Land Rover Tyres-Some thoughts about the “good old days” and tyre evolution

Land Rover Tyres

Land Rover Tyres

Land Rover Tyres

It was back in the 1960’s when I first started in the tyre trade. Although we were operating in a small town, Dewsbury in Yorkshire, it was surprising the amount of Land Rover’s that we would see. We were I suppose surrounded by countryside. This meant that we had quite a few of our customers that were, in fact, farmers.

This is very similar to our present location here in Halifax, we are in a small town surrounded by countryside and we do in fact have some farmers in our mixed customer base. I remember that we used to dodge doing the farmers Land Rover because they always used to smell bad and were usually covered in cow poo?

The farmers, however, did not have the choice of Land Rover Tyres that they certainly have today. The two sizes that were most popular were the 600×16 and the 750×16. The 600×16 tyres were fitted onto the short wheelbase Land Rovers and the 750×16 were fitted to the long wheelbase ones. We were in those days the beginning of the “National Tyres network” and owned by Dunlop at the time.

Because of this, Dunlop was the main Land Rover Tyres that we fitted. The tyre model was the Dunlop RK3 and came out in three sized, as original equipment on the Land Rovers. This gave them the replacement market edge, but other tyre companies were making these tyre sizes. The tyres were in those days X-ply construction and the pattern in the centre were similar to a car tyre pattern, with lugs on the tread outer edges. This gave them an on/off road capability, which suited the framing community.

Land Rover Tyres

Soon to follow Dunlop were another British tyre company, Avon. Avon brought out the Avon Traction Mileage tyre. This tyre was slightly more aggressive looking and began to win favours with the countryside drivers of the Land Rover.

Land Rover Tyres

Land Rover Tyres

Farmers were always renowned for having “deep pockets” and it was not before remoulded tyres were produced in these sizes. Companies such as Kingpin Remoulds were flourishing in the sixties and seventies.

You now have to jump to the 1970’s to see a real change in tyre designs. This was when the new Range Rover was introduced to the public. This was a country vehicle with the added comfort of the normal saloon car.

A completely new tyre came out with the Range Rover. It was a 205/80X16 radial.This started off a whole new ball game for the Land Rovers as well as the Range Rovers. One of the most popular tyres in the 1970’s was the Michelin XPC and became a favourite with the farming community because it was hard wearing, like many of Michelin’s tyre range at the time.

Land Rover Tyres

In the coming years, all sorts of tyre sizes were coming out to fit the Range Rovers and tyre profiles were getting lower and lower. Bringing all this history forward to today, then one of the best tyres for these vehicles come from the General Land Rover Tyres range. These have been developed in line with the manufacturers introducing traction control to their vehicles. Now tyre treads have become far less aggressive to give the same amount of grip as their older counterparts. The vehicle electronics now play a greater part in a tyres grip and so greater tyre mileage can be achieved.