FOR SALE: Private brand performance tire line. Includes molds, trademarks. Make offer.
PHOENIX-Once a well known name in hot-rodding circles, the Pro-Trac tire line was mothballed a couple of years ago and hasn't been heard from since.
But now its owner is ``putting out the word'' that the private brand is for sale.
Pro-Trac's former marketer, the old Cleveland-based Mr. Gasket Co., ran financially afoul in 1991, ended up in bankruptcy court, then began to sell off its divisions in an effort to get back to its roots as an automotive gasket maker.
Its Wheel and Tire Group was acquired in January 1993 by Phoenix-based Cragar Industries Inc., which then shelved Pro-Trac.
Now Cragar is unloading the Pro-Trac line-including trademark, patents related to that trademark, tooling, equipment, and 30 to 40 molds. Its book value, based on the last time the tires were sold, is about $253,735, according to Cragar Controller Preston D. Cameron.
Described by a Cragar official as ``wannabe'' racing tires, Pro-Tracs were bias-ply, D.O.T.-approved and marketed as street-legal, wide drag slicks for car buffs who wanted something that looked like a racing tire.
Mr. Cameron said Cragar ``has no desire to get back into the tire business.'' The Pro-Trac product line, which includes about six different styles, doesn't mesh with Cragar's current focus on custom wheels, he said.
According to information provided by Cragar, Pro-Trac gross sales from 1989 through 1991 were approximately $5 million.
The line-last manufactured by specialty tire maker Denman Tire Corp.-featured several four-ply nylon tire designs including:
A competition drag-racing-type tire with a ``tread pattern that improves steering stability, especially when wet;''
A tire with soft rubber compound for maximum traction;
A rear tire for street machines and hot rods-size S375/80x15-billed, at the time, as ``the largest automotive tire in the world;'' and
A number of 50-, 60- and 70-series racing-styled tires with raised white letters.
Thus far, Cragar has had a couple of inquiries about Pro-Trac ``mostly curiosity,'' said Mr. Cameron. ``Everything is very preliminary.''
The tire-building equipment has been stored in Cragar's Phoenix warehouse and in a former Mr. Gasket warehouse.
Mr. Cameron said Cragar Industries was formed in 1964 by California businessman Roy Richter, who also owned Bell Auto Parts, parent firm of Bell Helmets.