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 Post subject: Cooper Cobra GT Tires
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:48 pm
Posts: 381
Location: Stamford, CT
Dont know if this should be in Vendor Raves and Gripes but I definitely think I should pass my experience along since the wide 14" tire market is so tiny. You either get BFG T/A or Cooper Cobra GT's

My car has 235/60R14 Cooper Cobra GT tires. I wouldve called the performance "passable" before a few days ago. Theyre not particularly good at anything but I got quite the surprise while driving in the rain the other day (which happens since Daphne is a daily driver and solo car). It was by no means a heavy rain but I had quite the following distance behind the car in front of me who put their brakes on as they were coming to a red light at the bottom of a gentle hill. I gently start to brake since I was pretty far away and feel the car start to slow and then the deceleration just stopped and I continued on at speed as the car in front of me drew nearer. A bit surprising, yes, but I thought I was used to how horrible these tires are. I let off the brakes and gently apply again and the car begins to slow down a bit but then starts drifting to the curb on the right :shock:. I ended up stopping a couple feet short of the car at the light with my front right tire against the curb.

Predictable for these tires was spinning if I tried to accelerate normally, the back snapping back in to place after some turns, and low speed drifts, but this was just way too unpredictable and uncontrollable. Ive felt safer while driving my Z's deep snow. There are some good reviews for these tires but if you search deep enough youll see the bad reviews.


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Cooper tire is located 5 blocks from my house. It now is owned by a India company which plans to shut it down in 3 years or less. They only bought the company to make selling in the U.S. cheaper for them (no import tax). Many people in my town run them on all kind of cars from every day drivers to street rods. I have owned many sets of the cobra's and one thing I can say for sure is watch them in the rain. They become very slick and unpredictable. It is a on going joke in my town about how long it can rain before you hear the sound of the rescue units heading out. It is less than a 10 sec. count down most of the time LOL. Put a set on a 70 Mustang fastback and you can do doughnuts for days. Shelby


...On the hunt for some 215s now :roll:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:11 pm 
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Makes you miss the ABS system, doesn't it?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:37 pm 
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Location: Stamford, CT
Im not even sure if ABS wouldve helped these tires. Interested to heard if anyone else has experiences with these tires or has any suggestions for tires for a 14x7 wheel? Heres what im looking at now

Here are the tires im looking at to replace the coopers:
http://www.amazon.com/Kumho-Solus-KR21- ... 65&sr=1-23

http://www.amazon.com/Hankook-Optimo-H7 ... XPRRDQ0FAS

http://www.amazon.com/Hankook-Optimo-H7 ... words=h725

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 6:35 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:38 pm
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Location: rhode island
But those are all 70 series....blah. I agree finding 14" tires in a 60 series is not easy.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:54 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:38 pm
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Location: Orange, CT
I went with BFG TA Radial 225/60 size because it's almost exactly the same diameter as stock.
From the research I've done the cooper tires are bad in most categories.
The BFG's are supposed to be better. They have been around forever so they must be doing something right.
The key here is to be constantly aware of all situations and be ready all the time.
Most younger guys have never driven a car without abs.
My advice is get out in a vacant parking lot in the rain and practice emergency stops.
Straight, turning, transient, even reverse.
We all learned as kids without even knowing it when we would just be messing around in parking lots in the rain and snow.
That's also what we were taught at the Skip Barber school at Lime Rock.

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Last edited by SurferD on Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
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Location: CT
Back in the Day I had General and Cooper tires on my 1954 Chevy. They were both what I called "sugar tires" because they were sweet on dry pavement but simply dissolved when exposed to water. I eventually wiped the front end off that car in a high-speed bend, furiously turning the wheel to no avail. The tires simply wouldn't let her answer the helm.

Altho I don't recommend General or Cooper, in fairness '54 Chevys weren't intended to be road racers, in the first place. :roll: Duhhh.

When I got my first Healey I invested in a set of Dunlops. They cost more than the car did but outlasted it and got transferred to my next AH.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:29 pm 
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Is there any disadvantage to the 70 series besides speedo error?

Ive gotten used to sketchiness in the straights and turns but I definitely wasnt ready for that braking. Luckily I had a huge following distance. The thing that freaked me out is that I barely touched the brakes, the pedal force I applied was about the same as when someone is sleeping in my car or if I was holding an open drink between my legs. I did like the look of the fat coopers but Id gladly go to something narrower for a newer design and better compound

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:00 am 
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Location: CT
Well, you said one of the three magic words. Along with size you have to consider compound and tread. Tires are designed for certain types of driving, and I'm pretty confident I could have found both Cooper and General tires back in the '60s which were designed to do well in the wet. I just didn't.
If you get an aggressive tread which handles well in snow, rain and mud, you pay for it with road noise, weird dry handling and low fuel economy due to drag. But I know you already know that.
Racing tires are slick, so they put the maximum amount of rubber onto the track. They are all but useless in rain and all that surface contact results in huge drag, which pulls fuel mileage down to the single-digit ranges. Put some tread onto a slick and your dry handling decreases but the rain doesn't bother it as much and fuel mileage improves. It's a balance.

Whatever happened to the craze over Michelin X and Dunlop Roadspeed tires? They used to be the ultimate balance for lightweight sportscars and came in all sizes. They did everything ~ you could race on them or drive them on the street, winter or summer.

Here ~ you can get 14" 215s in classic tread Michelin and Dunlop. Michelin has even improved the old "X" tread to WXW, which is all-weather, all-year tires, rated for nearly 170mph. Your Z will never go that fast unless you free fall it over a high cliff for 7.5 seconds.

Scroll the options to find your ideal tire. The price quoted includes VAT, which you would be exempt from because you're importing them, not using them there. That means the price would be 10%-25% less than shown.

http://www.classictyres.com/products/ca ... al/14-inch

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:38 pm
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Location: rhode island
Looks like BFG might me my next choice....looked into what they have and they had 3 sizes for 14" I like in 60 series. Other choice is Toyo in 50 series, but I don't need another track tire.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:05 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:38 pm
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Location: rhode island
So I put the Cobra's back on my car, and more convinced they are crap, so I went online and I found a Recall, so I will call and see. For now...........It's amazing how much rubber comes off these at a stand still. :shock:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:18 pm 
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Location: CT
Paul, check your PM.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:44 am
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Location: New Haven, CT
Coopers are all kinds of awful.

There are many more compounds available in 195/60/14 and 195/70/14. Just something to consider.

Also, I recommend www.tirerack.com (of course...).

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:19 pm 
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Location: Stamford, CT
Sad that ill have to give up my nice fat tires but hopefully performance in all weather will be increased with these tires. Im convinced that at least for 14s, the narrower tires have better designs and compounds

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