WASHINGTON-Six tire industry leaders and five special ``Founding Pioneers'' will be inducted into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame Oct. 12 during the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association's 75th anniversary convention in New Orleans. The ceremonies will take place during during the Hall of Fame Luncheon, at which the winners of the Michelin/NTDRA scholarship program also will be recognized.
In addition, TIRE BUSINESS will present its second Tire Dealer Humanitarian Award.
The Hall of Fame inductees are:
G.F. ``Sam'' Bauer (deceased), founder of Bauer Built Inc.;
Ivan W. Gorr, former chairman of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and a former president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce;
Andre and Edouard Michelin (deceased), co-founders of Groupe Michelin;
Charles J. Pilliod Jr., former Goodyear chairman; Keith S. Rowbotham, former Northwest Tire Dealers Association executive director; and
Tom B. Babcox (deceased), president of Babcox Publications, which publishes Tire Review.
Members of the Founding Pioneers group, all deceased, are:
Thomas F. Whitehead of Whitehead Brothers, Chicago, the NTDRA's first president, 1920-21;
R.F. Valentine, Valentine Rubber and Supply, Cleveland, the second president, 1921-22;
Henry Stenzel, Milwaukee Tire and Supply Co., Milwaukee, NTDRA treasurer, 1920-21;
Ashby L. Leeth, Leeth Brothers, Washington, D.C., NTDRAtreasurer, 1942-65; and
Jerry Shaw, editor Tires magazine, 1919-54.
Gilbert F. ``Sam'' Bauer and his brother Ray began Bulk Oil Jobbership in 1944. Little did they know it would grow into one of the nation's largest commercial tire dealerships and retreading operations.
Today, Bulk Oil Jobbership still exists as a division of Bauer Built Inc., which owns or operates 12 tire centers, four convenience stores, two wholesale distribution centers, two bulk oil petroleum businesses, two retread shops and a parts store covering three states.
The Bauer brothers opened their first tire center in 1946 in Durand, Wis., current location of Bauer Built's headquarters. In 1948 they bought a gas station and later built a Tydol station, which the firm still operates.
Bauer Built began retreading tires in 1953 and became a Bandag Inc. franchisee three years later.
The company added a truck and maintenance garage, an auto parts store and an office building.
In 1963, Sam Bauer acquired complete ownership of the business and bought a Firestone tire center in Eau Claire, Wis.
In 1967 he sold his interest to his sons, Jerry and Jim, and sons-in-law Larry Weber, John ``Butch'' Brantner, Dan Fedie and Tom Wargowsky. He died in 1994.
Ivan Gorr began his career with Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. as corporate controller in 1972, coming from the auditing firm of Arthur Young & Co.
He retired 22 years later as chairman of the Findlay, Ohio-based tire maker. In between, he held a variety of company positions including treasurer, CFO, executive vice president, president and COO.
Currently, he is a director of the Rubber Manufacturers Association, the Highway Users Federation, and is a member of the Industry Policy Advisory Committee to the U.S. trade representative and the Secretary of Commerce.
A past chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, he also serves on the boards of several educational foundations.
and Edouard Michelin
Brothers Andre (1853-1931) and Edouard (1850-1940) Michelin both had careers of their own when they banded together to save the small family business begun by their grandfather in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Ultimately, it led to their pioneering pneumatic tires for autos and the creation of what is now the world's largest tire maker-Groupe Michelin.
Andre joined the company first, followed later by Edouard, who would become its manager.
The factory was making brake shoes for horse-drawn carriages and other rubber products, when in 1891 Edouard developed an interest in tires after repairing a puncture for a cyclist passing through town and discovering the comfort the pneumatic tire offered.
A few months later the brothers invented a detachable bicycle tire and tested it in a local cycle race. Their rider placed first.
Four years later, they adapted their invention to the car, developing the first production process for manufacturing pneumatic tires.
Born in 1918 a few miles from Goodyear's Akron corporate headquarters, Charles Pilliod joined the tire manufacturer in 1941 as a production trainee.
After leaving to serve as a pilot in World War II, he rejoined the company as a sales staffer in its foreign operations.
He served in management positions for Goodyear operations in Panama, Costa Rica, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil, England, Scotland and Ireland.
He returned to Akron in 1966 as director of operations for Goodyear International, became a vice president of the subsidiary a year later, and in 1971 was elected its president. Later that year he became an executive vice president and a director of the parent company.
In 1972, he became Goodyear's president, and two years later its CEO and chairman. He retired from those posts in 1983, and resigned as a company director in 1986, when he was named U.S. ambassador to Mexico.
Keith Rowbotham began working in his father's used tire and vulcanizing business in 1933, doing whatever the job called for-from delivery boy to regroover.
At 16, he left to become a buffer in a Goodyear retreading plant, making foreman by age 17.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942 and served in the South Pacific during World War II until 1945, when he returned home on a hospital ship and received a medical discharge.
Within two weeks, Mr. Rowbotham was working for B.F. Goodrich as a warehouse manager. Several assignments later-shortly after his 21st birthday-he was named a store manager, remaining in that position until offered an opportunity by the Kelly-Springfield Tire Co.
In the following years he managed a large dealership, spent 15 years with the Oliver Rubber Co., and was a partner in a tire and retreading operation. Along the way he became active in the Northwest Tire Dealers Association.
After 12 years as a field representative and area director, he became the association's executive director in 1978, a position he held until retiring in 1993.
Mr. Rowbotham's lobbying efforts on behalf of tire dealers in the areas of tire taxes and scrap tire legislation got him appointed by the governor of Washington State as the first chairman of a state Scrap Tire Committee.
Oregon's governor appointed him to a similar committee, and Mr. Rowbotham helped write that state's scrap tire bill, which became a model law for 17 other states.
He has also served in a number of positions with the NTDRA and the American Retreaders Association, and has been an active lobbyist on the national level.
Tom Babcox joined his father, Edward S. Babcox in the family-owned publishing firm in 1946, eventually rising to chairman.
As publisher of automotive aftermarket trade magazines, including Tire Review, he was known as a visionary, quick to forecast aftermarket trends.
Mr. Babcox, who died in January 1995, passed on the Akron-based business to his son, Bill, who has been president of the company since 1991, and his daughter, Becky, publisher of Automotive Rebuilder.
The company publishes seven monthly business magazines.