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Cars > alwaysakid’s Garage > Blog > 1961 Ford Thunderbird (White In Night Satin) > Wide white walls


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M –63
Osburn, Idaho
United States


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Wide white walls

By alwaysakid

Filed under: 1961 Ford Thunderbird (White In Night Satin)

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Cover photo for the Wide white walls album
Wide white walls
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My '61 Thunderbird looks great with wide white walls. But alas, wide white walls apparently are not in the cards for my T-Bird, although I did put in a good effort.
I had purchased some fake wide-white walls for it a few years ago, but it turned out they were held on by wheel covers and my car has mag wheels, so that didn't work. Then I came across a guy who had a set of the original Portawalls from the 1950s or 1960s in excellent condition, and I bought them from him. But when I took them to the tire shop, we discovered the tire will not hold air with those Portawalls on them, so I had to purchase inner-tubes. I did that, but had to go to another store to get them. Then it was back to the tire shop, and the tire shop knocked down all the tires to install the tubes and then the Portawalls, but the guy warned me that he didn't know how well they'd hold up on modern tires because the modern tires are shaped a little different and don't have the smooth sidewalls with no raised letters or print like the tires of old. Sure enough, by the time I got it home, one of the Portawalls had worked part way off and broke. So, back to the tire shop, and I had him take them all off, because the car looked incomplete with only three wide white walls. When I got back home again, I discovered one of the tires going flat in the garage. So, I pulled that wheel off and went back to the tire shop again. It turned out the wheel had a slight defect in it that punctured the innertube but otherwise never would've manifested itself with tubeless tires. He took the innertube out and the tire was fine.
It was a most frustrating experience.
I'm aware that there are companies that sell wide white wall tires, but I've also head some stories of quality issues with these companies. I've been told the tires are made more for show than for doing a lot of driving. And having to order the tires by mail and having no dealer to go back to locally for repairs when something does go wrong makes me very hesitant to take this route. And that's without even mentioning the high cost of said tires.
But that's OK. The wide white walls may have looked great, but when you have a good-looking car to begin with, doing without them becomes a minor detail. That is, once I got over all the frustrations I dealt with.

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Cars > alwaysakid’s Garage > Blog > 1961 Ford Thunderbird (White In Night Satin) > Wide white walls

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