SEMA, DAY ONE: Firestone Wide Ovals carry on tradition

Nov. 2, 2004

Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC (BFNT) is introducing a new generation of the Firestone Wide Oval tire.

The original Firestone Wide Oval was introduced in the late 1960s, and was the industry’s first low profile, bias-ply performance tire, the company says. It was OE on the Chevrolet Corvette of that era, and featured white lettering on a distinctive sidewall pattern.

Like the original Firestone Wide Oval, design features are based on Firestone’s Indy 500 race-tire technology. "The new Firestone Wide Oval features a directional tread pattern paired with a nostalgic look and name that reflects Firestone’s legacy of success at the Indy 500,” said John Gamauf, president of consumer replacement tire, BFNT. “We’re confident consumers will remember the original Wide Oval tire and that it will help reinforce the Firestone brand heritage of more than 100 years in the tire business.”

The tire, engineered with the company’s UNI-T technology, is debuting at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, and will officially come to market in the first half of 2005.

“Just as the Wide Oval pushed the envelope in its time as the first true performance tire, we’ve incorporated our current technologies into the new Firestone Wide Oval ultra-high performance tire and hope to gain acceptance among current generation American car owners,” said Gamauf.

The new W-speed rated Firestone Wide Oval is targeted for application on high performance sports car models and is available in 16 popular 16- through 18-inch sizes.