WASHINGTON-A spokesman for the retreading industry has taken to task the creators of the daily comic strip ``Tank McNamara,'' protesting a recent strip belittling retreads. ``Our industry enjoys a long and honorable history of producing products that have saved American motorists millions of dollars without sacrificing safety, handling or performance,'' said Harvey Brodsky, managing director of the Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB), in an April 29 letter to Bill Hinds and Jeff Millar.
``Tank McNamara'' covers various sports topics. In an April 24 strip concerning auto racing, a retreader was portrayed as nasty, his employees as incompetent and his retreads as unsafe, held together with cellophane tape and ``krazy glue.''
``Although Jeff Millar and Bill Hinds...probably meant no harm, the damage was done anyway,'' Mr. Brodsky said in a separate April 29 letter to the Washington Post, which runs ``Tank McNamara.'' ``Our industry constantly suffers from an unfounded and inaccurate perception by the motoring public that retreaded tires are less safe than comparable new tires.''
In the strip, a rookie race driver tells his tire supplier, ``That's the third driver using your tires who's crashed in the time trials. You gotta lemme out of that contract.'' ``Ah paid you good money to use mah tires in the race,'' the retreader from ``Rollo Economy Retreads'' replies.
``...You were the only sponsor I could get. Gimme a break. I got a family,'' the rookie says.
``Rollo'' then tells workers to ``go whole hog on them (tires)'' as they apply krazy glue to a tread.
Retreads, Mr. Brodsky noted, are ``safely and routinely used'' by race cars, school buses, aircraft, taxis and government vehicles. To Messrs. Millar and Hinds he wrote: ``It ain't funny, Tank.''