BFG, three letters that just about every petrol head recognises. They stand alongside with the greatest names in motoring history, but they don't make cars. BF Goodrich tires make the most important part you will ever fit to your vehicle and they've been doing it for 115 years. This article provides you with all that you need to know about BFG tires.
The company's roots
The Goodrich Corporation was established as a tyre maker in 1896, although their history of rubber manufacturing dates back to 1870. The company name was taken from that of its originator, Benjamin Franklin Goodrich. Since that time, their tyres have been used on some of the most important vehicles known to mankind. The Spirit of St Louis, Charles Lindberg's Atlantic crossing aircraft, had BGF tyres, as did the space shuttle. In fact, over a quarter of the company's current turnover consists of sales to Boeing, Airbus and the US military. Development Other milestones in tyre development have been driven through by this innovative firm. 1947 brought the tubeless tyre, and 1967 the first run-flat version. Shortly afterwards, they introduced the radial design to the US. Despite their popularity, particularly in the US, Goodrich sold the BFG tires name to Michelin in 1988, and no longer has a stake in tyre manufacturing.
The reputation of Goodrich lies, primarily, in their original BFG all-terrain tires. The off-road tyre market is where their name was made and has been the choice for some great sporting event winners. They have featured on the vehicles that have won the Baja 1000, the WRC Drivers and Constructors Championships, the Dakar Rally and the Rally World Cup just to name a few. The eponymous all-terrain tyres are still the biggest-selling tyres in America for off-road cars. Coloured tyre The current range stretches far beyond these, however, with a firm grip in the high performance market. Indeed, specialist product development led to the introduction of tyres with coloured treads in 1999. Although they wouldn't admit it publicly, the intent of these niche market boots was to create coloured tyre smoke when US muscle cars demonstrated their standing burn-outs! On a more serious note, BFG was responsible for making the first sports car tyre capable of achieving 1g lateral acceleration figures, giving awesome grip characteristics. This performance aspect isn't a new thing though, as the company's product adorned an Indianapolis 500 winner in the 20's.