We have noted Mr Threlfall’s letter in your July issue and trust that some comments from ourselves, as the manufacturers of Dunlop Vintage and Veteran tyres, may be of interest to your readers using these tyres on their cars for racing or road use.
We, of course, live with the manufacture of tyres on a day to day basis and it must be difficult for an interested layman to .absorb the detail in the course of a short visit. Certainly Mr Threlfall has visited our manufacturing facility more than once, but I must point out that tyres are not made by gluing components together. A tyre is an assembly of unvulcanised components which is then inflated in a heated mould to “cure” the components into an integrated structure. Indeed all tyres, including beaded edge, do have their casing plies wrapped around the bead during assembly, as could be seen by the examination of a cut tyre section.
We fully appreciate the need to use more modern tyres when racing early vintage cars on modern high grip road surfaces whilst the original drivers of these cars had no alternative. The beaded edge type of construction was superseded in the early 1920s as its inherent design deficiencies were not up to the performance of the cars at that time, even when used with the side forces then developed on the contemporary road surfaces (ie water bound).
In recent years we have of course continued to make beaded edge tyres, whilst taking full advantage of more recent material development but, of necessity, preserving the original basic design principles in order to be able to fit tyres to the original wheel design.
Fort Dunlop, Birmingham. S. G. Leitch,
Director Marketing Services SP Tyres UK Ltd
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Old Racing Drivers
With reference to the article “Was it True”, please tell Mr Boddy that the driver in question was Victor Hemery. He was 46- years-old in 1922, and the incident did take place, more or less, as Segrave describes.
Vichy, France T. A. S. O. Mathieson
[What now! Hemery drove a Rolland-Pilain at Strasbourg but retired after 12 of the 60 laps with overheating problems, his veteran team-mates Wagner and Guyot having retired on lap two with engine trouble. – Ed.]