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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Continental Tires. The opinions and text are all mine.


The ad slogan used to be, “Sooner or later you’ll own Generals”. Well, in the late spring of 2018, General sent me a set of G-MAX RS tires for myGeneral tire stack #FairmontProject. I don’t recall this being my first sent of Generals, but it is my first set of Generals that were designed for performance.


The reason General reached out to me was because they saw a video I posted where I took the Fairmont to the drag strip to try and get an idea of what it would do in the 1/4 mile. I did a pitiful 16 second pass that day on the Mickey Thompsons I was running. The main reason for the slow time was that I simply couldn’t get any traction. It seemed that in almost every gear the tires would break loose, even in 3rd.  

The good people at General thought I could do better on a set of G-MAX RS 245/45 AR 17 XL’s, and I agreed to try them out. I decided to get a new set of wheels for these new tires. One of the benefits of running a common steel wheel on my Fairmont is that I can get a whole set of brand new wheels for about $300.

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The first thing I noticed when mounting and balancing the Generals was that they didn’t require a lot of weight to balance, some didn’t require any weight at all. In my experience, this usually means that I’m installing good tires.

Since their installation, I’ve put about 3000 miles on these tires. I took the Fairmont on ‘tour’ this summer to several different car shows around 7583892720 IMG 4886the country to show it off. Right out of the garage, the Generals are a much smoother ride than the Mickey Thompsons, and they seemed much more ‘streetable’, meaning, they seemed to grip better in the wet and also in colder temperatures. They also seemed to ride quieter. All things that make a tire more suitable for everyday driving, or ‘streetable’.

Overall I’ve been very happy with these tires, impressed even. They seem to run the balance between a good performance tire, and everyday driving.

Now the part you’ve been waiting for. How did the Generals do at the track? Did you get a better 1/4 mile time than with the old tires?

At the track

7516831136 IMG 6043To be fair, my first trip to the track where I did the 16 second pass, was during November. In fact, it was the last day the track was open for the year. The temperature was in the 40ºs. The track was cold, and so were my tires. In short, not the best conditions for traction at the drag strip.

Here’s something else I need to mention. In addition to the differences in track and tire temperature, I also upgraded the engine in the Fairmont over the summer. During one of my car show trips, I broke a piston ring land and was only running on 7 cylinders as a result. 7524901600 IMG 6639Since I needed to tear down the engine to fix the broken piston, I decided to upgrade the valve train and also install an upgraded turbo. The new turbo was smaller than my original 70mm turbo at 67mm, but it has ceramic ball bearings, and as a result, is a much better turbo overall.

Bottom line, my second trip to the track was very different than my first. In addition to the engine upgrades, it was early August and the temperature was in the low 80ºs. A temperature more friendly to getting traction at the track.

On my first run with the Generals I got my best time of 14.219. 2 seconds better than my first trip to the track in November. My second and third runs were also in the 14s at 14.397, and 14.558 respectively. No doubt I was getting better traction and getting better times as a result, but I could have done better, much better actually. The Fairmont on paper should be capable of 1/4 mile times in the 12s, or possibly the 11s. The engine has almost 600hp at the crank.  

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I think it’s obvious I’m not a professional drag racer. In fact, in total, I’ve only made about 10 passes down a drag strip at this point, including the runs I just mentioned. This means there is a lot of room for improvement in my driving.  

One of those improvements is to not do a burn out, or do a very short burn out. A burn out is done before a drag race to heat up the tires. Cold tires

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don’t have good traction. Street tires, like the Generals I’m running, don’t really require much of a burn out, if any. I learned this after the fact.  

Also, I should avoid the water in the burn out box with allows you to do an even bigger burn out. Doing a big burn out on street tires will overheat them and cause them to loose grip instead of increase it. I did a burn out in the burn out box. A big burn out. Did I mention I wasn’t a professional at this?

Another thing I’m going to try next time is starting out in second gear instead of first. This will bring the engine torque down a bit during launch which could keep the tires from breaking lose. “Spinning ain’t winning” as the saying goes, and if I’ve learned anything from this experience, this is the truest statement in drag racing. You can have all the power in the world, but if you can’t put it to the pavement, it’s all a big waste. 

In conclusion, I like the General tires better than the Mickey Thompsons on my Fairmont. I never built the Fairmont to be strictly a drag racing machine. I built it as a ‘sleeper’ to drive on the street. 

A ‘sleeper’ is a car that looks slow, but is actually quite fast. Since the large majority of my driving in the car is done on the street, the quieter, smoother ride the Generals offer, is much more suited to what I built the car for. 

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Are the Generals the perfect tire for the Fairmont? I’m not sure, I’d have to try a few more tires before I made that statement, but they are my favorite tires for the car at this point, and I’ve really enjoyed trying them out.  

Be Safe, Have Fun, Stay Dirty