Past, Present, Future: Vredestein in 1969 and More!

Bob Ulrich
Posted on June 25, 2019
Vredestein tires competed at the first Dutch rally race in 1919, the year Modern Tire Dealer was born.
Vredestein tires competed at the first Dutch rally race in 1919, the year Modern Tire Dealer was born.

Earlier in the year, I was invited to Baden-Baden, Germany, for two purposes: to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Vredestein, and to report on the new Vredestein Quatrac Pro.

A Tire for All Seasons: All-Weather + UHP = Vredestein Quatrac Pro

Because Modern Tire Dealer is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, I chose to include both events in our Past. Present, Future coverage. Our official anniversary is August 1919, when our first issue was published. But we are honoring our heritage each month by taking a topic and looking back at the past, reporting on the present, and giving our readers a hint about the future.

In January, Publisher Greg Smith wrote about the various name changes MTD has had over 100 years. In February, we redefined the UHP market. In March we wrote about female tire dealers -- and re-ran a story from our first issue about one such dealer, Mrs. Nora Love.

That brought us to April, when I ran the Vredestein story. I thought it would be fun to go a little beyond our own history as part of our year-long coverage. As part of the story, I ran a timeline of great moments in N.V. Rubbefabriek Vredestein history, and included a lot of items based on the company's involvement in the U.S.

After going through our issues, I determined that Vredestein tires first started coming to the U.S. in 1981 when the Vredusa Inc. marketing arm was formed. Industry icon Al Smoke, as vice president of sales, was really the face of the brand at that time.

This Vredestein ad appeared in MTD in 1969.
This Vredestein ad appeared in MTD in 1969.

But lo and behold (Fun fact: according to Merriman-Webster.com, the first known use of lo and behold was in 1808), since then I have discovered Vredestein tires, through Grijeels N.V. in Rotterdam, Holland, by way of Long Island, N.Y., were sold in the U.S. in 1969.

Vredestein was purchased by Apollo Tyres Ltd. in 2009, but the company's legacy lives on.

Look for other Past, Present, Future stories in every MTD issue this year. You can catch up by checking out our digital editions on www.moderntiredealer.com. In May we caught up with John Kelsey of Kelsey Tire Inc., who is "only" celebrating his company's 50th anniversary.

In June we highlighed both the truck tire market and mounting and balancing techniques. The truck tire indusry coverage included a 1919 story on the use of pneumatic tires on trucks and a prediction of shipments in 2019.

The mounting and balancing story on common mounting and balancing mistakes and how to avoid them was followed by a similar story we ran in 1943!

As for July, well, it is our Modern Tire Dealer 100 issue....

Related Topics: 100th anniversary, Al Smoke, company anniversary, Greg Smith, John Kelsey, Nora Love, passenger tires, truck tires, UHP tires

Bob Ulrich Editor
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