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Pirelli Tyres are famous for the manufacture of both tyres and underground cable. They were founded in Millan in Italy in 1872 by Giovanni Battista Pirelli.
Pirelli have been making tyres for over 100 years and although Eric Roberts from Pellon Tyre and Autocentre has not been around for that long, he says that in all his experience in the tyre trade, Pirelli Tyres have always given motorists good service and good mileage, and are one brand name that commands respect and loyalty amongst the Pirelli Tyre users. This is indeed praise from such an established tyre dealer who to this day stills sells Pirelli Tyres at his Halifax-based tyre depot.
Pirelli Radial Tyres were born from the need of Lancia rally, who wanted a stronger, lower-riding radial tyre for their Lancia Stratos rally car. This led the designers to create a much stronger tyre construction, both wider and with a much lower sidewall. This design became very successful and a great boost to Lancia racing, indeed Porsche also started to use tyre in its racing division.
This tyre design lead to the creation of the Pirelli Cinturato. This tyre was developed in the 1950s and was originally made from a textile belted construction. This tyre gave great comfort and road holding qualities but as for all textile construction tyres was a little low on mileage and could not compete with some of its rivals namely Michelin who were streets ahead with their steel belted X range of tyres.
The earlier cinturatos were used as original equipment on most Italian made production cars such as the Alfas, they were also fitted to sport and rally cars using using 165r400 cinturatos.
Eric Roberts remembers the first time he saw these tyres "they were very unusual at the time, but things were changing fast in the world of tyres, and we were not that surprised at what came along next". These tyres are still the only tyres to be used in certain types of motor racing. The most common size been the 165x14. These tyres were commonly seen on early MGB GTs and can be bought at specialist tyre dealers from the internet.
In the mid 70s Pirelli started bringing out steel belted tyres and introduced a new range called the P8. This was also Pirelli's first low profile tyre, this tyre gave the cars of the time much better road handling and helped Pirelli in the fast moving technology of tyre development during that period.
Then we had a Middle East oil crisis and the rush was on to develop a new type of tyre that would save fuel costs, very much like the situation that we have today. Pirelli came with the P8, this tyre was built for a much better rolling resistance and therefore saving the motorists on fuel cost.
Next came the development of the PZero range this tyre was made for the bigger faster cars that were and still are for both competition and road use cars like the BMWs and MERCs. These new tyres were built with extra strong plys and were ultra low profile.
This tyre is still been modernised as newer cars are further developed.