My wife had one of these cars and no, this is baloney. The tires VW
were really cheap and wore out quickly. Most people bought the cheapest
narrow replacement tires they could find, we are talking the $11.95 come-in
here, and those wore out quickly too.
If when the factory tires wore out you went out and bought some expensive
high mileage tires then yes you could get a long life. We are talking a
lightweight car, that is why they lasted long. But a lightweight car in
with high mileage tires which have very hard rubber and little grip, with
tires, well that car was all over the road if it was windy. And the
not that hot, but they didn't go all that fast either. The VW Rabbits were
the Nissan/Datsun 210s, they were products of an end of an era of very
simply built and simply designed cars, using very old engine and fuel
that were very basic. Because they were cheap, they were very popular and
lots of young pups who couldn't afford to pay mechanics to work on their
cars would buy them. But, damn they were cheesy! I remember replacing
the water pump in my wife's car (then girlfriend) I had to do it 3 times
the first two water pumps I put in leaked right out of the box.
Not true. The only thing that is a problem with the wear patterns on
wide tires is that they are more sensitive to under or over inflation. If
inflated properly they wear the same as high profile tires of the same
material on the same weight vehicle.
I think low profile tires are pretty stupid, for a lot of reasons not the
least is that if you hit a chuckhole you bend a rim. But wear on a standard
passenger car isn't one of those reasons.
My GTi 1800 ran slightly lower profile, 175/70 I seem to remember, tyres
especially made for the GTi by Pirelli. While being very good tyres for
their time I seldom got more than nine or ten thousand miles from the front.
Same went for my fathers dreadful Santana five cylinder.
I am certainly not a fan of very low profile rubber which tend to tramline
and have a rough ride, I would say that it all depends on the vehicle. My
old Jaguar XK8 sports coupe tourer had very low profile tyres but suffered
little for it.
I owned two early edition Rabbits and your report about tire life is a pure
myth! Mine were equipped at the factory with 70 series tires that went about
30,000 miles on sets that were properly rotated and inflated.
Was yours a GTi driven as it was meant to be on rural minor roads? How in
Hell can you say that my tyre life is a myth? If I say I never got more than
10,000 miles from the fronts that is what I got. No skin off my nose if
others got better.
Actually, the last Rabbit I owned was a Platinum Edition that I converted to
GTI Euro specs but installing the factory rear sway bar and variable rate
rear springs from the VW parts bin. The wheels and tires were already the
same size as those on the Euro GTI at the time. Perhaps the factory GTI's
were delivered with "performance" tires that were not good on wear. The
French tires mine wore lasted 30,000 miles or so.
My that is low tire mileage for such a light car.
On my last two Chrysler's, leBaron GTS 86 and Concord '95, I changed
the Michelin all season tires at about 70K miles because they were 8 yrs
old and showing aging, but still had adequate tread for winter driving.
If I put mileage on more quickly I'm sure I could get 100K miles on a
Tires have significantly improved since the 1970's in just about every
respect. It is true you could pick up a Michelin X-Stop in the late 40's
that would go 90,000 miles, but you would not want to take a sharp turn on
those stiff, unforgiving tires.
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