America's once-proud tyre industry used to manufacture tyres in the United States. Akron, Ohio, home of Goodyear, Bridgestone, BF Goodrich, and others, was hailed as the "Rubber Capital of the World." Now, a startup from Long Beach, California, Hoonigan Industries, is poised to bring some of those lost manufacturing jobs back with cutting-edge tyre technology: wood.
Obviously, we're joking, but don't let that stop you from enjoying this hilarious YouTube video from TheHoonigans. Armed with a machine shop, a dream, and a battle-worn Audi 200, the team set to work to answer a question that nobody besides them asked.
The video starts out with a humorous, fake educational sequence, titled "Scumbag Labs." The host, in safety glasses and a white lab coat, asks: "Tyres. Do they matter? Doesn't seem so to us. We're killin' 'em off all the time." He goes on to show off a 24x4" "beadlock" wood wheel, wondering if the results of their experiment will "smell like the Home Depot lumber section."
"I hope so," he adds. "I love that smell." The video cuts to the team at Irwindale Speedway, ready to test their wood wheel hypothesis. In truly scientific fashion, plywood was chosen, due to its high strength and high quality, or, more realistically, the fact that they probably had a few sheets hanging around the shop.
The all-wheel-drive Audi has a surprisingly easy time getting going with wood wheels, but stopping is another issue entirely. A panic stop resulted in a substantial flat spot as the pavement sanded down the locked-up wheels while the Audi just continued to slide in a straight line. Once it finally came to a stop, it did, however, smell like the Home Depot lumber section.
Powersliding went substantially better, although the Hoonigan crew had a bit too much fun and shattered a wheel or two. It looks like plywood tyres still have a long way to go before they're ready for mass-market release.
Source: TheHoonigans on YouTube