Over 17 million cars are sold every year, in every color imaginable … so, why are the tires always black? Is it to match the road? For that matter, why make the roads black? Why not pink or green?

Today’s roads are usually made with a combination of asphalt, bitumen, and other petroleum products —a durable mixture that melts easily and spreads smoothly across a road’s surface. And …it’s naturally very dark. But what about tires? In the 1950’s Goodyear developed tires in many shades to match your car. Let’s find out!

-Today’s roads are usually made with a combination of asphalt, bitumen, and other petroleum products —a durable mixture that melts easily and spreads smoothly across a road’s surface and is naturally very dark.

-Wheels weren’t always black. Chariot wheels could be shiny bronze. And donkey carts and covered wagons had wooden wheels—sometimes painted!

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-Axles need to be strong and you don’t make anyone nervous by implying that your axle is anything other than steel.

-Some tires have white walls—where the natural rubber color is left alone, or even brightened up, with zinc oxide.

-Older cars were often two toned. Colorful cars bloomed all through the 1920’s but light and bright colors made the paint even more expensive. When the stock market crashed, people went back to durable colors.

-Tires do have a lot of safety features: no-slip tread prevents skidding, snow-tires prevent sledding, and run-flat tires let you drive to repair shop after you drive over a spike.

-In the 1950’s Goodyear developed tires in many shades to match your car. But they got dirty really quickly and cost a lot.

-The world’s biggest tire started life as Ferris Wheel at the New York World’s Fair in 1964. Today, it sits on the side of Highway I-94.

-Lego makes tires with diameters just over a ½ inch and they produce about 318 million tires a year!

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