Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

May 30, 2011

White Wall Tires

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

White wall tires represent real class!  At least in the days when I first owned a car.  All luxury cars had white wall tires!

My 1936 Chevy was a classic and considered a luxury car —  but the large 17 inch tires were black!  The car pre-dated the trend of white wall tires, and so I didn’t need white wall tires on it to have class.  It was class enough as it was.  (My First Car,

But later, my 1941 Plymouth was not a luxury car —  but I wanted white wall tires because almost all cars had them in the early 1950s.  In that era, marketing white walls for all cars was in high gear.  It seemed to be a badge of conformity if your car had white wall tires.  And like most people, I wanted to be in style!  I couldn’t afford white wall tires because they cost more, but even more, I didn’t yet need new tires!

Then I saw it!  As I rambled through a Good Year store in another town, I spotted it!  There was my answer — a can of white paint!  But not just any paint — a special paint intended to paint white walls on your present tires!

I couldn’t afford it that day, but it was my goal to purchase the paint.  Within a week I had the money.  Off to the Good Year store, and I purchased a can of that paint.  I hurried home to begin my paint project.  The tires had a small edge that made the perfect border.  I quickly jacked up one tire so that the pressure would be off the tire and the rubber could absorb the paint evenly.  I had to allow a few minutes drying time, and then I lowered the jack so that my “new” white wall was on the ground.  I stood back and with admiration of my work expressed excitement.  I then proceeded to paint the next three tires, one at a time.  Within an hour, I had a car with white wall tires!  Oh, I was so proud!

Un less you have experienced this, you would not know that after pride goes a fall!  Sure enough, within a few weeks the paint began to crack — it looked awful.  It was obvious that I did not have genuine white wall tires. I hastened to repaint the tires.  And once again, they looked real!

Regardless of the advertisements and promises of the manufacturer, you could tell the difference between the painted white walls and the real white wall tires.  (I guess that might border on a sermon about hypocrisy–you can tell the genuine from the false.)

Once the tires were painted, there is no undoing.  You cannot remove the paint.  But I wanted to go back to my old black wall tires.  I thought of a way.  So, I began the laborious task.  I took each wheel, broke down the tire, removed it from the rim, and remounted it in reverse –that is, I turned the white wall to the inside.  Though the markings were different, a black wall now appeared!  Unless you looked closely, you would not know that I had the back side of the tire on the outside.

Again, I was proud of my accomplishment, and would you know, in later years when white wall tires were not the trend, and people wanted to be in trend, they began to do the exact thing — turning the white walls to the inside!

Before I was to sell the old Plymouth, new adaptations for white walls appeared.  You could buy a rubberized white wall that could be glued to the tire.  So, I tried them — but soon the flaw in these appeared.  With water puddles, hot sun, and perhaps carelessness in glueing, the “fake” white wall began to come loose!  Why, oh why, did I keep trying to have white wall tires?

By the time I bought my next car, real white walls were the standard and the car had “real” white walls!  They were several inches wide.  They were huge!  But as trends go, the large white wall gave in to narrow white walls.  I couldn’t ever catch up with the trend!  (Chartreuse Socks,

About the time I purchased a new set of tires on sale with the narrow white walls –what to my amazement, the new cars on the market featured black wall tires — white walls were out of fashion!  So, once again, I was behind the trend!

Sometimes trying to keep up with styles and trends can be frustrating and even painful.  Most of us do not desire to be seen as an odd-ball!  But is joy and happiness in life really about trends and styles?

All that fuss and confusion over tires!  Obviously, I wanted to be “up-to-date” with the latest!  But what might I have done if I had used that energy and focus on something more valuable?

Hopefully, I am mature enough now not to fall into a mode of seeking to be like everyone else or the expectation  of the world.  My desire is to give primary focus on following Jesus Christ.  Now that is a trend with reward and contentment!

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus . . . .”  (Hebrews 12:20) 




  1. It is so true still today:just follow television sets for example. Small black and white, bigger and then color. Now the tv sets have grown to wall size in HD and the newest..3D! And try to keep up with the latest technology in cell phones and computers!! Buy some new gadget and before it is paid off on the credit card, it is out-dated!

    Comment by elaine — May 30, 2011 @ 6:29 am | Reply

  2. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. This is the answer to ALL! Thank you for such a great reminder Pastor Jolly!

    Comment by doriswhite — February 13, 2012 @ 11:30 am | Reply

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