Liquid Tire Chain, the liquid chains that GM installed in Chevrolets

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The arrival of the lowest temperatures becomes a challenge for driving because certain weather phenomena are the worst enemy for the traction of a vehicle. For these situations, General Motors had, at the time, an innovative solution that seemed taken from the equipment of the car of some spy on the big screen: it was the Liquid Tire Chain, two cans of liquid chains for the snow.

You may be wondering why drivers didn’t opt ​​for winter tyres. What seems to us the most sensible formula today, back then It wasn’t that widespread and it wasn’t affordable either. for most of those who lived in the colder areas. With this starting point, GM created the Liquid Tire Chain – they thought it would be a viable solution for all drivers.

And not only that: their proposal did not require them to have two sets of tires: the summer ones were enough because they promised to solve traction problems that appear, for example, in the snow. They started marketing it in 1969 as ‘Option V75’: buyers could install the Liquid Tire Chain on almost all Chevrolet models.

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How the Liquid Tire Chain works

The truth is that its operation was quite advanced for the time. General Motors installed a pair of boats on the rear wheels and the driver only had to activate it via a control located on the instrument panel for it to spray the tires. The cartons contained a polymer designed to make the tire’s tread flexible enough to grip the cold, slippery surface again.

It’s not clear if the Liquid Tire Chain actually improved the grip of normal tires in winter conditions: some said it was a wonderful invention, but others said the opposite. Either way, only 2,600 owners dared to install Option V75 in Chevrolets sold in 1969 and, a year later, it did not appear on the General Motors brand options list.

a temporary solution

No one seems to know why that technology disappeared. We assume that the reason is the same why, today, liquid chains are not the best option for traction on snow: They are only a temporary emergency solution. that generates extra grip for several minutes, the time needed to get out of trouble and install traditional chains or stop the march.

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Probably, the drivers of that time, who lived in areas where the cold does not have much mercy, preferred to opt for winter tires: as expensive as they are, they are made for those types of scenarios.

The key is the compound from which they are made and their design. Not only do they have different patterns in their drawing to evacuate water or snow easily, their tread is larger and they have sipes that increase grip on damp and wet surfaces as well as offering greater resistance to aquaplaning. They also do not freeze easily and are more flexible than summer and ‘all season’ to provide the best grip.

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