If you’re a hot rodder, then you have probably heard of the “Deuce of Spades” movie. If you haven’t heard of it, do yourself a favor and order it now! We’re huge fans of the movie, and we’re even bigger fans of the black ’32 Ford roadster that stars in it. This thing is a stripped down highboy and it gets around Southern California to many promotional events, film festivals and more. The car had a set of our Firestone Deluxe Champion blackwall tires on it but they were worn out, so we brought her into our City of Industry, California location and installed a new set of Firestone 5.60-15 and 7.50-16 tires. Faith Granger is responsible for the movie production, and she’s fully involved in the hot rod community. Check out her roadster with the new rubber, and be sure to check out her movie!
Every year, we make our way out to the Grand National Roadster Show, held at the Pomona Fairplex in sunny Southern California. It’s the place where the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster is crowned, and it’s also an awesome place to see hot rods, customs, gassers, low riders and more. Although there are some exceptions, nearly everything on the grounds is sitting on tires and/or wheels from Coker Tire, so it’s a great place for us to take a bunch of pictures and show off some of our product. Take a look at our 40 favorite photos from the 2015 Grand National Roadster Show and also, watch our Instagram feed and Facebook page for up-to-the-minute posts from the show!
JANUARY 10 World of Wheels, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Every year, the O’Reilly World of Wheels comes to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and it’s held at the Chattanooga Convention Center, which is next door to our world headquarters. For 2014, we displayed a variety of barn finds, restorations, and custom builds, including the Car Warriors ’62 Thunderbird, Corky’s ’54 Buick Century, the Ford F-100 panel truck “billboard”, the ’49 Ford Business Coupe barn find, Harold Coker’s American Underslung, the Double Exposure ’32 Ford roadster and more!
JANUARY 22 COI Grand Opening City of Industry, California
Although Coker Tire already had a West Coast Distribution Center, the decision was made to move closer to our core customers. This also gave the Coker Group an opportunity to include all of its wheel manufacturing under the same roof. This facility is a HUGE step for the Coker Group, offering faster (and cheaper) shipping to Southern California customers, and it’s also a cool destination for folks to check out. Lots of cool motorcycles and hot rods on hand!
JANUARY 24 Grand National Roadster Show Pomona, California
One of the most prestigious car shows in the country is the Grand National Roadster Show, thanks to its “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” award. This event offers up some of the greatest hot rods and customs, many of them rolling on Coker Tire products! We set up there as a vendor, and it’s always a show that grabs our attention!
FEBRUARY 01 Begin production of wood wheels in house, Chattanooga, Tennessee
As you probably know, we make a big effort to offer customers a complete package. We offer tires, wheels, tubes, and many other accessories to complete any tire and wheel order. One piece of that puzzle that was missing was wooden wheels. We are now building wooden wheels for just about ANY automotive or truck application. It is a major undertaking, but we’re taking orders and filling them quickly!
FEBRUARY 05 Backroad Gold Premiere, Travel Channel
Our CEO, Corky Coker has a love for barn finds, and was approached to film a TV show called “Backroad Gold” for the Travel Channel. He teamed up with his son-in-law Greg Cunningham and the crew at Honest Charley Garage to crank out eight complete builds for the show. In addition to the eight featured cars, Corky bought a bunch of other cars, trucks and motorcycles during the filming process, some of which can be seen and even purchased here at our headquarters.
MARCH 11 2014 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Amelia Island, Florida
Every year, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is one of the biggest high end shows that we attend. Corky made it a family adventure in 2014, and displayed his American Underslung touring car, alongside his father Harold’s newly-restored American Underslung Touring.
APRIL 04 SEMA Town Hall, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Just like your home town has Town Hall meeting, the SEMA organization hosts the same type of meetings for its members. This past spring, Coker Tire was the gathering place for the meeting, allowing business owners, SEMA officials, and local politicians to discuss important topics regarding our industry. Some of the folks stayed an extra day in Chattanooga to check out the Chattanooga Cruise In.
