Whitewall TireThere’s something about really appealing about vintage goods- they just never lose that enduring quality over time. One piece of vintage history that still retain that timeless appeal are American Classic Whitewall tires. Whitewall tires were once the standard for car tires in the early to mid 1900’s. In fact, the first automobile tires were actually completely a milky white color- the color of natural and unaltered processed rubber. The only problem with all the early all white natural tires were that they didn’t really do the two things people expect tires to do-persist and adhere to the road. All white natural tires obliviously weren’t going to work, so manufactures began adding carbon black to the rubber in the tire treads to extend the life of the tires and increase their traction. Thus, whitewall tires became the standard in early America.

Even though whitewalls were standard, all black tires become highly sought after as luxury tires. Unlike whitewall tires black tires required less care and attention to stay clean and even though most of the early black tires were in reality just whitewall tires with a small and usually weak application of black rubber applied over the white section. The normal black tires that are common these days weren’t available until 1937 when BFGoodrich released the first synthetic rubber tire. By then, many people were content with the refined elegance of normal whitewall tires and which even became a style of its own. Today many people still feel drawn to the attractive style of whitewall tires, and of course, no classic car is complete without a full set. Though like many timeless classics, whitewall tires have become a hard to find these days, but there are still a few manufacturers that are still producing these antique tires.

Source BFGoodrich, Bukisa
Image via Corey Burger

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