Maybe it's coincidence that Coker Tire Co. is celebrating its 50th anniversary at the same time Paramount Pictures' "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is being released.
Then again, maybe not. Coker Tire President Joseph "Corky" Coker, like architect and adventurer Indiana Jones, travels the world in search of forgotten treasures. Only in Coker's case, the bounty is not jewels, but long-lost tire molds.
Founded by Corky's father, Harold Coker, in 1958, Coker Tire sells rare and obsolete tires to antique car collectors and restoration hobbyists from its headquarters in Chattanooga, Tenn. The company offers the largest selection of specialty tires worldwide, offering period-correct bias-ply and nostalgic radial tires for collector vehicles from the late 1890s through the mid-1970s.
Coker Tire has distribution centers in Chattanooga and Fresno, Calif. It utilizes tire manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania and Ohio, but also contracts a small portion of its needs with niche manufacturers in Taiwan, Mexico, Vietnam, and India.
"Building inventory is often a challenge when the product is no longer being manufactured by normal tire manufacturers," says Coker. "In order to provide our customers with the rare vintage tires they are looking for, we buy old original molds from tiremakers; we scour the world to acquire old, obsolete tire molds from long forgotten factories; and do whatever it takes to make the most accurate, reliable and period-perfect tires available."
For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.cokertire.com.