Tiger (Paw)

On this day in 1967 the United States Rubber Company changed its name to Uniroyal. From 365 Days Of Motoring:


“The company was founded in Naugatuck, Connecticut, in 1892 and was one of the original 12 stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. In 1990, Uniroyal was acquired by French tire maker Michelin and ceased to exist as a separate business. Today around 1,000 workers in the U.S. remain employed by Michelin to make its Uniroyal brand products. One of Uniroyal’s best known tires is the Tiger Paw introduced in the 1960s and included as original equipment for that decade’s muscle cars such as the Pontiac GTO, which itself was promoted as The Tiger during its early years.”


From Hot Rod an ad showing the Tiger theme used for the GTO:


See the source image


As regular readers know my first car was a 1967 Pontiac GTO. To wit:



Unlike most American car enthusiasts I am not a big fan of the GM A-Body style that was introduced for model year 1968. As such, I am only a fan of GTOs from 1964-67. Here are the production numbers for the “first-generation” GTO:


1964             32,450
1965             75,352
1966             96,946
1967             81,722
1964-67           286,470


The 1966 figure was the highest for any year of GTO production. As most muscle car fans know Pontiac management only expected to sell about 5,000 GTOs in 1964. The tremendous popularity of the car, that went beyond the actual numbers, sowed the seeds for the muscle car era that lasted into the early 1970s.

While I was lucky to have had a Goat as my first car, and although I loved the car, I don’t really have a desire to acquire another one from my favored time period. I guess it’s a “Been There, Done That” situation. I will offer, though, that my favorite years from the first run are 1967 and 1965, in that order. Remember how I like to make order out of chaos.






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