Extreme Tyres. Car Tyres And More, Small And Large
Sometimes, size is all that matters. It’s important when choosing car tyres to select ones that are the right size. However, if you think the 205/45 x 17 tyres on your Mini Cooper S are rather special, stand by to be amazed, and not a little outclassed.
In this instance, 205 millimetres equates to 8.07 inches. These car tyres may look wide on a Cooper S but in reality, they aren’t much to write home about. The world’s widest car tyre, on the other hand, is worth describing in a letter. The Pirelli P Zero Nero 405/25 ZR 24 is an asymmetric car tyre aimed at ‘tuners and the most demanding sports performance drivers’. With a 25% aspect ratio, as the numbers say, this car tyre is bound to look wide. With a width of nearly sixteen inches, it is wide – extremely wide. In fact, the widest car tyre on Pirelli’s website is a mere 315 section item, which equates to a comparatively paltry 12.4 inches. That said, the web reports a Chevrolet Corvette special sitting on 405-section tyres, on 24 x 15-inch wheels…and there are pictures to prove it.
To go still bigger as regards tyres, we must move out of the realm of car tyres. Bridgestone used to hold the record for making the world’s largest production tyre, with its 59/80R63 V-Steel E-Lug S tyre. Fitted to earthmovers such as the Caterpillar 797B and 797F, these tyres stand 4.02 metres high – that’s a little under thirteen and a quarter feet. Each earthmover wears six of these tyres.
Feeling your car tyres are a little underwhelming sizewise? There’s more to come. The 63-inch OTR (Off-The-Road) tyres made by Titan are nearly fourteen feet tall and weigh a staggering 12,500 pounds apiece. Each tyre has a nominal load rating of a whopping 101 tonnes. Just don’t expect your trusty tyre fitter to stock these 57.9 inch-wide Titan 59/80R63 tyres. Their size and their 5.66 tonne weight means the tyre racks probably won’t cope.
Now that you’re feeling distinctly ill-equipped with your pathetic little car tyres, the balance can be redressed with the aid of the ‘Wind-Up’. This, the world’s smallest road legal car, was built by British inventor Perry Watkins. Being a tiny car, the Wind-Up has tiny car tyres, which we’ll come to in a moment.
Let’s first see the vital statistics that demand such tiny car tyres. The Wind-Up is 41 inches tall, 51 inches long and 26 inches wide. Its Shanghai Shenke quad bike chassis is powered by a 150cc engine with continuously variable transmission. This gives the Wind-Up a top speed of 40mph, and a frugal thirst – it takes 70 miles to sip a gallon of fuel.
The Wind-Up’s tyres come from small motorbikes. At the rear, it wears the wheels and tyres from a Honda Monkey Bike, the tyres being dinky 3.5 x 8-inch items. At the front, the Wind-Up rides on tyres from a 1939 Brockhouse Corgi paratrooper’s mini motorcycle, also 8-inch items.
Should you encounter a set of the miniscule car tyres that support the Wind-Up, there may be something more than a little familiar about the vehicle. Its 31.4 cubic foot body was sourced from a coin-operated ride favoured by little kids. Yes, Postman Pat’s van got a new lease of life, courtesy of Perry Watkins.