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Goodyear Golden Sahara II: 1950’s autonomous concept car with translucent tyres

American tyre manufacturer Goodyear has presented a concept vehicle from the 1950's for which it supplied translucent tyres. Found after all these years, the “Golden Sahara II” is exhibited at the Geneva International Motor Show.

Geneva Motor Show 2019: Goodyear concept tyre on a restored Golden Sahara II

The restored model of the Golden Sahara II exhibited at Geneva with Goodyear concept tyres. © Julien Taillandier

A concept from the past ahead of its time

If Goodyear presented its flying concept tyre at the Geneva motor show, the tyre manufacturer also presented a concept tyre from the past. Developed by Jim Street and the legendary custom car designer George Barris, the Golden Sahara II was the epitome of technology in its time. Equipped with a control system with an aircraft inspired control lever, braking was automatic thanks to several sensors used to detect objects in the vehicle’s path. 50 years later, this atypical concept car was found in a private individual's garage. Restored to new, it makes a remarkable return to the Geneva show.

In collaboration with Klairmont Kollections, an American collector of old cars, Goodyear exhibited the restored Golden Sahara II on its stand. This 1950’s car, one of the first autonomous concept cars was, at the time, equipped with Goodyear custom-made glowing, see-through tyres.

2019 Geneva Motor Show: Goodyear concept tyre presented on the Golden Sahara II

© Julien Taillandier

Concept tyres: a Goodyear habit for decades

For the Golden Sahara II, Goodyear developed special tyres using Neothane, a translucent form of synthetic rubber. Inside the tyre, lighting made it glow. This concept was designed to improve the visibility of tyres in bad weather conditions and to light up when braking.

 “The 1950s and 60s were a period of intense innovation for Goodyear. We partnered with mobility pioneers in everything from lunar exploration to land speed records", explained Henry Dumortier, Vice President Consumer for Goodyear Europe. “Goodyear’s collaboration on the Golden Sahara II project was our first step in shaping the future of autonomous mobility. Working on projects like the Golden Sahara II and the concept tyres that we present at Geneva is an opportunity to stretch our imagination and envision the possible products and services of the future”. 

Video presentation of the Golden Sahara II by Goodyear:

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