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Dunlop Celebrates 120 Years of Driving Enjoyment

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GENEVA, Switzerland, 3 March, 2009 - It started with a simple idea and would over the course of the coming 120 years prove to be the first step in the creation of one of the world's leading tire brands.

Simple ideas can change the world. What started humbly in 1888 as one man's desire to provide his young son with a comfortable tricycle by converting its solid rubber tires to rudimentary air cushioned ones, would over the course of the coming 120 years prove to be the first step in the creation of one of the world's leading tire brands. Little did veterinary surgeon John Boyd Dunlop know then that his makeshift pneumatic tricycle tires would mark the start of a succession of innovations, racing successes and world "firsts", and that in 2008 the company would boast a longstanding reputation as one of the world's leading tire brands.

Dunlop - ; ensuring driving enjoyment through the ages

Dunlop's history is rich with important innovations that have improved the driving experience for everybody on the road. If the discovery of the aquaplaning phenomenon, the invention of "fail safe" tires, and the introduction of the 3S-technology stand out as highlights, Dunlop is proud of numerous other successes during the past 120 years.

  • 1902 - ; Win at Paris-Vienna gives Dunlop a taste for racing Victory in the 1902 Paris-Vienna race gave Dunlop an appetite for motor sport success, and by the 1920's the company was producing tires capable of speeds of over 300 km/h.

  • 1923 - ; Dunlop celebrates its first Grand Prix victory

  • 1924 - ; First victory for Dunlop and Bentley in Le Mans This partnership dominated the decade - also winning 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930.

  • 1927 - ; first Dunlop land speed record In 1927 Dunlop helps Henry Segrave to establish a land speed record of 203 mph / 327 km/h.

  • 1935 - ; Dunlop helps set another land speed record. Dunlop tires ensured Sir Malcolm Campbell's 1935 land speed record of 301 mph / 484 km/h in 'Bluebird'.

  • 1938 - ; Railton Mobil Special fitted with Dunlop tires The Railton Mobil Special, designed by Reid Railton and fitted with Dunlop tires, smashes the world land-speed record.

  • 1947 - ; Dunlop tires successful at 403 mph / 648 km/h The Railton Mobil Special makes the record books again, when driver John Cobb became the first man to break the 400mph barrier on land reaching 403 mph, and setting a new world record average speed of 394 mph / 634 km/h.

  • The 1950s - ; Dunlop tires good for 66 Formula One wins During the golden age of motor sport, Dunlop tires achieved sixty six Formula One wins with eight world champions.

  • 1964 - ; Innovative Dunlop tire first to help prevent aquaplaning Dunlop technician Tom French patents a breakthrough advance in tire tread design. The Dunlop's SP 41 radial ply tire, gave drivers protection from aquaplaning by including a system of 'microslots' that soaked up surface water like a sponge and expelled it later.

  • 1972 - ; Dunlop develops the first 60 series steel belt tire

  • 1973 - ; World's first 'fail safe' tire by Dunlop Dunlop creates Denovo - the world's first 'fail safe' tire - giving driver's total long-distance and high-speed control, even following punctures or blowouts.

  • 1994 - ; Dunlop ultra light construction belt tire a world first Dunlop presents the first ultra light construction belt tire. It reduces the vehicle weight by about 12 kg. Development of the Instant Mobility System (IMS) as a substitute for the spare wheel - in case of a puncture a latex compound is injected into the tire sealing it.

  • 2002: Dunlop wins 100th consecutive 250cc Motorcycle Grand Prix Dunlop riders have won more than 50% of all the 2321 Grand Prix held, collecting 105 World Championship titles along the way.

  • 2008: Le Mans - ; 85 years of Dunlop wins Le Mans is the oldest, toughest and longest race in the world. In all, 34 of the 71 Le Mans 24h races held have been won on Dunlop - more than any other tire company.

    Over the past 120 years, Dunlop's impressive innovation and motor sport track records have ensured that it continues to enjoy an excellent reputation among performance car and motorcycle enthusiasts across the globe. The driving force of its humble beginnings and continued success - founding father Dunlop's pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit - remains the ethos of Dunlop. The company's objective remains to continuously produce better products to enhance the performance of vehicles and the driving experience of its drivers. Thus Dunlop looks forward to offer driving enthusiasts yet another 120 years of driving enjoyment.