Agreed. It would appear that they relied on the 2019 interview I gave to the Press and Guide (local newspaper) and Wikipedia. Obviously didn't read my book, which I spent 13 months researching.
The tire is always one of my land marks when passing through Detroit. Ever since I was a kid I look for it every trip and always pleased to see it still there.
Not of trivia. I worked with a number of BFG employees at the time they purchased Uniroyal. Their new name for the purchase was Unrich.
Most people don't realize that the original wheel is still there. When they updated it in 1994, they added the new wheel sections and tire shoulders on top. My book has a great photo of the new sections being installed over the original. You can still see the original if you are fortunate enough to be allowed inside.
Seeing the original hubcap and tire from your interior photo gave me a very similar idea. Restorations back to original are quite routine and considered "the standard"... Think of the main floor in the Ford Service building (7310 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI) which had its muraled ceilings covered by a 1960s-era drop ceiling when used as a state office building, eventually to be removed and put back on display. Bias-ply tires haven't been used on a new car in 45 years, so there isn't much concern about the public being confused by their slightly different shape.
In its present configuration, it looks as dated as it would have in 1994. The Lexus-styled rim may perfectly represent an anonymous, commodity-car of the 90s, but I don't think that's considered beneficial in 2022 unless you're selling aftermarket floor mats. A square-shouldered bias-ply, with a golden-era-of-Detroit wheelcover/whitewall would have a lot more "pop" and legitimate history than it does now.
You must have not seen it in person for several years.
In 2003, Uniroyal spent $1 Million to remove the 11 foot nail that had been stuck in it for 5 years, repair the interior structure and base, install new storm drains and new asphalt and fencing.
They also pay a lawn service to maintain the surrounding area.
Funny how memories fade and change over the years.
The ride actually made 3 uninterrupted revolutions. The total ride length was 10 minutes. The gondolas were cantilevered out from the wheel, so you would have been able to see a 180° field of view, except for when you were at the bottom, inside the base. (See the photos for reference)
The drivers' real names were Kaye Kaiser, Jake Plumstead and Cliff Cudney, and yes, were real stunt drivers.
Thank you Steven for your time and consideration. This post really made my day. I remembered UNI, ROY and AL while watching an episode of American Gladiators and wondering how they found a guy named "Turbo". LOL !!