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Ajax Tires – Guaranteed for 5,000 miles!

Published in blog.hemmings.com

Can you imagine buying tires for your car knowing that they are only guaranteed to last 5,000 miles? Considering that the average American motorist drives 12,000 to 15,000 miles every year, that means your Ajax tires would only have lasted 2.4 to 3 months, maybe a half-year if you were lucky. In 1907, Ajax Tires was rightly proud to make that bold claim, after all, back then it probably took a motorist a year or two (if not more) to accumulate 5,000 miles.

Back in November 1974, I bought my first set of new tires. The month previous I bought my first car, a 1968 Triumph Spitfire MKIII and two of its tires were bald. I was only able to afford two new tires, so for a mere $34 each, I bought a pair of Pirelli Cinturato CN 54s. They were guaranteed to last something like 50,000 miles, which was unheard of back then. These “steel belted radials” were cutting-edge tire designs at the time, along with the high-performance Cinturato CN 36s, and oh boy did they help transform my Spitfire’s handling.

The one statement in this ad that has me puzzled is “Write for copy of Guarantee, stating what size tire you are using.” Does this mean that the mileage guarantee is different for each tire size, or do they just want to know which tire size you need? I also find it quite funny to read that Ajax had a tire factory in New York City. It sure would be interesting to know where, although the Williamsburg-Greenpoint section of Brooklyn would be my best guest.