At BFGoodrich® Tires, we don’t cruise down memory lane. We race down it. As a part of our 150th-year celebrations, we took a high-speed look back at some of the vehicles, engineers, and drivers that built the wins, wows, and “world’s firsts” of our rich racing legacy. Here’s to 150 years of excellence and innovation — both on and off the pavement.

1970: “IF IT CAN WIN ON THE TRACK, IT CAN WORK ON THE STREET.”

Trans Am
Trans Am

By the late ’60s, the pony car war had car makers in Detroit building vehicles that came with high horsepower engines, and the daily driver tires of that day simply couldn’t keep up. They weren’t made to handle that kind of torque, speed, or cornering. In a bold, performance-gap-closing move, BFGoodrich® developed a low-profile radial performance tire in 1969 — and in an even bolder move, decided to showcase it on the racetrack. The idea was simple: if it can win on the track, it can work on the street.

In 1970, this Pontiac Trans Am — running BFGoodrich® Radial T/A® 60-series tires — won its class at the Watkins Glen SCCA National. The Radial T/A beat out all the pure race slicks on the track at Watkins Glen, and launched the unparalleled, 50-year tradition at BFGoodrich® of racing the tires sold for performance driving.

1972: MAKING WAVES AND EARNING WINS AT HOME AND ABROAD

Corvette
Corvette
The pictured Corvette is a tribute created by Detroit Speed, Inc.

With the BFGoodrich® Radial T/A® 60-series making waves in the auto and racing worlds, the team turned its attention towards applying the technology to bigger and faster cars. Their first target was the “Great American Sports Car” — the Corvette — running at the “Greatest Race Circuit” — Circuit de la Sarthe at Le Mans.

In 1972, BFGoodrich® partnered with John Greenwood to create the “Stars and Stripes Corvette” which ran the first 50-series radial performance tire in the world. The team captured the pole position in the GT class, tackling the famed 3.7-mile Mulsanne Straight at over 200 MPH, putting BFGoodrich® on the map in both the US and Europe as a serious performance tire brand.