of the Allen Park (Michigan) Uniroyal Giant Tire, circa early
I-94, Allen Park, Mich.
for the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, the spectacular 80-foot-high
tire is the newest landmark on the main highway from Detroit
Metropolitan Airport to the city center. The largest tire ever
built, it weighs over 100 tons. The exterior sides are fabricated
from Uniroyal's flame resistant Vibrin polyester resin reinforced
with glass fiber, and can resist hurricane force winds. Special
cantilevered construction eliminates need for exposed support
Following the close of the World's Fair
in 1965, U.S. Rubber's giant tire was shipped to the company's
sales office in Allen Park, Michigan. It has become one of the
Fair's most enduring legacies. According to Uniroyal, U.S. Rubber's
- Standing eight stories tall, the Giant
Tire is the largest tire model ever built. It is 80-feet high
and weighs 12 tons. The interior is 120,576 cubic feet, and the
tread is half a foot deep.
- The tire was originally a Ferris wheel
with 24 barrel-shaped gondolas -- each carrying four people --
that were rotated around the circumference of the tire by a 100-horsepower
motor. It was designed by the architectural firm of Shreve, Lamb
and Harmon -- designers of the Empire State Building.
- Each ride cost 25 cents and lasted
about 10 minutes.
- When the Fair ended in 1965, the tire
was shipped by rail in 188 sections to Detroit. It was reassembled
in four months and anchored in concrete and steel off I-94 at
the tire company's Allen Park, Michigan sales office.
- In 1994, the Giant Tire was remodeled.
Neon lighting and a new hubcap were added to give it a more sleeker,
- In 1998, the Giant Tire received another
new look when Uniroyal launched it's NailGuard® self-sealing passenger tire. The tire acquired
a giant nail protruding from the tread to dramatically demonstrate
the product's ability to withstand most tread punctures.
- In August 2003, the Giant Tire underwent
renovation once again. The tire's main structure was repaired
and the exterior painted. The various structural improvements
will ensure the longevity of the Giant Tire for many years to
courtesy Mary Ellen Coughlan, © 2008, All Rights Reserved
The tire as it appears
today in Allen Park, Michigan.