Mickey Thompson holds more racing records than anyone on earth. His tyres revolutionised the racing world, were chosen for the Gulf War and benefit 4WDrivers of every level.
A Vow Is Made
In 1939 at age nine, Mickey witnessed John Cobbs break the land speed record. Mickey vowed that one day he would break that record. His determination and near genius IQ led to years of car and tyre innovations. The sling shot design was the most revolutionary drag car of it’s day and became the standard drag car design for the next 20 years. (Mickey’s Christmas tree starting lights and water filled crash barriers are still used today).
Mickey then designed and built “funny cars” which, in one year, won 164 races out of 172 starts.
Fastest Man on Earth
By 1958 Mickey was ready to become the fastest man on earth. But tyre companies were reluctant to build a 400 mph tyre. Even though Goodyear eventually did make one, Mickey and a brilliant tyre engineer, Gene McMannis, started their own tyre company that became an industry leader in racing and off-road tyres. Mickey Thompson became the fastest man on earth by travelling at 406.6 mph.
Shaking Up Indy
In 1963 Mickey designed revolutionary tyres for his cars in the Indy 500. Most tyres running then used a narrow tread with a hard rubber compound. Mickey’s tyres were made from a soft compound three times the width with a lower profile giving more stability and a lower centre point of gravity. Mickey’s new cars were almost banned because they were so superior to the other cars.
The Switch To Off-Road
Off-road racing began in the wilds of Baja Mexico in 1967. Mickey switched to the new sport, put American Iron V8’s into larger buggies and was named the Horsepower King.
He became famous for bringing the thrill of off-road racing to the stadium and convincing celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger to compete in events to raise thesport’s profile.
New Age Tyres
Together with Gene McMannis, his business partner and the technical genius in the company, Mickey built leading technology bias-belted offroad racing tyres. These tyres paved the way for the off-road tyres we use today in competition and recreation. At age 53, Mickey won the most gruelling off-road race of them all, the Baja 1000, and set a new time for the event.
Tyres Chosen For War
In 1991 the US Navy chose Mickey Thompson tyres for their SEAL Fast Attack Vehicles during the Gulf War.
After the war, US Special Forces expressed their gratitude in the US newspaper The Independent, “Mickey Thompson Performance Tires earned their ‘Stripes’ in Operation Desert Storm. Mickey Thompson tires took us all the way into Kuwait City, anywhere we wanted to go without one failure on any of our cars.” Their performance is a testament to the strength and integrity of all Mickey Thompson products.
Motorsports Hall Of Fame
During his life, Mickey participated in over 10,000 races, drove over one million race miles and won at least one championship in such diverse categories of auto racing as midgets, sprint cars, off-road vehicles, stock cars, drag racing and sports cars. But his contribution to motorsports goes far beyond his car building and driving skills. In 1990, Mickey Thompson was inducted in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.