APRIL 05 Spring Chattanooga Cruise-In, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Record breaking crowds invaded the Southside of Chattanooga for the Spring Chattanooga Cruise In. We host this event, blocking off the streets and parking lots surrounding our headquarters. We couldn’t get an accurate car count because of the overwhelming number of participants, but it was well over 1,000 classic cars and trucks. It was crazy, and we’re doing it again on April 11, 2015. Mark your calendars!
APRIL 23 Spring Carlisle, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
We make several trips to Pennsylvania every year, and Spring Carlisle is a big one for us. We see a bunch of people at this event, and sell a bunch of product, so it’s a must-go for us each year. Carlisle, Pennsylvania is a hotspot for car events and we feel right at home!
APRIL 25 Speedfest at the Classic Motorsports Mitty, Road Atlanta
This year was our first time sponsoring and participating in “The Mitty” just down the road from us at Road Atlanta. It was a very cool event with an overwhelming amount of high end sports cars and vintage race cars.
MAY 28 Shelby Cobras visit, Chattanooga, Tennessee
We are hosts to thousands of visitors each year, offering tours of our headquarters in Chattanooga, including Corky’s Museum. One of the most epic groups to visit Coker in 2014 was a group of REAL DEAL Shelby Cobras. These guys and gals were driving their 289 and 427 Cobras and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing these very rare and very expensive cars grace our parking lot. Register for a Coker Tire Company tour now!
JUNE 02 Coker Tire Company Lookouts Picnic, Chattanooga, Tennessee
We stay pretty busy around here, but we try to slow down and enjoy ourselves. Our company picnic was held at a Chattanooga Lookouts baseball game, and we made it “Collector Car Night” by putting on a cool display of classic cars and trucks!
JUNE 19 2014 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty, Maine to Florida
Wow. That is the only word to describe the Great Race. It’s a marathon run that lasts nearly two weeks for our Marketing Team, not to mention all of the setup before the event happens. The 2014 Great Race traveled from Ogunquit, Maine to The Villages, Florida this year and it was an incredible car guy journey. What’s the route for 2015??? ROUTE 66…yes, this is going to be good. Check out www.greatrace.com for more info.
JULY 08 Chevrolet Nomad Convention, Chattanooga, Tennessee
By far, the biggest group visit of 2014 goes to the Chevrolet Nomad Convention, who had its annual show at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. They visited Coker, and blew us away with the number of cars and people on hand. It was an amazing turnout of cool Chevy wagons from across the country! Register for a Coker Tire Company tour now!
JULY 25 2014 Kickstart Classic, Chattanooga, Tennessee
We love vintage motorcycles, and offer a bunch of great tire options for old bikes. The Kickstart Classic is a vintage motorcycle road trip that made a stop at our place during its journey. Lots of great bikes and people were on hand for this one–big time fun!
AUGUST 15 Corvair Club Visit, Chattanooga, Tennessee
The Chevy Corvair has a big following, as these distinct compact cars are quite different than most Chevys on the road. With a rear engine design and unique styling, Corvair cars, trucks and vans are always fun to spot at car shows. In 2014, a whole group of them visited Coker Tire, giving us the chance to see convertibles, coupes, station wagons and more! Register for a Coker Tire Company tour now!
AUGUST 16-18 Monterey Motorsports Reunion and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Monterey, California
Ok, this is a big one! Monterey Car Week is an absolute blast, and it’s a chance for Corky and Wade to hang out with all of their awesome car guy buddies from around the world. From the Pebble Beach Concours to the historic races as Laguna Seca, this is one awesome week.
AUGUST 20 Jaguar Club Visit, Chattanooga, Tennessee
It’s hard to find a more elegant British sports car than a Jaguar. These cars are valuable and just plain fun, and we had the pleasure of opening our doors to a group of Jag owners back in the summer. Register for a Coker Tire Company tour now!
