I installed a set of new Diamondback whitewall radials on my 1939 LaSalle 2-dr convertible, but in view of the current CLC judging standards, also purchased a complete set of whitewall bias tires and tubes (and a complete set of extra wheels) for last year's CLC Grand National (read "add $1000 extra cost"). I won a first in my class at Cherry Hill and a Senior Badge with the bias tires. I would hate to think the results had I not gone to the extra time and expense of purchasing and installing the bias tires for this judging.
As soon as I returned from Cherry Hill, I immediately changed back to the Diamondback radial tires, as have had plenty of trouble with the rotator cuff in my left shoulder, and turning the steering wheel at a stop or very low speeds is almost impossible with the bias tires. Why the CLC and many (but not all) other clubs insist on bias tires is a big mystery to me.
After the judging at last year's CLC Grand National, my car was shown at the Glenmoor Gathering in Canton, Ohio (invitation only concourse event) and I entered the car with the radial tires installed. Evidently at that event, the judges were not so nit-picky, as I won a first in my class with the radial-ply tires. At a glance, it is almost impossible to tell the difference, so isn't it about time that some of rules from the past be upgraded just a little bit?
I am going on record as recommending that if the radial tires are about the same size and appearance (whitewall width and possibly a reasonable tread design) that there should be no point deduction for displaying our cars with radial tires, both from a safety standard, as well as a convenience to those of us who have a hard time dealing physically when driving cars without power steering.
Attached are two pictures - the first is at the 2008 GN (with bias tires). The second is at the 2008 Glenmoor show (with radial tires). Can you see much (if any) noticeable difference? Is it really worth the time and expense to have to deal with two sets of tires and wheels just to comply with what I feel is an outdated set of rules concerning the tires? It is time for a change......