Classic Porsche



Choosing the right rubber for your 356.

Whether you’re returning a formerly impotent classic Porsche to the road, or are simply on the lookout for new tyres in anticipati­on of hitting the highway as soon as lockdown eases, it’s important to ensure the product you choose is suited to the car you own. Enter Longstone Tyres... Tell us about Longstone Tyres.

The company has been in business for more than sixty years. I took charge of the operation in 1999. Previously, the firm only supplied tyres for prewar cars, but recognisin­g an opportunit­y to serve a far bigger customer base, I enlarged the Longstone Tyres portfolio to include products for classics and Youngtimer­s. Today, we cater for road and race cars as old as those built before WW1 and as new as those produced at the time of the Falklands conflict. We’re based in Bawtry, which is about ten miles outside Doncaster, and the Longstone Tyres team currently numbers eight, including myself, my wife and my nephew. All of us are fans of vintage vehicles, especially air-cooled Porsches.

What products do you recommend for classic Porsches?

Longstone Tyres has an extensive range of classic Porsche tyres, which is growing further with the introducti­on of more products from the Pirelli Cinturato range, not to mention the excellent classic Porsche tyres manufactur­ed by Michelin. To my frustratio­n, there’s a perception period tyres are some kind of fashion statement. This is misguided. Owners need to remember tyres were designed with the chassis of the host vehicle in mind. It doesn’t necessaril­y follow that fitting a modern tyre design to an old car is a suitable course of action. Granted, modern manufactur­ing techniques are greater than they were decades ago, and the materials used are often an improvemen­t over what came before, but the overall design of the tyre should be sympatheti­c to your classic Porsche. Pirelli and Michelin are addressing this with their legacy product lines and, crucially, are taking care of all design and manufactur­ing in-house, ensuring the same premium quality they deliver to Porsche as OEM suppliers reaches enthusiast buyers.

Are you able to help customers choose the right fitment?

Absolutely. There is a page dedicated to Porsche on the Longstone Tyres website. Current models listed include the 356, 911 (including Turbo, SC and Carrera 3.2), 912, 914, 928, 924 and 944. Simply select the car you own and a list of tyre options and sizes is presented for you to choose from. Of course, we’re more than happy to take telephone calls from interested parties, but I always recommend checking our website first. Classic Porsches are well supported, with Porsche now involved in the homologati­on of tyres, such as the Pirelli CN36 and the famous Pirelli Cinturato P7, which are available in fifteen-inch and sixteen-inch sizes for legacy models — we can now supply 185/70VR15 CN36 and 215/60R15 CN36 for the 911 RSR 2.7 and 205/50R15 P7 and 225/50R15 P7 for the 930 Turbo and Carreras. These tyres really are the bee’s knees for your air-cooled classic.

What tyres should we be considerin­g for a 356?

We recommend the 165VR15 Michelin XAS, 165HR15 Pirelli Cinturato CA67 or the 165HR15 Pirelli Cinturato CN36. In our opinion, these are the best radial tyres for a 356, because the carcass structure of these products is designed to suit the model’s chassis dynamics. Somewhat proving the point, Porsche homologate­d the CN36 with its N4 seal of approval. There are other options, though. The first Pre-a 356, for example, made use of sixteen-inch wheels and 525X16 tyres. We suggest the 525X16 Avon Tourist with a Michelin 16E13 inner tube, which we sell for little more than twenty quid. The 356 A moved to fifteen-inch wheels and 5.60-15 crossply tyres. There isn’t currently a crossply tyre we recommend for a 356 — the 165HR15 Pirelli Cinturato CA67 is the best tyre currently available for the 356 A. The 356 B was fitted with either a German-made 165R15 Dunlop, which is no longer manufactur­ed, or the 165HR15 Pirelli Cinturato CA67. This is the only genuine period tyre that would have been in production when the 356 was on the assembly line. This tyre was also an option for early 911s. The 165VR15 Michelin XAS is an asymmetric tyre from 1965, and was also available for early 911s, while the 165VR15 Pirelli Cinturato CN36 is a later V-rated tyre from 1968 and, as mentioned earlier, now wears Porsche’s N4 homologati­on marking. Oh, and in case you were wondering, 356 tyre pressures are 23psi at the front and 26psi at the rear!

Does Longstone Tyres sell competitio­n rubber?

We stock a wide range of products suitable for air-cooled Porsches likely to be used in sprinting, circuit racing or tarmac rallying environmen­ts. If you own a 911 with fifteen-inch wheels, then the Michelin TB range will be perfect for these applicatio­ns. Many owners wanted their 911 to be a nicer car to drive on the street than the track, though — models such as the 911 L or 911 T often ran fourteen-inch wheels with 185R14 tyres, offering a taller sidewall and, therefore, a more comfortabl­e ride on the road. In this instance, we recommend the 185HR14 Michelin MXV-P.

Is there anything you don’t know about classic Porsche tyres?!

Our website is intended to be informativ­e, offering accurate informatio­n for owners of all classic cars, but our publicly available data bank is by no means complete, which is why we invite all Classic Porsche readers to get in touch with any photos of original tyre tread patterns or factory technical informatio­n they’d be happy to share for the benefit of the wider enthusiast community. Find us at longstonet­

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 ??  ?? Dougal Cawley specialise­s in providing unusual rubber equipment for gentlemen to pleasure themselves with at weekends. Yep, he’s in the business of selling specialist tyres for classic cars. Visit longstonet­
Dougal Cawley specialise­s in providing unusual rubber equipment for gentlemen to pleasure themselves with at weekends. Yep, he’s in the business of selling specialist tyres for classic cars. Visit longstonet­

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