March 17, 2015

The Pirelli Company was founded in 1872 by Giovanni Battista Pirelli, a 24 year old engineer, in Milan, Italy. Less than a year later, he had a factory up and running, producing rubber based goods. Pirelli initially specialised in making scuba diving rebreathers, but towards the end of the Century the company started diversifying their output. After making insulated telegraph cables in the 1870’s, then underwater telegraph cables in the 1880’s, Pirelli began what they would become famous for in 1890- making tyres. The company first started making bicycle tyres, and then produced their first automobile tyre in 1901. With the new century, Pirelli began enjoying its first sporting victories and building plants abroad: in Spain (1902), Great Britain (1914) and Argentina (1917).

From the 1920s onwards, legendary racing drivers like Tazio Nuvolari, Alberto Ascari and later Juan Manuel Fangio, began to score a lengthy series of victories with Pirelli tyres. As of today, Pirelli boasts over 80 successes in International Grand Prix races, with six World Driver Championships and 18 victories with Alfa Romeo and Ferrari in the legendary Mille Miglia race.

Pirelli have always been on the cutting edge of technology, having invented the Superflex Stella Bianca sports tyre in 1927, the Cinturato radial tyre in 1948 and then the wide radial tyre in 1974. Each of these tyres was a leap in modern technology, especially the wide radial tyre. Up until then, racing tyres were either very wide tyres with a reduced sidewall height, or radial tyres, which were too narrow to withstand more powerful cars and could not provide enough grip. Both were unusable for the Lancia Stratos, as the radials were destroyed within 10 km, and the slicks too stiff. Lancia asked Pirelli for a solution, and the wide radial tyre was invented. After this incredible break through, Porsche started using the same tyres with the award-winning Porsche 911 Turbo.

With over one hundred years’ experience of tyre innovation and manufacture, Pirelli has perfected their tyres, giving maximum levels of safety, durability and comfort. Pirelli tyres not only provide much desired performance, but also a “feel for the road” and a communication with the driver, allowing a greater understanding of the vehicle’s performance.