7" wide carcasses. The pie crust ribs were trusses to support that overhanging tread. Once tire manufacturers started making new carcasses designed for the wide tread, there was no more need for those trusses. All later pie crust tires have those notches for decoration, they serve no purpose. Coker's Pie Crust Slicks can be ordered online through Amazon.com. Click here to check price and availability.
Photo courtesy of Henrik Forss.
Jim Cooper's 1931 Ford Model A Roadster of Shiloh, Illinois. Known as The Cockroach, the car ran whitewall pie crust slicks in the rear, and Firestone 5.60-15 tires up front. Photo courtesy of Henrik Forss.
The cheater slicks got its name after a minimal amount of grooves was engraved in the tire, solely put there to make it street legal and satisfy the law. The Firestone Dragster Cheater Slick 820-16 1-7/8 Inch Whitewall is a popular 16 inch Whitewall cheater slick by Coker Tire. Coker's cheater slicks are available online through Amazon.com. Click here to check price and availability.
Henrik Forss' 1930 Ford Model A truck rolling on vintage 15x8” American Racing Torq-Thrust’s . The 10.00-15” pie crust slicks are from Radir Wheels. Running a whitewall slick today is not necessarily about looking for the best traction to win races. They are, without any doubt, a beautiful tire that can make it or break it for a car. According to Henrik Forss, "they do work fairly well on the street, as long as you don’t try to drive on a rainy day." Photo courtesy of Henrik Forss.
The smoother slicks manufactured by Goodyear came out around 1964-65. These were made for dragsters, and around 1968 all serious forms of drag racing were done with the smooth wall slicks, making the pie crust slicks a thing of the past. The softer rubber, with wrinklewalls, was so superior, there was no looking back. The M&H Cheater Slick 26/11.5-15LT is a popular 15-inch wrinklewall slick by produced by Coker Tire. Check price and availability on these slicks at Amazon.com.
Jeff Hansen's 1937 Willys gasser looking mighty mean and sure packs a punch with the blown, injected 392 ci Hemi. Front wheels are narrowed 1949 Ford-54 Ford steelies that Jeff chromed and put Firestone 5.60-15's on. The rear wheels are vintage Halibrand 16x12"s dressed with 32" tall M&H slicks. Photo by Henrik Forss.
This early flathead powered FED was spotted on the Eagle Field Runway Drags, and even though it ran 10” Mickey Thompson slicks on vintage American Racing Torq-Thrust wheels, is was smoking the tires in a much-appreciated way. Photo by Henrik Forss.
Nothing can take away the coolness of a traditional whitewall pie crust slick. Coker's Firestone slicks are also available with a solid Blackwall if you prefer that. Click here to check price and availability for the Firestone Dragster Cheater Slick 1000-16 Blackwall on Amazon.com.
In the late 1950s and the early 1960s not only dragsters and wild gassers were running slicks, now even show rods started using them. A brilliant example of this is evident in Dave Stuckey's amazing Lil' Coffin. In 1963 the iconic show rod toured West Coast shows running American Racing Torq-Thrust wheels and Firestone Blackwall Cheater Slicks, and it's noticeable how the tires got wider in the '60s. (On the Monogram model, however, it had whitewall slicks.) Check price and availability on similar slicks on Amazon.com. Photo from The James Handy Collection.
The legendary Swamp Rat III built and campaigned by Don Garlits was the worlds fastest dragster back in 1961, running 7.88 sec / 198.66 mph. Seen here, is the restored version at the 2012 California Hot Rod Reunion at Famoso Speedway in Bakersfield, running 10.00-16” Racemaster Dragster Slicks. Photo by Henrik Forss.
Randy Winkle and his Famoso Speed Shop out of MacFarland, California always presents some very wicked, colorful and fun racecars. Their 1960s team racecar "One Bad Hombre" is a great example of that. Fantastic finish, long smoky burnouts, and polished American Racing Torq-Thrust wheels draped with a set of 10.00-15" pie crusts. Photo by Henrik Forss.
Tony Jurado's 1957 Chevrolet 150 of Pleasanton, California. Tony is running 15x5" American Racing Torq-Thrust wheels with Firestone 6.40-15 tires up front. Traction in the rear is provided by a 15x5.5 Chromed and reversed wheel with 8" Towel City Slicks. Photo by Henrik Forss.
Photo by Henrik Forss.
Beppie and Glynis Pistone of Concord, California owns this brutal 1932 Ford that was built by South City Rod & Custom. The three-window coupe has a killer stance much due to the perfect rake and a set of vintage American Racing 15x8.5” magnesium wheels together with beautiful pie crust slicks from Towel City. Photo by Henrik Forss.

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Nostalgia slicks are very popular these days, and we see them on everything from vintage dragsters, hot rods, gassers, and even nostalgic street cars. They do work fairly well on the street, as long as you don’t try to drive on a rainy day. Another important fact to consider is the coolness they possess; It is truly hard to beat their appearance and attitude.


Back in the mid to late 1950s, drag racers needed a tire that was better for traction instead of just a normal tire. The first slick, also known as a slick tyre was developed in the early 1950s. It is by many considered to be Alex Xydias of the famed So-Cal Speed Shop that produced the first asphalt slick in 1953. It was a recap with 7 inches of tread. His tires produced roughly four times the traction of a then-standard tire. Inglewood Tire Co. and M&H Tire Co. were two of the first to manufacture dedicated drag slicks. These days, the variety of width and height of a slick is way broader than it was when it all started, and getting the desired traction has become easier.


Pie Crust Slicks

The pie crust slicks, named so after its appearance was made necessary because they were wide treads recapped onto passenger car or truck tires. The true, Inglewood Pos-A-Traction slicks, for instance, had 10" treads on 7" wide carcasses. The pie crust ribs were trusses to support that overhanging tread. Once tire manufacturers started making new carcasses designed for the wide tread, there was no more need for those trusses. All later pie crust tires have those notches for decoration, they serve no purpose.


Cheater Slicks

The cheater slicks got its name after a minimal amount of grooves was engraved in the tire, solely put there to make it street legal and satisfy the law.


Wrinklewall Slicks

The smoother slicks manufactured by Goodyear came out around 1964-65. These were made for dragsters, and around 1968 all serious forms of drag racing were done with the smooth wall slicks, making the pie crust slicks a thing of the past. The softer rubber, with wrinklewalls, was so superior, there was no looking back.


Keep the tradition and traction alive!


Available Models and Sizes:

Coker Tire offers a wide range of nostalgia slicks through their Amazon.com outlet. Coker's slicks are available in these models and sizes:


Firestone Blackwall Pie Crust Cheater Slicks:

15 Inch Sizes:


16 Inch Sizes:


Firestone Whitewall Pie Crust Cheater Slicks:

15 Inch Sizes:


16 Inch Sizes:


M&H Cheater Slicks:

15 Inch Sizes:

16 Inch Sizes:




 

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