You can customize just about every aspect of your car – custom wheels, paint job, interior, sound system and so on. But there’s been one aspect of car style that’s been stuck for decades: the tires.
Some tire makers have made attempts over the years to add a dash of color to the familiar black donuts found on each corner of your vehicle. But making colorful tires seems to be harder than it looks.
First, a bit of history. Did you know that the first rubber tires were white? That’s the natural color of rubber. But those tires didn’t last long, even in the very early days of motoring when there wasn’t anywhere to go.
Soon tire makers hit on adding carbon black to the rubber formula. Made from petroleum, carbon black protects against UV and ozone damage and helps the tire stand up to the wear and tear of the road. But it only came in the one color.
Sure, you can get white walls, red stripe and raised letter tires. But that’s not enough for dedicated creative car types. Why would you want colored tires? To show off, of course. And to generate clouds of colored smoke, laying rubber in colors like never before.
Here’s a look at some attempts to make colored tires go big.
Around 2000, BFGoodrich launched the Scorcher T/A range of tires with embedded color rings in the tread. At first they came in red, blue and yellow, but later you could specify the color of your choice.
The Scorchers were known for their excellent grip. But the colored tires drew fire from local governments. First, BFGoodrich marketed them with a video showing a burnout leaving a colored stripe on the pavement. Then law enforcement feared gangs would lay colored patches of rubber as way of marking their territory without having to get out of the car.
The colored Scorchers were on the market for only a few years. The controversies as well as the high price led to low sales. And you could see the stripes only from certain angles.
Pirelli makes tires for Formula One racing with seven different sidewall colors. It uses similar technology for Color Edition tires. The sidewall features colored lettering and stripes in red, yellow, silver and white. Soon, buyers will be able to order customized colors as well. The colors will be offered for 19-inch wheels and larger and will be pricey. They’re targeted to owners of Lamborghini, McLaren, and Pagani cars that want to stand out from the crowd even more.
Full color tires
There’s not a lot of information out there but it look like Comar Tyre & Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd in northern China produces colored tires in a rainbow assortment. The downside is the minimum order appears to be 500 pieces, delivered by container to your location. But these may be the ultimate fully-colored tires on the market today.
Heck, get together with some friends and order a truckload of colored tires. You could be the latest trendsetter to go viral.
Gender reveal burnout
What better way to celebrate an impending happy event than with burnouts in pink or blue generating clouds of smoke to let friends and family know the sex of your baby?
Australia-based Highway Max remanufactures used tires, loved by customers for burnout competitions. Then they created Color Smoke Tires using a special rubber compound designed for maximum smoke and color density. You can even order the tires painted black to keep the secret until the cloud of colored smoke rises.
You can get tires in an array of colors, and now even in dual colors that start with one hue of smoke and transition to the other one during the burnout.
Why aren’t there more colored tire options out there? Basically, it comes down to market demand. Tires in any color other than black cost more and don’t last as long. And really, if the colored tires are on your daily driver, they’ll get dirty quickly. That bright red would wear to a grimy pinkish color before too many miles. Who wants to drive around with grimy-looking tires?
Pirelli — https://www.pirelli.com/tires/en-us/car-light-truck/pirelli-color-edition
Formula 1 — https://www.formula1.com/en/championship/inside-f1/rules-regs/tyres-and-wheels.html
Alibaba — https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Cheap-china-colored-car-tires-tires_213379219.html?spm=a2700.7724857.normalList.17.469a1945sbN8ve
Highway Max — https://highway-max-coloured-smoke-us.myshopify.com/