Ammo Delivery with Nobby Tread Tires

If you are traveling by automobile this summer, you have likely given some thought to the condition of your tires. It is an important safety consideration no matter what terrain you are traversing, but imagine your level of concern if you were hurtling through Mexico over treacherous roads to deliver ammunition to the Mexican Rebel Army. According to 1914 newspapers, that was the exact situation for those pictured below.

I wish the picture was clearer. I tried to enhance it using AI, but that only provided marginal improvement.

Unfortunately, the caption that goes along with the photo does not even indicate what type of car it is, or who was doing the supplying, but it does extol the virtues of using “Nobby Tread” tires under such arduous circumstances.  The caption also explains that the car made three round trips between Brownsville, Texas, and Victoria, Mexico, to deliver the ammo amid the revolution, a bloody struggle to end a dictatorship and establish a constitutional republic led by familiar names like Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata. The roads were hazardous, and capture would have meant certain death, so reliable tires were more than mere luxury.

Nobby Tread tires were a product of the United States Tire Company which was owned by United States Rubber. This advertisement gives a closer look at the tire:

Notice this advertisement refers to the Nobby as “one of the five.” This is a reference to the one plain tread and four anti-skid tires being produced by the company at that time.

This advertisement avers that drivers will experience 90% fewer punctures with the Nobby than with other tires.

Who knows if that was a true statement, but if you were speeding over questionable roads through a war-torn country to deliver bullets to one side, and under a hot Mexican sun, no less, the Nobby Tread was likely the smart tire choice.

This photo, also taken in 1914, features a new Cadillac ambulance outfitted with Nobby Tread tires in the city of San Francisco.