Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pirelli Cinturato for my 1966 Alfa Romeo GTV

The original tires on my 1966 Alfa Romeo Giulia GT Veloce were sized 155 x 15 on relatively narrow steel wheels. When I restored my GTV, I made certain "period style" modifications. One modification I chose was that I put on aluminum Alfaholics GTA 14" wheels with 6" width. (Note that the original wheels on the GTA were magnesium and were this same size: 6.00 J x 14. The original tires on the GTA were Pirelli Cinturato 165 HR 14 or Dunlop 165 HR 14-SP. These had a diameter of about 624mm or 24.6 inches.

Originally (about 10 years ago) I installed Bridgestone Potenza RE950 195/65HR14 tires (OD=24.0” tread width=6.2” sect width: 7.8 “ on 6”). The early GTV's like mine have lower rear wheel arches, and it is a tight fit to put tires like that on. But the Potenza's had a very good performance reputation and I enjoyed them.
However, after 10 years the Potenza's were old rubber and due for replacement.
And there has been a development...
The original Pirelli Cinturato CA67 165 x 14 tires are available again!

The Cinturato is a particularly cool tire, as it was the first radial tire made and was fitted to all sorts of cool and exotic cars in addition to the Alfa.
The Cinturato design (first called the Cinturata)

So, for me the choice was obvious, I had to have the Cinturato.
I ended up ordering them from Longstone Tire in the UK. Strangely, they were cheaper to buy from the UK and have them delivered to California than to buy them locally. And they arrived in about a week; Amazing. The ones I purchased appear to have been manufactured in the 33rd week of 2016, just 10 weeks ago, so they are very fresh.
The Pirelli Cinturato CA67 165HR14 tires are H rated and are specified to have a diameter of  627mm and a section width of 165mm.

Here are a couple pictures of the mounted tires.

As you can see, while they are obviously narrower than many tires, they definitely are not "too" narrow. And I think they look great under the wheel arches with the Alfaholics fast road suspension height. I also really appreciate the subtle sidewall graphics compared to modern tires.

As far as performance goes... well I always laugh at people who give reviews of their brand new tires versus their old worn out tires. And I haven't pushed the performance envelope of these at all yet. But I will say, these tires are significantly easier to turn at low speeds (as one might expect because they are significantly narrower).  The car might be wandering slightly more at highway speeds (like 80 mph), but if it exists, it is a subtle difference. Ride comfort is a least as good as the the old Potenzas.
See you on the road!

And the best advertisement for a tire EVER: