Monday, November 19, 2007

A Last Look at Tire Ads

We ran out of days last week before I could show this terrific Armstrong Tire ad, contributed by Pau Medrano, the graphic designer from Barcelona who requested last week's look at 40's and 50's tire ads. The artwork isn't by Keith Ward, who usually did the Armstrong cartoon rhino ads. This one's by Frederick Siebel, another great illustrator who I'll be spending a week on at some time in the future.

For comparison's sake, I had another Armstrong Tire ad by Keith Ward tucked away. Thought I'd share it with you before we move on...

And out of the blue, TI list member Bruce Hettema sent along this wonderful Atlas Tire ad drawn by Charlie Allen, who's work we looked at just a few weeks ago. I sent the image to Charlie and he replied with this amusing anecdote:

"The example Bruce sent was a series... portraying a fictitious family. The dad, our lettering guy and all around 'everyman' model. Used him many times. The boy was a kid in our neighborhood who mowed lawns for 50 cents. His five dollar model fees totally spoiled him...and the neighborhood economy! The Atlas billboards were typical schmaltz, smiling Chevron guys holding or looking through a tire. I sent a gag comp over to BBD&O of one of them looking through a toilet seat....a few yuks!"

* You can see the full size versions of these images in my Auto Ads Flickr set.


  1. Loss of original illustrations or paintings in the family, is a real tragedy for the family... perhaps even more so than for the artist who did them, had he been living. That may sound strange to some, but Dick Logan commented about his father Maurice Logan... a top illustrator in San Francisco from the 20's through the 50's. Maurice stored most of his fine art watercolor paintings in his studio, at his home in Oakland, CA. One year a mudslide destroyed most of his watercolors, and Dick said that his dad shrugged it off and immediately started painting more watercolors. It had to be a punch in the gut, but he recovered quickly and didn't let it effect his great enjoyment of painting scenes on location, which he loved doing on the weekends.

    Understandably, to the family, those paintings are like having an important piece of that loved one.

    Tom Watson

  2. Anonymous9:55 PM

    I knew another artist who worked for Armstrong Tire, Eldon Morgan. I almost positive he work on "grip the road" ads. Just curious if you heard or seen any of his work?

  3. I'm sorry, anonymous, I have not.