Lights. Camera. Action. Tyres.
The worlds of movies and Goodyear have crossed paths many times in their respective histories. To celebrate Goodyear’s 125th anniversary, they’re dusting off old film and looking back at some of the most classic Goodyear and Hollywood crossovers.
Goodyear and the motion picture industry can trace their roots to the same period. Goodyear was founded in 1898, during the same period movies were entering mainstream culture. As the following list shows, both have come a long way since then.
Goodyear has been involved in some of the biggest car movies of all time. Here are some top picks:
Cars (2006 – 2017)
The movie was responsible for a generation’s love of cars and motorsport.
Goodyear and Walt Disney Pictures entered a collaboration to bring a fictional version of Goodyear’s iconic brand to the Pixar universe. ‘Lightyear’ is the exclusive supplier to the Piston Cup and is adorned on Lightning McQueen’s tire sidewall and all his competitors. Pixar approached Goodyear to make the movie feel authentic, right down to the tyres.
Whether it was battling under the lights of the Motor Speedway of the South or creeping in the dark tipping tractors, Lightning McQueen’s ‘Lightyears’ had him covered.
The movie even featured Al Oft, the ‘Lightyear’ Blimp, who flies overhead at the biggest races throughout the Cars movies, just like the real Goodyear Blimp does, visible at races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Daytona 500.
Herbie (1968 – 2005)
From one movie franchise with sentient cars to another, Goodyear appeared in another Disney franchise. Herbie, the 1963 Volkswagen Beetle deluxe ragtop sedan, warmed the hearts of millions with his mechanical charm.
Goodyear tyres feature fitted to Herbie multiple times throughout the franchise’s history, including the first movie The Love Bug and the most recent movie, Herbie Fully Loaded. In the latter movie, Herbie is uncovered in a junkyard by Maggie, and the duo go on an adventure which takes them to the pinnacle of NASCAR with victory at the California Speedway.
Say hello to my (not so) little friend, the Goodyear Blimp! The 128ft airship can be seen in the 1983 classic remake of the 1932 Scarface movie and the 1929 novel of the same name. The text, “The World is yours”, is presented to Tony Montana on the Blimp during the film in which the protagonist stops at nothing to gain control of the local drug market.
Since the first Goodyear Blimps in the 1910s, this icon of the skies has been spotted at some of the biggest sporting and cultural events, from the Oscars to the Super Bowl.
The Batman (2022)
If there was a car that defined its character, it certainly would be the Batmobile. With its first appearance in the 1939 Detective Comics, this car is still a relevant and powerful symbol today.
In the latest Batman film, Bruce Wayne’s ‘Batmobile’ is fitted with Mickey Thompson tyres, which became a Goodyear brand in 2021. Equipped to a heavily modified second-generation Dodge Charger, it looks fantastic in this gritty and dark adaptation of a cultural phenomenon.
Mickey Thompson tyres are popular in the high performance and drag racing scene in the United States. Perfect for the job of disappearing into the shadows at a moment’s notice…
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
A car-related movie list is only complete with the mention of James Bond. The vehicles featured in the movies over the years are almost as iconic as the actors who have played the ‘007’ agent.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the sixth movie in the franchise, features a beautiful 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7, driven by Countess Teresa “Tracy” di Vicenzo. The car is fitted with Goodyear rally tyres, and during the movie it’s seen driving on snow and ice in a classic Bond car chase, closely tailed by Blofeld’s assassins. With clearly more grip than their pursuers, Bond and Tracy inadvertently join a rallycross race before eventually fleeing intact.
Back to the Future Part I and II (1985 – 1989)
Compared to the perennial suave of James Bond, Back to the Future is a very different kind of timeless.
When Doc Brown envisioned the classic DMC DeLorean time machine, a set of Goodyear tyres was his choice. Certified beyond the 88 miles per hour required to travel through time, the tyres sported the classic ‘Goodyear Eagle GT’ etched white into the sidewall.
The car itself would become a classic, transcending Hollywood to become a memorable symbol for time travel.
The Eagle GT was a high-performance tyre with a tread pattern inspired by Goodyear’s Formula 1 tyres. Today, many of Goodyear’s successful high-performance tyres proudly sport the Eagle name. Marty and Doc must have known…
Ford Vs Ferrari (2019) also known as Le Mans ‘66
More than 20 years before Doc Brown invented the time machine, Carroll Shelby had a dream.
The year is 1963 and, so far that decade, Ferrari has dominated at Le Mans. Everyone thought they were untouchable. Everyone except Shelby.
In the film, Shelby and Ken Miles developed the Ford GT40 Mk II, which was finally a car that could match the might of Enzo Ferrari. Ford won the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans with drivers Chris Amon and Bruce McLaren. Miles and Denny Hulme finished second in the sister Ford.
For Goodyear, this was the second of 14 overall Le Mans victories. Meanwhile, Ford would continue its winning streak in 1967, 1968 and 1969.
This racing movie is another tale of a fierce rivalry between two all-time greats: this time in the world of Formula 1 between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, who went into battle during the 1976 season on Goodyear tyres.
That was Ron Howard’s inspiration for the 2013 movie Rush, featuring the charismatic Hunt and the calculating Lauda. Like the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, it was a battle of endurance between these two rivals, which ended with Hunt winning the world championship by a single point.
The period cemented Goodyear’s dominance in Grand Prix racing, and Rush features the dramatic showdown in Japan between its two protagonists. That season, all but three cars competed in Formula 1 on Goodyear, and to this day Goodyear has the most Grand Prix victories (368) of any tyre manufacturer.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)
Whether it’s winning the most coveted prizes in motorsport or protecting the rights of genetically engineered dinosaurs, Goodyear has been to every corner of the movie world.
In Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Goodyear off-the-road (OTR) tyres are equipped on the BAE MRAP 6X6 Armored Trucks, specially equipped with the strength to protect from a T-Rex attack.
The tyres are Goodyear MV/T, an ultra-strong military tyre that excels in mud and sand. Perfect for Isla Nublar.
Fight Club (1999)
This classic sees the characters become entangled in an anti-capitalistic underworld. Goodyear branding features heavily at the tyre service shop in the film. The insomnia-suffering narrator ‘meets’ Tyler Durden, who forms an underground club where members that are fed up with their mundane lives fight. What transpires is an explosive end to one of the most memorable surrealist movies in cinema history.