Ultra High-Performance Tires
Extreme Contact DW
When you think of all-out tires for classic muscle cars, even the folks at Continental will admit that their name brand doesn't normally spring to the lips of enthusiasts-at the least the ones driving Chevelles or Road Runners. In fact, Continental has been serving up tall doses of performance for elite European supercars for many years, and is considered among Euro enthusiasts a spoiler of sorts. They like taking on larger manufacturers, doing so with superior products at a value price that's hard to ignore.
The "D" and "W" molded into...
The "D" and "W" molded into the Continental ExtremeContact DW aren't just for looks. They are very special wear indicators at different depths that are visible when the tire is optimal for dry ("D") and wet ("W") conditions.
This time around, Continental is taking aim at the domestic performance market with a cutting-edge product called the ExtremeContact DW. Recently, we got to sample this new ultra high-performance tire at California Speedway in a variety of situations, including Mustang GTs on autocross courses, and Toyota Celebrity Challenge spec race cars on the road course. We were really amazed at the level of grip and control the ExtremeContact DW has for its UTQG treadwear rating of 340. (Continental rates the DW at 340 treadwear, an AA for traction, and an A for temperature.) For the sake of reference, 25 years ago anything over 300 was as hard as a rock, and had about as much grip as a wingtip on an icy sidewalk.
A couple of interesting DW facts: The "D" in DW stands for "dry" and the "W" stands for "wet." The letters "D" and "W" also happen to be molded into the tread pattern at a depth that corresponds to their optimal handling in those conditions, so when you still see the "W," it's perfect for wet weather. When you only see the "D" it's optimized for dry.
The extreme grip of the DW results from the beveled tread blocks, which present a solid grip surface to the road when the tread blocks begin to deform under side load. Square-shouldered tread blocks distort and lose contact, but as the DW demonstrated to us, grip is still present under extreme conditions, hence the name. The DW also manages heat more evenly, according to engineers. That's a big plus for an ultra high-performance tire, since heat buildup leads to a loss of grip and even tire failure.
To back all this up, Continental is offering a world-class warranty to go along with it. It starts with a 60-day customer satisfaction ride guarantee, then a 72-month limited warranty, with free replacement for the first 12 months. You also get a 12-month road hazard warranty covering damage outside your control. We don't know of any other UHP tire with that kind of backing.
Let's be clear that the ExtremeContact DW is not an R-compound race tire for the street. It's a true street tire that can be used year-round. And with a 340 treadwear rating, you can expect a solid 50,000 miles in all weather conditions, even under the hard use a classic muscle car, or late-model pony car, can dish out.
The ExtremeContact DW is offered in 39 sizes, ranging from 16 inches to 21 inches in diameter. (We know you guys aren't running dubs, so we're only listing the common sizes here.)
Extreme Contact DW "Muscle Car" Sizes
Ultra Pro Magnum
Rock Out, Man
We admit to a fondness for Comp Cams' outgoing Pro Magnum rocker arms. We loved their sleek design, low mass, low polar moment of inertia, and the basic beauty of a piece of well-designed industrial art. In just a few months, we'll be saying goodbye to a design that we've come to appreciate over its 20-year history. You'll get over it fast, because its replacement will win you over quickly. Meet Comp's new Ultra Pro Magnum rocker arm. It's 29 percent stronger than the old Pro Magnum, but it actually has a lower moment of inertia and better dynamic balance, due to its webbed design. The Ultra Pro Magnum also has increased retainer and valvespring clearance over the outgoing Pro Magnum. The Ultra Pro Magnum will be available initially for small-block and big-block Chevys (1.52, 1.6, and 1.7 ratios), small-block Fords, and self-aligning (small-block Chevy and Ford).
New Timing Cover
Engine Quest (EQ) has introduced a new timing cover that is the perfect OE replacement fit for '69-79 Pontiac 350/400/455ci V-8 engines, including the popular Firebird model. EQ's cast aluminum timing cover (part No. TC400N, $178.20) comes complete with a water pump divider plate, and includes two coolant inserts. Both the water pump divider plate (part No. WP400P) and the coolant inserts (part No. WP400S) can be purchased separately. The newly manufactured EQ timing cover is designed for OE fit, form, and function, and bolts onto all Pontiac engines of this vintage, except the 4.9L 301 CID engine.
Chevelle A/C System
Summer Is Coming
It stands to reason that the aftermarket leader in air conditioning would get its start and thrive in the furnace-like conditions of San Antonio, Texas, the hometown of Vintage Air. In 33 years, they've learned a lot about A/C systems, most recently from being the OEM supplier for the Ford GT Supercar. Vintage Air's most recent program is their Gen IV climate control system for '68-72 Chevelles. We recently got to sit down with Vintage Air's Rick Love, and discovered some interesting facts about this new system. Vintage Air engineered their Gen IV after trial fitting it on eight different Chevelles, looking for variations in plumbing, ducting, instrument panel fit, and firewall shape. It turns out, there are a bunch of differences between A/C cars and non-A/C cars, and between model years; Vintage has them all pinned down with separate kits. (We also found out that other GM A-bodies have completely different controls and plumbing due to GM's intense inter-divisional rivalry. Vintage Air vows to work eventually on those too.) Secondly, Vintage Air's recent OEM work with the Ford GT supercar raised their game by eliminating bulky, clunky cables and vacuum connections. The Gen IV controller has a state-of-the-art electronic microprocessor with a slim control surface and smooth slider controls. It also looks OEM too. Underhood, you'll find a separate high-capacity copper parallel-flow heat coil, and aluminum plate-and-fin cooling coils to provide outstanding performance, and instant temperature adjustment.
Vintage Air Inc.