Sometimes, when we browse through TEN’s vast photo archives, we come across cool tech photos. Maybe it’s a Flattie with a V-8 swap underway, or an old-school winch, a cool old blower, some odd suspension, or maybe a guy grooving a tire. Tires and wheels are without a doubt one of the largest parts of the Jeep world’s aftermarket, so when we saw these images, we just had to share them. Who here has not tossed a set of big gnarly meats and the latest wheels on his or her Jeep? Back in the day, that might not be quite as easy as running down to your local tire and wheel shop. In this image shot for Hot Rod by Eric Rickman, we see someone cutting an 11.00x16 Goodyear Blue Streak Dragway special. This early custom version of the mud tire or sand paddle would have been soft and grippy, although side-hilling may have suffered from the straight grooves.
Goodyear Blue Streak…Mud and Sand
Here is the finished tire. We are betting these tires were used and had seen their day on the drag strip based on the cords showing on some of the cut areas. Observant Jeepers will also notice that the wheel has been widened and has self-tapping screws going into the bead of the tire. The sidewall screws were a cheap alternative to a beadlock wheel and kept the tire from spinning on the wheel during drag racing, but may also help with aired-down Jeep tires. Also, in the rear of this photo by Eric Rickman on the ground and mounted to a CJ, you can see another early off-road tire option in the form of 11.00x15 Armstrongs. Intended for tractors, the Armstrong farm implement tires were pretty large in diameter and width and could be grooved for extra traction off-road.