Car tyres might seem to be pretty mundane things but a little research reveals some fascinating facts and figures about them…
The first inflatable tyre was made of leather
In 1887 John Boyd Dunlop developed the first practical pneumatic tyres; not a car tyres but ones for use on his son’s bicycle. However, his December 1888 patent only lasted two yours – Scottish inventor Robert William Thomson had patented the idea in France 41 years earlier.
Dunlop Tyres is the sole supplier of tyres to British Touring Car Championship for 2003 to 2006 and the V8 Supercars Championship from 2002 onward. The company also supplies tyres to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters and the American Le Mans Series.
In 1910, the BF Goodrich Company was the first to extend the life of car tyres by adding carbon black to tyres’ rubber compound.
In 1946, Michelin introduced the first radial car tyre.
Car tyres leave their mark. In the US, nearly 50 million pounds of rubber is worn off tyres every week. That’s enough rubber to make 3.25 million new car tyres.
Americans throw away between 240 and 260 million worn car tyres every year. Car tyres make approximately half a million cubic yards of landfill every year in New York State alone.
Not car tyres but truck tyres this time – it takes half a barrel of crude oil to make just one.
In Australia in July 1964, Donald Campbell set a new land speed record and took the car tyre to a new level. His car, the Bluebird CN7, had tyres 8.2 inches (21cm) wide and 52 inches (1.32 metres) high. Each tyre weighed 50 lbs (23 kg) and was filled with nitrogen at a pressure of 100psi. The car reached 403.10 mph.
A top Formula One pit crew can change all four car tyres and refuel in just 3 seconds.
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