Uniroyal Tires celebrates 60th anniversary of its I-94 giant tire

Uniroyal Tires celebrates 60th anniversary of its I-94 giant tire

At 80 feet tall and 12 tons, the giant tire is the largest model tire ever built.

Uniroyal Tires is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the giant Uniroyal tire, an Interstate 94 landmark welcoming visitors to the Detroit, MI. Uniroyal said the giant tire symbolizes its history of making tires for more than 130 years.

“For decades, the giant Uniroyal Tire has brought smiles to the faces of many people,” Uniroyal brand director Michelle Grim said. “As a Detroit native myself, I am among those who enjoy the sight of the landmark that embodies the endurance, grit and automotive industry ingenuity that is rooted in the city of Detroit and also in Uniroyal tires. At Uniroyal, we take pride in the giant Tire’s history and plan to maintain it for future generations.”

The giant tire was designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon – the same architectural firm that designed the Empire State Building. At 80 feet tall and 12 tons, the giant tire is the largest model tire ever built. The tire’s interior is 120,576 cubic feet, and the tread measures half a foot deep.

Uniroyal giant tire timeline

  • 1964: Built for 1964-65 World’s Fair in Queens, New York, it carried more than 2 million riders during its time as a 96-passenger Ferris wheel;
  • 1965: Shipped by train in 188 sections to Detroit, it was reassembled in four months and placed permanently at the Uniroyal sales office on I-94;
  • 1994: Updated with neon lighting and new hubcap;
  • 1998: Modified to include a giant embedded nail, to promote Uniroyal’s self-sealing NailGard tire;
  • 2003: Renovated as part of I-94 corridor revitalization effort. Uniroyal invested nearly $1 million to replace 30 steel interior beams, install asphalt and storm drains, paint the exterior, apply reflective lettering and make other upgrades;
  • 2015: Hosted the Automotive Press Association for a 50th anniversary event.

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