I need to change the tyres on my 2 litre Coupé so am doing some research as to which ones would be best for me. Before I carry on I've been looking at the very complete Tyre Bibles web site and found out that my current tyres were manufactured by Goodyear S.A. in the "Grand Duchy Of Luxembourg" in the 33rd week of 1996, i.e. they are 13 years old and are potentially dangerous.

Front Goodyear tyre Rear Goodyear tyre

I know that tyre choice is a personal thing, so what I say here is purely my opinion and some readers will almost certainly have their own ideas which is a good thing.

The original tyres used on this particular car were Michelin XASs (and I found one in the boot when I bought the car) which at the time were state of the art being the first asymettrical tyre on the market and had far superior road holding capabilities than other available tyres 40 years ago. Even though XASs are being remanufactured under license to Michelin, they are no longer available in the correct size for a Dino i.e. 185 HR 14. The "nearest" available tyre (i.e. Michelin and 185) is the MXV-P (being the tread pattern), but they are not exactly the same size as an XAS and cost a lot - also tread patterns and overall construction techniques have improved over the years. Another period looking tyre of about the right size is the even more expensive Michelin XWX, looks great but above my budget. A cheaper option would be to go with one of the 185/70 H or V rated tyres available, but if they are the same dimension as the Goodyears I currently have then in my opinion they look too small, i.e. they don't fill the wheel arches enough.

Here is a comparison between an XAS and a Goodyear 185 mounted on the same rims:

Goodyear and Michelin XAS tyres

The following picture shows 3 tyres which are available and which are all about the same size as each other and the original XAS. They are (from left to right): 1) Michelin MXV-P 185 R14 90H, 2) Michelin XWX 205/70 VR14, 3) Fulda Assuro 205/70 R14:

Michelin MXV-P, Michelin XWX, Fulda Assuro

Size is of course important and as I have an original XAS to hand, I've measured it and here is a table of comparisons to other tyres:

Tyre Section width (mm) Section height (mm) Section height % Diameter (mm) Circumference (mm) Notes
Michelin XAS 185 HR 14 200 123.5 62% 637 2000 based on my measurements (unladen deflated tyre)
Current Goodyear 185/70 R14 205 107.5 52% 605 1900 based on my measurments (unladen deflated tyre)
Michelin MXV-P 185 HR 14 188 147
section height and % worked out by taking 14" i.e. 356mm off of the officially declared diameter (650mm). Something isn't right with Michelins official figures here; based on the diameter of 650mm, the circumference should be 2042mm! The second set of figures assumes the Michelin declared circumference of 1976mm is correct
Michelin XWX 205/70 VR14 209 644 1958 official Michelin figures
A "perfect" 185/70 14 185 129.5 70% 615 1932 assuming section with is exactly 185mm and section height ratio is exactly 70% then adding on 14" i.e. 356mm for the wheel diameter
A "perfect" 195/70 14 195 136.5 70% 629 1976 assuming section with is exactly 195mm and section height ratio is exactly 70% then adding on 14" i.e. 356mm for the wheel diameter
A "perfect" 205/70 14 205 143.5 70% 643 2020 assuming section with is exactly 205mm and section height ratio is exactly 70% then adding on 14" i.e. 356mm for the wheel diameter

I have been recommended to fit the Fulda Assuro 205/70 VR14 tyre which is a reasonable price and is approximately the same size as an XAS - it also is supposed to fit the arch well. Summarising: In my opinion there are only 2 options - 1) Fit a period looking Michelin MXV-P or XWX. 2) Fit a 205/70. As my budget doesn't stretch to number 1, I think I'll go with number 2!

As soon as the Fuldas arrive and I've had them fitted I'll post some more photos.