It started in Belfast, Ireland, in 1888, with an idea that forever changed the way the world rides. The road has led from the racetracks of Europe to America's most sophisticated tire-making labs. The journey has been epic. Take a look, and see how we arrived at a tire brand like no other.
1888 John Boyd Dunlop's son is struggling to ride his tricycle. He is riding it because he has a heavy cold, for which a doctor has prescribed a very unusual cure: cycling. To make the child's ride more comfortable, Boyd fits his tricycle with tires made of canvas bonded with liquid rubber. Boyd patents what turns out to be a very big idea.
1889 Cyclist Willie Hume is the first to adopt Boyd's invention for racing, winning a slew of events. It's the start of Dunlop's legendary run of racing success.
1902 Dunlop wins the grueling Paris-Vienna race.
1922 First Dunlop tire using steel rods and canvas casing provides triple the service life of other tires used until then.
1923 First Grand Prix victory.
1924 First victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, known as the Grand Prix of efficiency, in which race teams have to run 24 hours while conserving tire, fuel, and braking materials.
1927 At 207 mph, Captain Malcolm Campbell breaks land speed record. He'll shatter it again in four years later. Both times he rides to the record on (you guessed it) Dunlop tires.
1937 Winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans seems to be habit-forming. Dunlop does it for the tenth time.
1951 Dunlop and Jaguar team up for an unprecedented run of dominance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, winning in 1951, 1953, 1955, 1956, and 1957.
1958 This year marks the start of a period in which Dunlop more or less owns Formula 1.
1962 High speeds. Wet roads. Tires losing grip. "Aquaplaning" is an unexplained phenomenon until the Dunlop Technical Team identifies the cause and starts developing the cure.
1965 Let's make it seven consecutive Formula 1 crowns.
1968 The first ever London—Sydney Marathon is held. In terms of endurance, it's sick: 16,000 kilometers across Europe, Asia, and Australia, over winding passes, surfaced roads, and sandstorm-battered deserts. In terms of winners, it's Dunlop.
1988 We celebrate our 100th birthday in style, with a 1-2 finish at Le Mans.
1998 Dunlop develops the Dunlop Self-Supporting Technology (DSST)® system, which enables vehicles to drive on flat tires.
1999 introduce Warnair, the first tire-pressure-loss detection system with sensors incorporated into the tire.
2000 Our 1999 integration into the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is complete, creating the ideal combination of racing heritage and worldwide technological resources.
2002 Dunlop introduces 3S technology, a three-zone, asymmetrical tread design that helps deliver the optimum combination of silent running, sportiness, and safety.
2003 We become the sole tire supplier to the British Grand Touring Championship.
2007 We introduce "Touch Technology™," the summation of our tire-making expertise over the past 100-plus years, to give drivers a better feel for the road.
2008 To improve steering response, we develop the first tire with Kevlar® pulp inserts in the sidewall. The name on the sidewall: Dunlop SP Sport Maxx® TT.
2008 Still at it (only greener): Audi A4 Quattro equipped with Dunlop SP Sport Maxx® TT tires sets world speed record of 204.7 mph for a climate-neutral fueled vehicle. In the same year, we introduced the Enasave 97, a tire that comprised of 97% fossil-free material.
2009 The launch of QuattroMaxx tires inspires racetrack performance for SUV's. In October '09, a QuattroMaxx-equipped Porsche Cayenne sets a new lap record for SUV's at the Nurburgring Nordscleife (a.k.a. "the Green Hell.")
2009 Car & Driver puts nine ultra-high performance tires to the test. Dunlop's Direzza® Sport Z1 Star Spec takes first place.
2009-10 Dunlop becomes an official technical partner of BMW Motorsport, supporting American Le Mans Series team BMW Rahal Letterman Racing. Our relationship quickly bears fruit, as Dunlop tires carry the team to the 2010 GT manufacturer championship.
2010 Dunlop Winter Sport 3D™ takes 1st in the ADAC Motorwelt/OAMTC and Stiftung Warentest tests and is named Winter Tire of the Year by consumer website TyreReviews.co.uk.
2011 Our tires practically wear grooves in Victory Lane, helping BMW Team RLL and Dyson Racing win a combined total of seven American Le Mans Series championships.
2012 and Beyond Dunlop unveils wave after wave of racing-inspired, driver-inspiring innovations.