Run-Flat Tires? Once Upon A Time You Carried Not One, But Two Spare Tires: Sidemounts

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A recent post mentioned Coker Tires, the leading supplier of vintage style cars to the collectors market. There was a time when flat tires were a frequent fact of life. Rubber chemistry wasn’t particularly good in the early days of automobiles. It took the tire industry about 60 years to come up with tires that would last tens of thousands of miles and that had belted construction to prevent blowouts. Early motorists strapped spare tires to the backs of their cars. Sometimes they’d have spares already mounted on wheels plus an unmounted tire or two. Where to keep spare tires was an issue for motorists and automakers. If you think wheels are large today, back in the brass era they could be as big as 42″. That meant they couldn’t be stored inside the body. There were no trunks as we know them, but rather actual trunks, real luggage, that mounted to racks on the backs of cars. Instead of mounting spares in the back, some car companies and drivers mounted them on the side of the car, usually between the front fenders and doors. In time “sidemounts” became an optional feature and eventually the practical need for spare tires was integrated into the styling of the car, as the side mounts were embedded into the body work and given decorative covers and pedestal rear view mirrors. These sidemounts were shot that the preview to RM Auction’s St. John’s sale this past summer.

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