Take a Look Inside the Giant Uniroyal Tire: Allen Park, Michigan
Most of us have seen it, and almost all of us have wondered about it: the giant Uniroyal Tire along I-94 near Allen Park. What does it look like on the inside? To answer the common question “Was it originally a Ferris Wheel?” The answer is YES.....and the old Ferris Wheel workings are still inside. You'll see in the photo gallery below – but first some brief info.
It was specifically made for the 1964-1965 World's Fair in New York (I was at that World's Fair and I think I rode that big wheel...I don't recall). After the World's Fair ended in 1965, the scuttlebutt said the wheel was possibly expected to be torn down and discarded. But it wasn't. It was dismantled and sent piece-by-piece to Allen Park, Michigan where it was erected along I-94 in 1966.
DIAMETER: 80 feet
WEIGHT: 12 tons
TIRE TREAD DEPTH: six inches
CONSISTS OF: polyester and glass fiber, not rubber
When it was a Ferris Wheel, it had 24 seats and ended up giving rides to over two million people during 1964-1965. Jackie Kennedy and actor Telly Savalas were just two celebrities that rode that wheel. It was a sight to behold.
Currently, the giant tire is set in deep enough concrete that it can stand up to hurricane forces without toppling over. There is a door that leads into the bottom of the tire; looking up, you see the inner workings of steel and metal that were once a working Ferris Wheel.
Unfortunately, it is not open to the public...you have to settle on driving by.
Fortunately, there is photographic evidence of what the inside looks like, and I have the pictures for you below. There are also a few photos of the tire when it was a Ferris Wheel at the World's Fair, drone photos, and others taken right from the top of the wheel looking out over I-94. Have a look!
The Giant Uniroyal Tire: Inside and Outside
Michigan's Tallest Flagpole
The Rock of Ages - Michigan's Tallest Lighthouse?
The Largest 'Battery' in Michigan