PARTS GUIDE: Yokohama adds new sizes for GT Special throwback tire

Last year, Yokohama Tires released a modern version of its iconic GT Special tire, with sizes specifically fitted for classic cars. Due to its success, Yokohama is adding new sizes to the lineup, which should be a boon to restorers of many JNCs.

Launched in 1971, the GT Special was a defining tire for Japan at the dawn of the radial era. The reproduction, called the GT Special Classic Y350, uses modern tire technology but maintains the road feel of a classic. The addition of three new sizes make for a total of seven fitments, in the following sizes (* indicates new size).

  • 165/80R15 87H
  • 155/80R15 83H *
  • 165/80R14 85S
  • 175/80R14 88S
  • 145/80R13 75S *
  • 165/80R13 83H *
  • 149/80R10 69S

Such sizes are perfect for cars like the Toyota Carina, Daruma Celica, Nissan Bluebird, Colt Galant GTO and Isuzu Bellett — if you’re restoring them to stock and not slapping a set of RS-Watanabes on them or anything. However, it’s also good news for owners of cars like the Austin-Healey Sprite, MG Midget, and Triumph Spitfire. This is great news for classic car owners who want the period authenticity of an iconic tire. The new sizes launch March 5 for the Japan market.

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8 Responses to PARTS GUIDE: Yokohama adds new sizes for GT Special throwback tire

  1. BlitzPig said:

    Will they be sold in North America?

    • Ben Hsu said:

      Sadly not. I should probably add that.

      • BlitzPig said:

        That’s a pity. The only tire available to my customers that is worth anything in these narrow old school sizes is the Vredestein Sprint Classic. Not that it is a bad tire, it isn’t, but some choice in the market would be a good thing.

        • Clay said:

          Vredestein says those tires have a summer tread compound. Does that mean no traction on cold, dry pavement?

          • BlitzPig said:

            I am located in Northern Ohio, and my classic car customers, which is all of them, don’t drive their cars in the winter months anyway. So, I guess it’s not a real issue. I have them on my personal TR3, but I don’t drive it when the snow flies in any case, same goes for the cars in the collection that I tend to.

  2. Lee L said:

    149/80R10 69S

    Woah

  3. GeorgeL said:

    The first set of tires I ever bought (in 1983) was for my 1969 VW Beetle. They were B.F. Goodrich GT Special in 165SR15. Same tread pattern as above.

    Turns out, they were actually made by Yokohama, but branded BFG due to an agreement Yokohama had with BFG to build tires for them. The two companies worked together for many years because BFG helped Yokohama rebuild after WWII. I believe that relationship ended when BFG was bought by Michelin in 1988.

    The 165/80R15 and 155/80R15 sizes are perfect replacements for the air-cooled Beetle.

  4. MikeRL411 said:

    Those 13 inch tires would look great on my RL411. By the time I need a set maybe these tires will be available in the USA.

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