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FROM THE August 2008 ISSUE

Restoring inflexible rubber tires

RELATED TOPICS: TIRES
Q: After years of inactivity, I've decided to begin with an old Hubley Model A Ford kit that has dried, inflexible rubber tires. Is there any known way to restore their flexibility? Perhaps soaking them in a solvent, such as paint thinner?

- George Patton Jr.
Barrington, Rhode Island


Ken: Soaking them in a solvent will make the tires burn better during those cold Rhode Island winters, George, but it won't solve the problem. After those old rubber tires become dried out, there's not much you can do to bring them back.

If they're not too bad, you may be able to get away with using them, but your other alternative is to keep an eye on eBay. There are usually several vintage Hubley vehicles - and even loose parts - up for bid, and some of them can be quite reasonable. It may pay you to buy a second kit, just for the tires.


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