Pirelli launches new cross-ply tyres for classic cars

Owners of vintage cars rejoice! Pirelli has announced it will revive the long-running Stella Bianca tyre with modern manufacturing methods

Running and maintaining a classic car can be joyous when everything is going to plan, but the tables can quickly turn when trying to source replacement parts. If your pride and joy is something particularly special that rides on traditional crossply tyres, finding new tread can be a challenge.

Thankfully, Pirelli has announced that it will begin producing crossply rubber for vintage cars with all of the advantages of modern tyre technology.

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For the past 50 years Pirelli has only made the radial tires we have all become familiar with, but that’s no good if you want authentic tyres for your period vehicle. At the request of Ferrari’s Classiche certification department and other manufacturers, the Italian tyre firm has reintroduced the Stella Bianca range, a name that stems from its 1927 tread pattern.

Stella Bianca was a revolutionary tyre when new thanks to its advanced design that was responsible for Grand Prix victories right up until its retirement. It was fitted to performance cars such as the Alfa Romeo 20-30, Diatto Tipo 30, Itala 61, Lancia Lambda, OM Superba, Fiat 525SS, and was so far ahead of its time that it was still used on new models during the 1950s.

The revived tyre looks identical to the original thanks to insight from historical archives but contains all of the modern-day research that makes modern rubber safer and more reliable. A 6.00-16 ratio was chosen as the most compatible with the majority of classics. Its tread mimics the stress resistant Corsa variant.

Just as Pirelli uses Formula One today to gather data on various tyre compounds, the sa,e method was used to create the Stella Bianca in the 1920s. By strapping the rubber onto powerful Grand Prix cars of the era, Pirelli used the research to develop new products for the rapidly growing performance car market.

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