Whatever Happened to These Dope Light-Up Goodyear Tires?
Thanks to the interesting and fun Twitter account @HistoryinPics, these photos of light-up wheels were once again brought to our attention today. The photos and invention are from back in 1961. Goodyear created the illuminated tires by mounting bulbs on the car’s rims and using translucent synthetic rubber. It’s all pretty awesome until you think of the logistics of it. It’s easy to show a concept of a car when it’s sitting still. It’s another to show it actually working in real-world motion, not to mention the fact that you have fragile glass bulbs inside your tire, which presents an entirely separate issue.
One of the questions you might have regarding these is how exactly the bulbs or lights inside the tires would be powered. Well, you could simply have a battery pack attached to each rim that acted as the power source. Today, you could even make them rechargeable lithium-ions that would require a quick plug-in whenever you needed it.
But in this photo, you see a cord from the center of the cap into the wheel well. I’m not going to pretend like I knew what that was. After some searching and reading, somebody mentioned that it could be what’s known as a hub dynamo, most commonly seen on bicycle wheels these days. Basically, it’s an AC generator that uses fixed magnets to create alternating currents. That will then provide periodic power, as long as it’s rotating.
Like it was in 1961, illuminated tires are simply an idea that would likely never actually make it into any sort of production form. But it’s fun to think about, right?
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Via [History in Pics/Goodyear]