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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My '64 Galaxie is built to look like a 60's stock car would look like. I am using modern Bf Goodrich radials for a nice ride, but the blackwall lettering does not look right, and it really bothered me. My solution was to sand the sidewalls smooth to get a nice un-cluttered sidewall. A little experimenting on an old tire led to this process shown here.

You will need a dual action or "DA" sander, and a few discs of 80 grit paper. 80 grit discs on the "DA" leaves the smoothest surface while still cutting through the letters the best. Finer grits tend to clog the discs with rubber. This process will not harm the tire in any way, as I have done it on several cars now with great results:


Here is the tire with all the lettering visible:






I leave the air in the tire as it it far easier than sanding on an un-inflated tire. If you have some really nice wheels, you may chose to mount them on some junk wheels just in case you slip with the sander and end up sanding your wheels, but you really don't need to get right up next to the rim, so just be careful.

You basically start sanding on the lettering moving the sander from side to side applying some pressure. Let the sander do the work until the lettering is gone:


This is the progress after about a minute:


This is after a few more minutes. You want to sand down until the letters are gone and no further, though it is really hard to do any damage to the sidewall using the "DA". I go ahead and lightly sand all the way around the sidewall so it all has the same texture, which ends up nice and smooth:


I removed all the raised lettering, but chose to keep the tire size, serial numbers and well as the D.O.T. markings, though you can remove it all for a really smooth look. The edge against the wheel needs to be gone over with some Scotchbrite to knock the glaze off and give a nice uniform appearance:






I used five sanding discs to do all four sidewalls. It took me about 20 minutes per tire. This process really cleans up the look of any tire and it will work on radials or bias ply tires.
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Cool Tom. What a difference and yes, very period accurate. At first you might say to yourself ... "No way" but in the end you'll say "Why Not!".
 

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Very cool retro look! Great article. I might have to give this one a try.
 
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