SEPTEMBER 07 Motorcycle Cannonball, Chattanooga, Tennessee
The Motorcycle Cannonball is an unbelievable motorcycle adventure, that goes cross country. This year, we were fortunate to be an overnight stop for the guys, and it was an amazing display of Harley Davidson, Indian, and MANY more rare and very valuable bikes. This event is for diehard riders, and we watched as these guys and gals wrenched on their bikes for many hours to prepare for the next day’s ride. Awesome stuff!
SEPTEMBER 13 Fall Chattanooga Cruise-In, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Our Fall Chattanooga Cruise In event is a lot of fun, and we invited all of our car buddies to come hang out at our place for a day. We had a blast, and gave away some cool stuff before it was all said and done. Folks come from all around to be a part of the Chattanooga Cruise In!
SEPTEMBER 17 Rat Rod Tour Group, Chattanooga, Tennessee
We were blown away with the Rat Rod group that paid us a visit in September. These folks know how to have a good time, and you’ll have a hard time finding a more creative group of car guys anywhere. We had a blast showing them around the place, and spent plenty of time looking at their creations. Register for a Coker Tire Company tour now!
SEPTEMBER 18 Coker Tire Challenge, Chattanooga, Tennessee
The third weekend of September is always the Coker Tire Challenge, our own vintage car rally. Each day starts and finishes here in Chattanooga, and it’s a great chance to see a lot of cool scenery that Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama have to offer. It’s always a lot of fun to see the cars on the back roads of our stomping grounds and we look forward to the Coker Tire Challenge every year.
SEPTEMBER 27 Somernites Cruise, Somerset, Kentucky
For the past few years, we’ve been a sponsor of the Somernites Power Cruise event, which is a driving event with a destination of downtown Somerset, Kentucky. It’s one of the biggest cruise in events in the Southeast, and we’re glad to be a part of it. The night before our drive to Somerset, we host a cookout and cruise in to get things kicked off in fine fashion.
OCTOBER 16 2014 Fall Hershey, Hershey, Pennsylvania
We refer to it simply as “Hershey”, but it’s the biggest event for our on-the-road sales staff of the year. We get to see all of our buddies and sell them some tires! If you like old cars and you’ve never been to Hershey, you’re missing out. It’s the best swap meet you’ve ever seen!
NOVEMBER 01 Launch brand new website, Worldwide
Our web team is always working to make the customer experience better, faster and easier. A huge step in making that happen involved a complete revamp of our website. These guys started from scratch and reworked the functionality and performance of our site. The Checkout process is super simple, and it’s now easier to shop than ever. If you have a few minutes, browse the homepage!
NOVEMBER 02 2014 SEMA Show, Las Vegas, Nevada
In terms of marketing and showing off new products, the SEMA Show is the big one. We make a huge effort to make this event unforgettable and this year was no different. We debuted a brand new booth design and had an array of incredible cars and motorcycles on display (all wearing our tires and wheels of course!).
NOVEMBER 03 New Products launched at SEMA, Las Vegas, Nevada
We debuted three new products at the SEMA Show, and they’re all available for purchase now. We expanded our American Classic Bias Look Radial product line to include Blackwalls, and then expanded our Firestone Dirt Track line to include 11.00-15 and 11.00-16 sizing. Two brand new products are Firestone 275-21 and 300-21 motorcycle tires, which are geared toward custom motorcycles and choppers.
NOVEMBER 05 Harold Coker Inducted into TIA Hall of Fame, Las Vegas, Nevada
The founder of Coker Tire Company, Harold Coker, paved the way for our company to succeed, and his impact on the industry earned him a spot in the Tire Industry Association Hall of Fame. Only a couple weeks after receiving this honor, Harold passed away at the age of 84. It was an overwhelming shock to the Coker family and all the folks who knew and loved Harold–he will be greatly missed.
