PIRELLI Classic Tires


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Classic Tires

In the early fifties the world of sports cars was rocked by the introduction of the PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ Tires. The classic CINTURATO ™ tire moved boundaries forward as to what could be expected of a tire as, until then, radial tires had been invented during the war and patented in 1946 as a way of enhancing the longevity of a tire. Because the tread of the tire had separate bracing to the carcass, this allowed the sidewalls to flex, without that flex continuing on to the tread. In that the tread now remained more stably in contact with the road it did not scrub the tread away. The extra added benefit was that in that the tread did not move it also had a better hold on the road and gave considerably enhanced grip.

In 1952 PIRELLI tailored this simple radial technology to suit sports cars by developing the CINTURATO ™ tire. The CINTURATO ™ tire was more progressive, and is still arguably the best tire for classic sports cars.

PIRELLI Classic Car

Because of this new technology, many of the world's best cars fitted PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ tires as original equipment; Lancia, MG, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Morgan, Maserati and Lamborghini to name but a few.

Similarly, many classic cars throughout the '50s and '60s and even the early '70s continued fitting the time-honoured PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ tires as one of the best upgrades one could make to the performance of a car for road use and Motorsport. For instance – there is no better tire for the classic Jaguar XK or a Riley RM. These classic cars were originally fitted with crossply tires.

There was a period in the '60s when people buying cars that would normally leave the factory fitting crossply tires, such as a David Brown Aston Martin, MK2 Jaguar, or XKE series 1 would specify that they wanted their car fitted with radial tires; both Jaguar and Aston Martin would fit PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ tires.

PIRELLI Classic Radial

It is critical when changing a classic car from crossply tires to radial tires that a typical period tire is used. tires of the '60s and '70s were designed to suit cars of the '60s and '70s. Cars of '90s and Noughties need tires with a totally different carcass structure to suit their totally different geometry. Over the years radial tires have developed to suit the cars of their period. Todays cars have completely different geometry to classic cars and their squarer shoulders would dramatically effect and spoil the handling of a classic car. “Horses for Courses” as they say.


The PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ tire brand is thriving today with a range of sizes in the CA67 tread pattern 165HR14, 155HR15, 165HR16, 185VR15 and 185VR16. Recent addition to the range have been the 205VR15 CN72 CINTURATO ™ tire HS fitted super cars from 1964 through to the early '70s.

At the end of the 60's low profile tire technology was developed. Today PIRELLI make the 185/70VR15 in the famous CN36 tread pattern that was fitted to so many Porsche 911, and a 205/70VR15 CN12 perfect for Jaguar cars of the '70s.

PIRELLI Classic Timeline