Thursday Trivia

Thirsday Trivia

Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars! 

This week’s question: What was the first car company to offer steel-belted radial tires on their cars?

If you think you know the answer, roll on over the jump and see if you’re correct.

Citroen-Traction-Avant-TiresThe Pneumatic tire was both a boon and a bust (pun intended) for the nascent automotive industry. Offering greatly improved ride quality over their solid predecessors, they did suffer from significant failure rates, owing to the stresses demanded of them, and the treacherous nature of early roads. Originally invented for use on bicycles, the earliest pneumatic tires featured an inner tube to hold the air and serve as the flexible backbone for the rubber tire which in turn offered traction and protected the fragile tube. Later, more advanced designs eliminated the need for an inner tube, a feature that was first used successfully by the 1954 Packard.

Another great advance in tire technology was the advent of the radial tire. Before the radial the most common form of tire structure was the bias-ply, so named because multiple layers of rubber and cord are overlapped at an angle and make up both the tread and the sidewall. This results in thick sidewalls that provide poor lateral control and heat transfer.

Radial tires on the other hand, have their separate layers – or plies – arranged at 90° angles from the tread direction aligned with radial cords in the sidewalls. This provides in essence two structures within the tire, gaining a stiffer sidewall, a greater tread area, and far better ride and handling possibilities. But what car company was the first to offer steel belted radial tires on their production cars?

From CarHistory4U

The first all-steel reinforced radial tire was produced and patented by Pierre Marcel Bourdon of Michelin in 1946.  Michelin introduced the steel radial tire on the 1948 Citroën B11 Traction Avant.

It’s perhaps no surprise that Michelin’s X-tire was first offered on a Citroën as the automaker was at the time owned by Michelin. 

Image source: longstonetyres

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