DECEMBER 05 How it’s Made “Wood Wheels”, Science Channel
Shortly after launching our wooden wheel services, we were approached by the folks at “How It’s Made”. They came to our place and filmed the entire process, which aired for the first time in December. The show covered the wooden wheel services, and the process of building the steel components of the wheel all the way through the final step of bonding the wooden wheel to the steel rim.
DECEMBER 06 Mooneyes, Yokohama, Japan
Our company has many international distributors, and we wanted to make our presence known at one of the biggest hot rod and custom motorcycle shows in the world. The Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show is a place where trends are set, and we were glad to be on hand for the 2014 event. You wouldn’t believe how many Coker products were in use at this event–it was amazing!
The hot rod and custom motorcycle scene is rapidly growing in Japan, and its popularity is clearly evident at the annual Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show. This is a one-day event that draws builders and spectators from many different countries. The United States is represented at the show, including a few of our folks from Coker Tire! This was our first time as a vendor at the show, and we had an awesome time among thousands of hot rodders and motorcycle builders. Our tires have a huge following in Japan, so we had plenty to talk about during the event. Our President, Wade Kawasaki and his wife Rose attended the event, and made lots of great contacts and saw lots of great machinery!
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Harold Coker. Harold is loved and respected across our community and throughout the collector car community the world over. His passion for collector cars and people have influenced so many over the years, and while we are saddened to lose him, we rejoice that he is now at the throne of our God in heaven surrounded by angels.
Continue to lift the entire Coker family up in your thoughts and prayers as we all mourn the loss of this great man.
Regardless of your climate, the late fall and winter season is typically a slow time for your collector vehicle. During winter months, most collector vehicles sit in a garage–this down time is sometimes used for repairs, maintenance or upgrades, while many cars sit dormant for the winter months. This downtime can wreak havoc on an old car if you’re not prepared. Tires play a big part in successfully storing a collector vehicle, so listen up and protect your car from old man winter!
We spent another day on our feet at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. We walked the aisles, spoke with customers, and enjoyed the networking opportunities that only the SEMA Show can provide. We continue to find vehicles with Coker Tire products in use, so we snapped a few pictures to share with you here. Tonight was the annual SEMA Awards Banquet, which is the highlight of the event, where the best of the best come together for a great dinner and a great ceremony. Check out our photo highlights from today!
And this isn’t just any old coupe…it’s actually a brand new coupe. It’s a new all steel 1932 Ford five window coupe body, manufactured by United Pacific, who is actually a supplier for many other items, such as hubcaps, trim rings and many other accessories for hot rods and customs. Earlier this year, we were contacted by the folks at United Pacific and they let us know about a very cool project car that they were having built at Roy Brizio Street Rods. The car was unveiled at the SEMA Show on Tuesday morning, and it was VERY well received by a crowd of street rod icons, such as Vic Edelbrock, Brian Brennan and more!
Rutledge Wood is one of the most popular personalities in the car world. His career on TV started with NASCAR, and while he continues to work in that field, he also has a gig on the History Channel with a show called Top Gear. One of three hosts, Rutledge offers a distinct level of excitement and comedy to the show, and he’s a real deal car guy. Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to be a part of his 1953 Plymouth Suburban station wagon build, which was scheduled to debut at the 2014 Hot Rod Power Tour. And now, it’s on the car show circuit, including the SEMA Show.
It’s been said that car guys and girls who work in the automotive aftermarket have the best jobs in the world. And it’s true! We surround ourselves with awesome people each and every day, but the SEMA Show is like sensory overload. We’re shaking hands, talking business, drooling over cool cars, and having a good time doing it. Today, we had a great time covering the event, and hung out with a lot of cool people…like Rutledge Wood. Stay tuned for a full blog feature and video feature on his Plymouth station wagon, which rolls on whitewalls from Coker Tire! For now, check out today’s highlights, and be sure to watch our Facebook and Instagram feed for up-to-the-minute posts!