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Giant Uniroyal tire on I-94 celebrates 60th birthday

Posted at 11:58 AM, Apr 22, 2024

The giant Uniroyal Tire along I-94 west of Detroit is officially 60 years old, according to the company.

See video of the giant tire below

Uniroyal Giant Tire B-roll

The giant tire was built as a Ferris wheel for the 1964-65 World's Fair in New York and was relocated to Detroit in 1965.

“For decades, the Giant Uniroyal Tire has brought smiles to the faces of many people,” Uniroyal Brand Director Michelle Grim said in a statement. “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.”

Uniroyal said the tire was designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon – the same architectural firm that designed the Empire State Building. It weights 12 tons and is 80 feet tall, and the interior of 120,576 cubic feet. The tread on the fire measures six inches deep!

The company also released a timeline for the tire. Check it out below.

  • 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, where 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.