Posted by FS87LT on August 08, 1999 at 18:52:45:
In Reply to: FIREHAWKS vs RADIAL T/A/s posted by Ellis on June 29, 1999 at 06:34:44:
When that Corvette was in production, the premier perf radial was the BFF Radial T/A. Gyr Eagle STs were a production option if I remember correctly along with the regular Gyrs.
I had a friend that had a 79 Corvette that I sold the Gymnkana shocks and sway bars to retrofit his car with. Other than the BFG Radial T/As on the steel rallys, the suspension was production L48-spec. With these additions, the handling was fantastic! The shocks were STIFF, but everything felt like it would be happy running down the interstate at very illegal speeds (above the limits of the 85 mph speedometer). Nevertheless, the tires were a worthy part of the package. He had had Radial T/As on his previous 78 Z-28.
I have not had any exposure to the newer Firestones, but I have had many sets of P225/70R-15 Radial T/As on my 77 Camaro over the past several hundred thousand miles. I think they do well in many performance areas and the KONIs complement them with a nice smooth road ride that firms-up well on rough surfaces. That plus availability and price are the reasons why I have and will continue to use them.
Like the Corvette, when the Radial T/As came out when those cars were new they were the best performance radial on the market. Since, they have been improved with each new generation and newer members of the T/A line have come into being also (with better performance and higher prices). The Eagle STs were observed to not be very good at that time so the tire of choice became the Radial T/As. Looks, performance, value are a tough combination to beat.
Firestone is probably a much better tire company now than it was in the late 1970s, but not quite in the same league as BFG in product diversity and fitments or recognition of having a viable performance tire. Not to mean that the current Firestone performance tires are not very good products--they are probably better than many peopl perceive them to be.
I had another friend who ran a Firestone store in the early 1980s. They had some great performance radial tires back then and he had some on his cars. They did work well, but that seemed to be a low spot in Firestone history so availability outside of the metro areas was spotty whereas BFGs were more places.
The current Firehawks are probably pretty good tires, but I've got too much history with Radial T/As to get adventurous enough to try something else right now. See how your's do and go from there.
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