Tires for a vintage pickup

September 1, 2016 | By Staff


Last week I bought four wheels from a GM wrecking yard that are supposed to be original for my ‘53 Chevy pickup. They are 16” x 4” and had old 7.00-16 tires on them. The wheel/tire charts I can find only go down to a 5” wide wheel. Do you have any ideas regarding what tire to use? In 1953 it was 6.00-16.


You are in luck because Coker Tire can supply both bias-ply and radial tires in the correct original size for your truck. They also have whitewalls as well as the standard black.

Radials would probably make your truck handle better at higher speeds, but they cost more. If you are not going to be out on the high-speed motorways with your old hauler, the bias ply tires will be fine and will save you money.

Whichever tire you buy, make sure that its load-carrying capacity is up to your needs. The standard automotive tires in that size have a 1000-pound capacity which will be fine for your truck…if you did not intend to carry a load in it. But not if you want to put things in back, because those trucks weigh in the neighborhood of 4000 pounds unloaded, you will want heavyduty truck tires.

I have used Coker Tire and have been happy with their products and service. You can reach them at:

Coker Tire 1317 Chestnut St. Chattanooga TN, 37402

If you plan to use your classic truck to haul loads, you will want to go to heavier tires. In that case try:

M.E. Miller Tire 17386 State Route 2 Wauseon, OH 43567

Miller has a large selection of truck tires available at reasonable prices.