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    Paul Weatherholt


    Hello all,

        I am in the market for new tires for the Duchess, I have the old VW rubber now, has anyone tried something different that they have info about..good,bad or ugly ? or thoughts.


    Paul Mossberg


    Hi Paul,

    Not sure what you’re looking for. But some thoughts on stock VW vs “oversize”…

    The stock VW tire is a 165 R 15. But I’ve seen many VW replicas with wider than stock tires and wheels. take a look through the galleries and cars on this site, and you’ll see lotsof variety. I don’t have personal experience with non-stock sizes on my Duchess, but like any car, if you do plan to go larger than stock, pay special attention to tire/fender clearance.

    On a VW based Duchess, the stock VW tires clear all the fiberglass, at full steering lock and at full suspension compression. The latter is important, because of the mirror bolt coming through the fender and the wiring for the turn signals right above the front tires.

    In my home state (NJ) they also have issues with tires extending beyond the fender line. But fenderless street rods are ok..go figure. Anyway, on a Duchess, nothing much wider than the 165 R 15 will stay within the fenderwells. So be sur eto check your local regs.

    On to stock VW tires….original TDs had 15 inch wheels, I think about 4″ wide. The stock VW Rim is also a 15 inch wheel, and about 5.5 inches wide. Preferring as stock a look as possible, I stayed with 165 R 15 tires (the stock VW Type 1)

    These are rather tough to find. I bought my latest set from But I just did a search there and they have nothing in stock.

    Most of the VW performance part vendors sell tires. For example California Pacific JBugs sells tires. They mention it on their web site But you have to call them for tires 800-231-1784.


    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    Paul Weatherholt


    Thanks Paul for your wise wisdom again..You always come thru.

    M Watson


    Hey Paul, I too kept the stock VW tire and my cars handle just fine..I got my latest set from a place near Douglasville..can’t think of the name right now but I’ll get the info for you.  Also, the name of my VW man out there who is a mechanic for AirTran  Airways as his “full time” job got them for me and worked on my engine, brakes, etc.  Anyway, I am about to go to work and when I get back I’ll give ya a call….by the way, I’m thinking of selling one of the cars so if you know of someone local that’s looking for one, give me a shout.  I’ll still host a get together here on the ranch if there’s any interest.  Mike

    Paul Weatherholt


    I need everyone local to respond to me about a get together, I found another last week not a TD but a KIT car, left him info to get in touch.

    Then we can do a get together. Still can not get my brakes right…

    Paul Weatherholt


    Hey Paul M,

       I just took a closer look at my tires and found them to be 195 R15 and they seem to be working with no rubbing… just FYI…so maybe I will stay with them since they are easier to find   

    Keith True


    Tires are getting hard to find locally,so I found some at something like tiresonline,or maybe the tire rack.I got the same as on one of my other cars,they are Kumhos.They seem to be fine,and they are only $32.each.I used the Yahoo search and found the same tires at a dozen different places so it was just a matter of price and freight shopping.

    Paul Weatherholt


    Thanks Keith.

    Mark Hendrickson


    Kumho makes a 165x80R15 that would be the right tire for your VW based TD Replica. A larger/wider tire will not get as good traction (less lbs. per sq. in.) on the contact patch.

    Tire Rack has these backordered, as previously mentioned, for $32 each.

    I’m sure Coker Tire has some expensive tires you could use that are the same size (165x80R15). I know a guy from the New Jersey Replicar Club that has a set of “real” wide whitewalls on his TD. Looks neat! Coker ( lists several “165R15” one of which is a Futura that Pep Boys sells.

    If you have stock VW rims, the 195 is probably too wide for the rim. The 165R15’s or 165x80R15’s will be much lighter and give you better handling and performance, not to mention better mileage.

    Dale Schumacher



    I choose to go the look of a hotrod w/ mine and used the 205/70R15 w/ 7 inch wide after market spin off wire wheels. They were Cornells from Pep Boys. I must say that the car runs great w/ this set up and no rubbing. They do go past the fenders some though ( I like the look ). I do have a four tire set up w/ the stock VW size if I ever sell or want a more stock TD look. I would post some pictures of my build if I could figure out how to do that.


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