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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Oldfield Tires: 1921

Oldfield Tires: 1921

Washington, D.C., circa 1921. "Lehman's Tire shop, H Street N.W." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


The Oldfield 999 was one of the models in the Oldfield Tires catalogue, not the prize.

So, the numbers in the sign refers to this model of tire. Oldfield Tire & Rubber was incorporated under Ohio laws in 1918, as a subsidiary selling second-line tires from Firestone. The central offices were at Akron and Barney Oldfield was president.

I Want Some!

I didn't know Barney Oldfield had his name on a line of tires. Oldfield was not just an early racer, he is one of the first, and greatest, auto racing legends and speed demons of all time! Barney was the man to beat! Barney beat the pants off Louis Chevrolet. I want Barney Oldfield tires on MY car!

Tire Sale

As the ad says, size 30x3 is $8.95, and 30x3½ is $9.95. Those sizes were the most popular for Ford Model T's at the time. So like today, he is having a blowout sale!

High Rollers

The price is for one not four -- the sizes listed are for really big tires, like for Locomobiles and Rolls-Royces. They were big and expensive then, and they are big and expensive now.

En-Tire Satisfaction Assured

I'll take a set of Victor "Milage Hog" cords, please. Given the discussion on prices below, I would guess the prices in the following 1923 ad are for a set of four.


Entire Stock of "Big Size" Automobile Tires

You're in luck if you own a large car. Now is the chance to replace your old tires with brand new ones; right at the beginning of the touring season, and before the Shrine guests arrive, at big money-saving prices. Take advantage of this offer today, and be assured of en-tire satisfaction.

(click to enlarge)

Full Service

Note the gas pump (by the Polarine sign), water can and air hose by the curb. This was quite a place of business. Tires during that period rarely lasted more than 1,000 miles!

Oldfield Brand

Could it be that this Oldfield is the same as Barney Oldfield? If so, he raced a car numbered "999" early in the century. Since the large "999" on the sign doesn't appear to have a decimal point, and $8.99 and $9.99 are clearly prices, could the large "999" be a reference to Barney and his car?

[Hmmm. Barney Oldfield, you say? Fascinating theory. - Dave]


Without the decimal in the number, I thought 999 referred to the Ford racer Oldfield drove for Henry. I guess it is the price.

Still Available!

Similar tires are available today for the low, low price of $295:

Don't forget new innertubes, flaps, etc, plus probably two spares for cars of this era.

Barney Oldfield was an early racer, and incidentally was also largely responsible for bringing the rubber tire to farm tractors, replacing the cleated steel wheels that worked fine in the field, but not so hot on roads.

You can lock up tonight, Sammy!

I pity the employee who has to take in the tires at the end of the day!


Tires were expensive back then! $9.99 then would be about $115 now. Guess we can't complain when some cars can get two steel belted radials installed for that price. And of course they last much longer too.

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