Uniroyal Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Giant Uniroyal Tire Landmark
Uniroyal Tires marked the 50th anniversary of its famous giant tire landmark in Detroit, Michigan, by hosting the Automotive Press Association (APA) for an event alongside the Motor City's gateway icon, the largest tire model ever built.
Across six decades, the Giant Uniroyal Tire has stood as an important symbol of Uniroyal's 123-year heritage. During this time, The Giant Tire, which is located adjacent to I-94 in Allen Park, Michigan, has welcomed visitors to Detroit from Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Facts about the Giant Tire:
- The Giant Uniroyal Tire originally was constructed as a Ferris wheel for the 1964-1965 World's Fair in New York. The 96-passenger Ferris wheel carried more than 2 million riders, including dignitaries and celebrities.
- The structure was designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, the same architectural firm that designed the Empire State Building.
- 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 Uniroyal sales office.
- The Giant Uniroyal Tire is the largest tire model ever built, standing 80 feet tall and weighing 12 tons.
- The tire's interior is 120,576 cubic feet, and the tread measures half-a-foot deep.
"We're proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Giant Uniroyal Tire, one of the most enduring icons representing the Motor City and a nation known for its great industrial and automotive history," said Ray Fischenich of Uniroyal. "The Uniroyal team has been dedicated to updating and renovating the Giant Tire as our tire technology has evolved over the years. We're committed to continuing these updates so that the tire will remain a landmark for many years to come."
The Giant Uniroyal Tire 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 innovative self-sealing NailGard passenger tire.
The biggest renovation occurred in 2003, when Uniroyal invested nearly $1 million 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 longevity of the Giant Uniroyal Tire.