Ah yes, the short-lived 1950s fad of illuminated tires


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/12/13/glow-your-roll.html


The more things change, the more they stay the same.

ETA maybe I have shit taste (although I highly doubt it) but I like glowy bits. Maybe not in blue though. This planet has entirely too much blue as it is. Skies, oceans, jeans… Fuck blue. Purple FTW!


This would be cool if it were like in the picture, but I don’t see how the treads of the tires could really be transparent like that. Even if they were just made of pure rubber, with no belts, surely they’d be opaque with road filth after 5 minutes of driving?


How were they illuminated?

Was there a circular fluorescent tube around the rim? How was it powered?



Seriously. That is too cool. Need a '59 Ford Convertible coupe to do it justice.


So they didn’t take off because of too many looky-loos? Someone please tell me why this never kept the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile off the streets.


Is it just me, or do the black and white photos look like they were taken with (near) infrared film?


Sam mentality that has glowy PC cases.


Yep. Of course, that wouldn’t be apparent until after you’d bought them. Mostly I think it was a combination of factors that killed this one; the filth you mentioned, tire technology improved faster than the illuminated “gee whiz” attraction, and car trends changed in such a way that people were buying more horses under the hood, not glowing tires. Still, bit of a shame in my opinion. I think a long line of glowing-tire cars would’ve looked darn cool.


This photo

is hanging at the local Red Robin and I assumed it was some kind of clever photography, or that the car/tires were a prop.


Cherenkov Radiation? No, they would never use dangerous substances just for fun…


The article states that:

"John J. Hartz, tire development manager for The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio, checks the intensity of the glow emitted by an experimental translucent tire as Engineer John Corl looks on. The tire is lighted from within by 18 tiny bulbs. "

“A control switch inside the automobile allowed a driver to make the tires blink individually or in unison.”


I can totally see this being a thing today, especially with all the flashy rims people have.


Although today’s alternative of sticking LED s on the rims provide brighter lights and cost way less than new tires.


Apparently it was due to cost, poor traction and stability (especially at higher speeds), the tendency to melt when braking and the fact that they were very distracting for other motorists.

I was looking for an ad for these Goodyear tyres, but all I could find are these :confounded::


I would also imagine that shaking, spinning, and high pressure inside the tires was pretty rough on the bulbs that lit the tires. And I’m guessing that you’d have to demount the tires from the rims to replace them.


It’s almost like someone wrote a whole article about it that could be read.


Yes! And you just need to read it!


Given that one of the reasons for adding carbon black to the usual formulation is ‘wear resistance’, these might be ‘self cleaning’ in the deeply unhelpful sense of exposing fresh surface far more regularly than you might want.


Those and the whole “Please don’t use the interstate or drive in the rain” business.