THE SAGA OF AN ETERNAL PIONEER
The story of BFGoodrich Tyres began with Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich, a self-taught entrepreneur and visionary who in 1870 founded a company that would become one of the greatest and most recognisable names in the tyre industry. The BFGoodrich legacy is the fruit of all the challenges and achievements that have enabled us to make daily life easier for motorists around the world and make driving an increasingly safe and enjoyable activity. To achieve this, thousands of employees tap into their imagination and ingenuity to develop new, higher-performance products, leading a whole segment of the car industry.
At BFGoodrich, we make tyres for people who want to unlock the full potential of their vehicles, and above all enjoy themselves. If you've been bitten by the driving bug, you're one of us! Our tyres are developed by true enthusiasts who spend their weekends doing battle on rocky roads or pounding the asphalt on race tracks all over the world. Their expertise has been rewarded with titles in every competition the brand has entered, from the tarmac of Sebring to the steep, dusty roads of the Baja. They are the linchpins in the process, ensuring that technology is transferred from racing cars to mass-produced vehicles, and enabling BFGoodrich to bring its customers tyres that take the very best from technologies used mainly in the world of competition, and which are guarantees of performance, quality and durability.
It all began in 1870, with a spark of inspiration from Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich who, backed by local investors, founded the very first tyre factory in North America, in Akron, Ohio.
Even then, performance was already in the brand's DNA, and it was in this spirit that Charles Cross Goodrich, son of Benjamin, established the very first research centre in the United States. As a direct consequence, BFG stood out from the competition as early as 1903 when it provided the tyres for the Model A Ford, the first car to cross the North American continent from east to west.
Aeronautics was also a rapidly expanding industry, and BFG identified it as another means of improving people's mobility. The brand was involved in the 75km/h speed record set in 1909 at the first international air race held in Reims, on a Curtiss Aeroplane Corporation plane. The perfect marriage with aeronautics continued with new challenges in the 1920s. This was the era of distance records and adventurers. In 1927, BFGoodrich provided the tyres for the Spirit of Saint-Louis, in which Charles Lindbergh made the very first non-stop transatlantic flight.
Summary of key dates
Challenges successfully overcome
- 1903: First east to west crossing of the United States by car.
- 1927: Aviator Charles Lindbergh makes the first non-stop transatlantic flight aboard the Spirit of St. Louis, which lands safely in Paris.
- 1981: Columbia space shuttle fitted with BFGoodrich tyres.
Pioneer spirit has always driven all BFGoodrich's research and development teams, who have made decisive breakthroughs in tyre technology over the decades.
- 1947: first tubeless tyre for American cars.
- 1965: first radial tyre on the American market: the Lifesaver
- 1967: first run-flat tyre.
- 1972: BFGoodrich introduces radial-ply touring tyres in North America, while other manufacturers continue to develop "Bias-ply" tyres
- 1999: First tyre with coloured tread: the Scorcher T/A
- 2002: First 24-inch 4x4 tyre
The taste of victory
The stories of BFGoodrich and motorsport are closely linked in America, where it was the first tyre manufacturer to win the legendary Indianapolis 500 two years in succession, in 1914 and 1915, and then in Europe, in the world rally championship and on tracks and deserts the world over, including winning the Dakar eight times since 2002.