Hall Of Fame 2009

John Collins
American Crane, Inc

John Collins is the owner of American Crane, Inc. in Garner, Iowa. He has a 47-year history in the Off-the-Road (OTR) tire industry, beginning in 1962 with the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, where he became motivated to create better equipment and improve working conditions. In 1969, John joined Iowa Mold Tooling, (IMT), where he established the IMT crane division, as well as the OTR tire service product line. John created and patented the IMT Tire Hand, which is used worldwide by independent tire dealers, rubber companies, and mining companies. In 1982, John left IMT to establish Collins Equipment Company, where he developed the Mini-OTR tire service truck. John launched American Crane Inc. (ACI) in 1996. ACI has developed a complete process for re-manufacturing used OTR equipment to the point of new warranty. ACI also has developed a complete line of new OTR tire handling equipment and produces custom manufacturer OTR service trucks for a worldwide market.

John has spent his entire career developing tools and equipment for handling OTR tires in a more efficient and safer manner. He holds many patents on specialty tools and equipment; he is currently working on a 10,000 PSI hydraulic system to operate jacks and bead breakers with a remote-controlled system, a complete equipment preventive maintenance program, and a very detailed cost analysis program. He has also given much of his time and energy to the tire industry, including serving as Chairman of the Supplier Group for the old NTDRA – a forerunner of TIA – from 1981-1982.

John Kelsey
Kelsey Tire

John Kelsey is President of Kelsey Tire in Camdenton, Missouri. With earnings saved from his service to our country in Vietnam (where, as an infantryman, his decorations include the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medals), he purchased a used pickup truck, bought a quantity of blemished, Armstrong Model “A” tires, and headed to a Kansas swap meet. From these humble beginnings over 39 years ago, he has built Kelsey Tire, Inc. into one of the country’s largest distributors of vintage automobile tires.

In 1980, after 10 years of developing and distributing various private-brand lines of vintage auto tires through a network of regional warehouses, he became the first exclusive distributor for and developer of the Goodyear Collector Series vintage tire family. More importantly, he became the first person to negotiate the first off-take agreement for the production of Goodyear-brand tires outside the Goodyear worldwide plant system. He was also the first to develop and place the Goodyear Performance Group as the most comprehensive and authentic Muscle Car tire selection. He became the first to bring the development of Goodyear O. E. Kevlar and Polysteel tires to the vintage auto tire market. Another first was achieved with the development of the fully DOT 139 compliant Goodyear Classic wide whitewall radials produced in a U. S. Goodyear North American tire factory.