The Uniroyal Giant Tire celebrates its 50th birthday

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Uniroyal Tires is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its famous Giant Tire landmark in Detroit, USA. It is the largest tire model ever built, standing 80ft tall and weighing 12 tons. The tire’s interior is 120,576 cubic feet, and the tread measures 0.5ft deep.

It was originally constructed as a Ferris wheel for the 1964-1965 World’s Fair in New York and carried up to 96 passengers, amounting to more than 2 million over its lifetime. When the fair ended in 1965, the tire was shipped by rail to Detroit in 188 sections. It was reassembled in four months and anchored in concrete and steel off I-94 at the Uniroyal sales office.

It was given its first update in 1994 with neon lighting and a new hubcap added to the tire’s body. In 1998 it was modified again, this time with a giant nail embedded to promote Uniroyal’s self-sealing NailGard passenger tire.

The biggest renovation occurred in 2003, when Uniroyal invested nearly US$1m to refresh the landmark as part of Detroit’s I-94 corridor revitalization effort. Those updates included replacing 30 steel beams inside the tire, installing asphalt and storm drains, painting the exterior, applying reflective lettering, and completing other structural improvements – all made to ensure the tire’s longevity.

11 June, 2015

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the ground-breaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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