Continental General Tire trivia: Vehicles at its tire testing facility in Uvalde, Texas, consumed more than a quarter-million gallons of fuel last year. (Almost as much as a certain Tire Business Staff Reporter's GMC Suburban.) Studs behind the wheel
How many times have you seen some hot dog in a four-wheel-drive vehicle fearlessly blow past you on a slick, snow-covered highway? They're not less likely to have an accident, says an article in a recent Wall Street Journal.
It noted that despite car dealer and automaker hype, driving experts, insurance companies, police officers and federal safety authorities have serious doubts about the so-called safety of a 4x4 in winter driving.
After his 4WD Jeep Wrangler lost traction and slid into a ditch during an ice storm last winter, Sgt. David Rice of the Columbus, Ohio, police department stated: ``Good tires are the real secret.'' He ended up buying studded snows.
As for Steve Caissie, his 4WD made him invincible, at least until he had an accident while driving on a snowy highway. The Boston computer tech suggested: ``Maybe the manufacturers should make four-wheel-drives with an annoyance buzzer that goes off every time the driver does something stupid-like endangering people's lives.''
By any other name
Todd A. Forbush Sr. is a hero.
In August 1994, as the Elyria, Ohio, truck driver for United Parcel Service was on the job, his rig was hit at an intersection by a pickup truck whose driver apparently had fallen asleep. The pickup spun several times, burst into flames and overturned.
As fire engulfed the passenger side of the vehicle, Mr. Forbush crawled under the truck to rescue a young woman. Authorities said the pickup could have collapsed on him or exploded while he was beneath it.
Goodyear recently named Mr. Forbush its 1994 ``National Highway Hero,'' and also feted three other heroic finalists at Daytona International Speedway prior to the start of this year's Daytona 500 race.
A guy in Twin Falls, Idaho, walked into a carpet store, but it wasn't rugs he was interested in. (Actually, we wonder what.)
Into the outlet's picture window he strode, and then assumed the pose of a mannequin-which didn't really thrill the store's owner, since the guy didn't have any pants on.
So the owner called the police. According to National Public Radio, the cop answering the call had the quote of the day, reportedly remarking: ``No matter how you try to prepare yourself for something like this, you never really get used to seeing a naked man in public.''
Wonder if carpet sales went up?
Parts is parts
They may do chicken right (oops, wrong chain), but their math is half-baked.
When a Boston Chicken promotion proclaimed the fast-food restaurant offered 3,360 separate dinner combinations, math teacher Bob Swain in Golden, Colo., was more than a bit skeptical.
The ad, which starred quarterback Joe , indicated with the number of side dishes plus chicken the chain offers, the dinner combinations can add up.
But Crain's Franchise Buyer magazine reported that when Mr. Swain and his students put a pencil to it, they could only come up with 816 combinations.
The Golden-based chicken franchiser refigured, apologized, then ended up giving the school's math department a $500 grant.
And it also redid the ad.
'Father' of ITEC feted
Robert S. Simmons, vice president and publications director of TIRE BUSINESS, recently received a ``Distinguished Sales & Marketing Award'' from the Sales and Marketing Executives Association of Akron for creating the first International Tire Exhibition and Conference (ITEC), held last year in Akron.
Mr. Simmons (we hardly recognized him in his tuxedo) is shown above with his family: from left, his son, Robert, wife, Carol, and daughter, Angela.