A new radial-ply car tyre—the Autoband is being marketed by India Tyres Ltd. Specially designed for maximum performance in all conditions encountered on today’s roads, particular emphasis has been placed on safety, especially wet-road hold, longer tread life and increased cornering power. Autoband tyres will be available in a wide range of sizes. Both tubed and tubeless incorporate two major design features: radial ply construction in which the textile casing cords run radially from bead to bead instead of following a diagonal track across the tyre as in the case of conventional tyres and the tread is reinforced by an inextensible band of multiple layers of textile cord, and a wet weather tread pattern incorporating a large number of gripping knife-cuts carefully positioned in relation to the tread grooves. The tread compound itself is made of 100% road-hug rubber. Inflated to 12 lb./sq. in. above normal, these new India tyres are safe for sustained speeds of 110-125 m.p.h.
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The winning Monte Carlo Rally team, Timo Makinen and Paul Easter, paid a visit to Ford Dunlop on March 2nd to meet the tyre builders who had made their SP41 tyres [specially made?—Ed.] for the rally [But they used many other types besides SP41s, surely?—Ed.], and to see the extensive tyre-testing facilities. During a small luncheon party held in their honour, each received a painting of the rally from Mr. J. A. Dorr, Dunlop’s Equipment Sales Director.
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Carroll Shelby recommends for the two new versions of his Mustang GT 350 Goodyear High Speed tyres, notably the Goodyear Stock Car Specials which proved to be so successful in the 1964 competition season in both the States and Europe. The Goodyear choice for the tyres is no surprise, as Shelby who won so many races for the firm, is now a Goodyear dealer and, of course, used them during the past two years, winning both times the American GT Production Championship.
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Twenty months after the laying of the foundation stone at the Glengormley site of Michelin (Belfast) Ltd., the factory recently produced its first tyre. The tyre was produced under test conditions and general commissioning of plant will continue over several weeks before the normal build-up of production commences. The success of this initial stage was announced by Mr. J. Gorce, Factory Manager, to assembled employees at the end of the morning shift. Mr. Gorce first paid tribute to the Michelin design staff and the building contractors who had made this event possible less than two years from the date when the site was an expanse of fields. He also acknowledged the help and co-operation received from the Northern Ireland Government and from many other Ulster sources in achieving this object.
“Our aim for the future,” Mr. Gorce continued, “can be described quite simply. It is to provide the quality of product for which Michelin is known not only in Europe but throughout the world.” When fully in production, a full range of car “X” tyres made in Belfast will be marketed throughout the United Kingdom and in more than a hundred countries overseas. Michelin is the largest tyre-manufacturing organisation in Europe, with factories in France, U.K., Belgium, Holland, Italy, Germany and Spain. The two other U.K. factories are sited at Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire and Burnley in Lancashire, and the British company celebrates its diamond jubilee in May of this year. The “X” tyre—the first radial ply, braced-tread tyre—was introduced by Michelin in 1948. Revolution is a much overused word but, in the history of tyre manufacture, the introduction of the “X” construction (braced tread and radial plies) can fairly be termed revolutionary. The “X” tyre represented as great an advance over its predecessors as did the pneumatic tyre over its solid forerunners. It was a radical departure from old manufacturing techniques and as such it has changed the direction of a whole industry. Today every major tyre manufacturer produces radial ply, braced-tread tyres in ever increasing numbers and in a growing proportion to conventional criss-cross ply tyres. One fact can illustrate both the extent of the tyre revolution over the last seventeen years and the dominant part the “X” tyre has played in it. No fewer than sixty million “X” tyres have been produced by Michelin since they were introduced in 1948 and sold throughout the world.
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More than 25,000 tickets were sent all over the United Kingdom for the Cinturato test day organised by Pirelli Limited at Brand’s Hatch last month. Organiser of the test day, and the firm’s Advertising Manager, Mr. Derek Forsyth, said : “Our Performance Bureau has been working at full pressure to keep pace with this colossal demand for tickets. I think the public have realised that we are going to create British motoring history by staging this event.” The purpose of the day was to allow members of the public to test Pirelli’s Cinturato all-textile radial-ply tyres. Twelve ordinary people were selected from the 25,000 to sit behind the wheel of cars like a Lotus Elan, Ford Cortina GT and a Rover 2000 shod with both conventional and Cinturato tyres. They tested the tyres by taking the cars around the track themselves.
Daytona Continental 2,000 km.
(Daytona Speedway—February 28th)
The first clash between American-engined Sports Cars and European-style Prototypes saw Dan Gurney set the pace with his Lotus 19-Ford V8, but the new Ferrari 330P2 driven by Surtees/Rodriguez was challenging until it retired with transmission trouble. At nearly two-thirds distance the Gurney/Grant Lotus went out with engine trouble and this let the Ford GTs and Cobras into the picture, the Slough-based mid-engined Ford coupés romped home to record their first victory, and significantly their first occasion to finish in a long-distance event. Last year, these beautiful coupés out of Lola by Ford showed that they had the makings of worthy winners, but mechanical troubles kept putting them out. Now that Broadley has returned to Lola the GT coupés are wholly Ford and entered by Shelby Racing. It is noteworthy that Ford V8 engines powered the first six cars in this race.
1st: K. Miles/L. Ruby (Ford GT) – 12 hr. 27 min. 9 sec. – 327 laps – 160.845 k.p.h.
2nd: H. Keck/R. Johnson/J. Schlesser (A.C. Cobra coupé) – 5 laps behind
3rd: R. Ginther/R. Bondurant (Ford GT) – 28 laps behind
N.A.S.C.A.R. Daytona 500-mile race
Standard saloons (February 14th)
The annual flat-out blind round the Daytona Speed Bowl was cut short this year due to heavy rain, after 133 laps of the scheduled 200. Naturally, speeds were down over previous years, but an indication of what might have been was shown by Johnson’s fastest lap at 171.775 m.p.h. (281.655 k.p.h.).
1st: F. Lorenzen (Ford V8 – 1965) – 2 hr. 20 min. 56 sec. – 231.943 k.p.h.
2nd: D. Dieringer (Mercury V8 – 1965) – 1 lap behind
3rd: R. Johns (Ford V8 – 1965) – 1 lap behind