19" Radials for the MG TC

Nineteen inch Radials for the MG TC

Bridgestone Ecopia 500 series – 155/70/19R

Some years ago in the US, I spotted a new small car with skinny 19” wheels. It turned out to be a BMW i3 electric car. On return to Australia I did some research, to find the tyres were 155/70/19”R.

Over subsequent months and years, whenever I located these tyres there was always only one available in the whole country.

Meanwhile, my Dunlop B5s were rapidly wearing thin, then we got the news that no more were to be made, and my experience with the several copies available has not been good. I don’t mind 16” wheels on my Café Racer but not on my 600,000+ mile TC which, apart from a few sojourns across Australia and back has always been on 19”s in the 62 years I have owned and driven it. This led to a renewal of interest in the BMW tyres known to me as Bridgestone Ecopia 500 155/70/19R.

My local Bridgestone outlet (on Canning Hwy Victoria Park) was most helpful in finding some 23 of these tyres in South Australia. Armed with this information I bit the bullet and ordered one to try. Off came the old Dunlop B5 and on went the 19” radial, an easy fit. It looked the business although the diameter was a bit smaller and it did look a bit modern, but overall I liked it and ordered the other 3. A week later they arrived and all 4 went on to TC/9491. The tyre itself was soft and compliant and needed the minimum of balancing weights. Spinning them up on the front of the jacked up car was the first revelation – they were round! A tentative brisk run around the block and a brief run down the freeway had me convinced they were going to be good.

A Club run followed on the weekend involving a spirited 60 miles or so over undulating, twisty roads. Running with 30psi front and 32 rear, I could not believe the difference: It was like riding on air, the car felt like it was on rails (to coin a phrase), more stable than I’ve ever experienced, and pulled the car up beautifully when a panic stop presented itself. I’ve yet to try them in the wet, but I bet they are going to perform better than anything in my Dunlop past.

If you are interested in purchasing these tyres, contact Mike Sherrell on his mobile.