Vintage Oshkosh frames General Tire’s banner year

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Engineering consultant Clarence Jungwirth, whose tenure with Oshkosh Corp. dates to 1945, identifies the truck in the vintage General Tire drawing as an Oshkosh snow plow chassis adapted for a 5-yd. mixer. The truck had a wooden frame cab, built in Oshkosh by Clark Cab Co., and likely a Hercules Gasoline engine. It was the first Oshkosh truck with a mounted mixer, succeeding mixer trailer configurations.
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Continental Tire North America is marking the centennial anniversary of its truck and automotive market brand General Tire with a themed black & white banner borrowing from a vintage magazine ad’s colored drawing. With the backdrop of the Hoover Dam, whose early 1930s construction saw placement of 3 million yards, the campaign centerpiece is a reminder of the load limits ready mixed producers faced in the pre-war era—tires, wheels, engines, chassis, drums and all.

General Tire traces its origins to Akron, Ohio, where the founders pioneered an oversized pneumatic tire, the General Jumbo, as an alternative to solid rubber versions standard on trucks. A nationwide team of independent dealers helped ensure Jumbo success in an industry whose early 20th century census included nearly 300 tire manufacturers. General Tire then pursued innovations affording automobile market inroads, led by namesake Balloon Jumbo tires. Against conventional alternatives, they required lower air pressure and provided a more comfortable ride. Engineers rapidly expanded the range to include the high-mileage, puncture-proof Dual Balloon.

As the 1930s dawned, General Tire was the top U.S. truck tire manufacturer, boasting a full line of pneumatic offerings. Through mid- and late-decade, it had secured an original equipment agreement with International Harvester, one of the largest U.S. commercial vehicle (the present Navistar) and agricultural machinery manufacturers, plus approval by every major domestic truck builder.

General Tire has been a part of Germany’s Continental AG for nearly 30 years, maintaining a broad portfolio for the truck and automobile markets. — Continental Tire North America, Fort Mill, S.C.;