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Corky Coker of Coker Tires sits down with Arizona Auto Scene at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale

Barrett-Jackson Keeps 'em Rolling off the Block as the Bidding Moves to the Weekend

Scottsdale, Arizona (January 26, 2013) — Started by Harold  Coker in 1958, the mission of the Coker Tire Company was to manufacture era specific tires for vintage vehicles.  Today, Coker Tires continues to manufacture quality wheels and tires for vintage, collector and muscle cars.  Corky Coker has been at the helm of Coker Tires since 1974.

Manufacturing up to 1,500 unique tires from acquired molds of discontinued tires or new molds created from original vintage tire blueprints, Coker Tires can provide tires and wheels for just about any kind of vehicle.  Through licensing agreements with major manufacturers, vintage tire brands such as B.F. Goodrich, Firestone, Michelin and U.S. Royal.  Although they don’t own the brand yet, they are the largest distributor of M & H drag tires.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Corky at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale Collector Automobile Auction last week in Scottsdale where he took the time to tell us about the company and show off tires and wheels Coker Tires manufactures and sells.  Growing up in the back seat of a 1910 Rio and being a collector himself, Corky says they are very passionate about what they do.

Celebrating 55 years in business, Coker Tires has distribution centers in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Los Angles.

The Los Angles facility manufactures wheels using 600 pound presses, CNC machinery and robotic welders.  They have the ability to produce anything from a 10″ wheel to a 27″ wheel.  Send them your hub and Coker Tires can also deliver you a custom, one-off wood wheel for your vintage ride.  Corky tells us that “Theoretically, you can see hoops of steel on one end of the building and tires and wheels, powder coated, painted and chromed being shipped out on the other end.” Everything from original OEM, to wire wheels for hot rods, to all steel wheels are all made from scratch at this facility.

The only portion of the manufacturing process Coker Tires outsources is the chrome work.  Corky says it’s more feasible to have their wheels just south of the California border in Tijuana.

At any given time, Coker Tires is developing as many a 300 new products for auto enthusiasts and their cars.  They were the first in the world to develop a wide white wall radial tire that a true white wall from birth.  Their hottest seller is American Classic Coker Classic radials.  Corky says this is due to a lot of people building 50’s, 60’s and 70’s classic cars that want to drive them.  Those who just want to show them are going for the original tire of the era.

With over 1,500 tire skews, Corky says their products can be found on many of the cars being auctioned in the Valley during auction week.

The Cokers also own Honest Charlie’s Speed Shop, the first mail order speed shop in the world.  Honest Charlie’s Speed Shop went out of business in 1989.  Corky believed it was worth saving, and did just than in 2000.  Corky refers to Honest Charlie’s as a “hard-core hot rod shop.”  The first focus for Honest Charlie’s is to develop new products, however franchise expansion of the Speed Shop could be in the future.

We asked Corky why he chose to display at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Automobile Auction over the other auctions going on in the Valley at the same time.  His answer is that “Barrett-Jackson is a happening event.”  He says that while he is a sponsor of some of the other auctions, Barrett-Jackson is an “experience” and a great opportunity to attract a part of the market that may not have heard of Coker Tires.  Coker Tires is already well-known among the Gooding and RM auction crowds, but at Barrett-Jackson there is a new friend and potential customer walking up to Coker Tires booth every 5 minutes.

Arizona Auto Scene agrees.  Barrett-Jackson truly is an experience!

You can learn more about the Coker Tire Company by clicking here.

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