White-walled Tires Banned by US

65 years ago today (17 February) the US government banned the production of white side walled tires because of the Korean War effort. Wide whitewall tires reached their zenith in popularity by the early-1950s. The 1957 production version of the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham was fitted with whitewalls that were reduced to a 1" wide stripe floating on the tire sidewall with a black area between this stripe and the wheel rim. The whitewall stripe width began to diminish as an attempt to reduce the perceived height of the wheel/tire. During the decade, increasingly lower vehicle heights were in vogue. During the 1950s, Fender skirts also covered up white wall tires. Wide whitewalls generally fell out of favour in the U.S. by the 1962 model year. The single-sided whitewall remained a desirable option through the 1970s, becoming a hallmark of “traditional luxury”. Radial tires made by Vogue Tyre featured a narrow whitewall with a thin gold stripe line toward the edge of the tire. They were most often fitted to luxury cars. Although wide whitewalls are virtually nonexistent as a factory option on modern automobiles, they are still manufactured in original bias-ply or radial form by specialty outlets. The last car available in the United Kingdom with whitewall tires was the Kia Pride.