1978 commercial for Pirelli Tyres.

Founded 1872 in Milan, by Giovanni Battista Pirelli, Pirelli initially specialized in rubber and derivative processes. Effectively, Pirelli’s activities are still primarily focused on the production of tires, and cables (for energy and telecommunications). In 2005 Pirelli sold its cable division to Goldman Sachs, which changed the new group’s name to Prysmian.

In the 1950s, Alberto Pirelli commissioned the building of a famous Milanese skyscraper in the same area that housed the very first Pirelli factory during the 19th century: see Pirelli Tower.

In 1974, Pirelli invented the “wide radial tyre”, upon a request from the Lancia rally racing team for a tire strong enough to withstand the power of the new Lancia Stratos car.

At that time, racing tires were either slick tires made with the cross ply technique (very wide tires with a reduced sidewall height), or radial tires, which were too narrow to withstand the Stratos’ power and did not provide enough grip. Both were unusable for the Lancia Stratos, as the radials were destroyed within 10km, and the slicks too stiff. Lancia asked Pirelli for a solution, and in 1974 Pirelli created a wide tire with a reduced sidewall height like a slick, but with a radial structure.

Subsequently, Porsche started using the same tires with the award-winning Porsche 911 Turbo.

Today, the wide tyres are still the standard in sport & racing cars worldwide.

Since late 2007, Pirelli is the control tyre for the World Rally Championship, the British Rally Championship, the Superbike World Championshipand the British Superbike Championship.

Info taken from Wikipedia

 

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