NOS Gatorbacks...

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Feb 21, 2003
When I had my '95 Dodge Intrepid a few years back, I had ordered a set of Goodyear ZR60 "gatorback" tires in P225/60ZR16 for it from TireRack that had just been discontinued in that size; I'm somewhat partial to Goodyear tires. Well the little Dodge had unfortunately become intimately acquainted with the front end of an Isuzu flat bed truck in '02 and so I was left with these 4 tires, stored in the basement over the years, sheathed in AMSOIL BriteSide Vinyl and Leather Protectant (PFP). This weekend I put these tires on my wife's Olds Intrigue and they look and ride great:  - "Gatorbacks", now that's old school high performance!
Originally posted by drive it forever: Nice looking tread pattern. How's the steering response and grip?
Yeah this is the classic directional rain tire tread pattern of Goodyear's "S" tread blocks. The first application I remember for these tires was their development for the C4 Corvette in '84. They were the hottest thing back then but they've since been eclipsed by newer tread patterns and tire contructions. They're apparently now only made in P245/45ZR17 for Mustang GTs. I haven't had a chance to drive them "spiritedly" but otherwise they're great; no balance problems as you might expect for tires that have sat for a couple of years. I haven't driven them in the rain yet either but if they're anything like the previous set I had on the Intrepid, they're definitely confidence inspiring in the wet. I'll monitor the tire pressures as usual to see if they have a problem holding air.
The Gatorback is one of my favorite tires ever! I had them on two of my 87 Mustang GTs, an 88 Dodge Shadow ES Turbo, an 84 Corvette and my mom had them on her old 94 Probe GT. I even found these tires worked very well in the snow with full tread on them! They lasted very long too.
I replaced the OEM Pirelli P7's on my 78 928 Porsche with Corvette sized Gatorbacks. They were far superior to the best Europe had to offer at the time. They had a new type of sidewall design derived from Goodyear racing radials. Compared to the Pirelli they had better traction, wear and rode smoother. [ April 13, 2005, 01:54 AM: Message edited by: ebaker ]
Man, I miss performance tires that came in "real world" sizes - RE71's, AVSi's, and the like. For this reason, you'd still have a hard time convincing me that a real "high performance" tire can have a treadwear rating higher than 160! [Wink]
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