GENEVA, Switzerland—Goodyear went both retro and futuristic at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show to showcase the company's technical prowess.
On the retro side, Goodyear displayed the recently restored Golden Sahara II, an "iconic" customer car of the late 1950s that incorporated a number of sensor-based autonomous driving features and rolled on a set of translucent Goodyear tires that were illuminated from the inside.
Based on a 1953 Lincoln Capri and developed by Jim Street and legendary custom car designer George Barris, the Golden Sahara II was a platform for testing electronics systems, Goodyear said, including an aircraft-inspired control lever for acceleration, braking and steering and an automatic braking system that used sensors to detect potential objects in the car's path.
The car's rotational-molded tires were developed by Goodyear using Neothane, a translucent form of synthetic rubber, and contained internal lighting, which allowed them to glow.
The Golden Sahara II surfaced last year and was snapped up by collector Larry Klairmont, whose Klairmont Kollections then restored it to its original luster. The task of bringing the Golden Sahara II back to life ultimately fell to Chicago's Speakeasy Customs' Gregory Alonzo, who committed to getting Neothane concept tires like those Goodyear developed decades earlier.