Cinturato: speed and safety

Cinturato: speed and safety

In the late Fifties and early Sixties, the Cinturato gradually became known as " the safest tyre for the most powerful cars", the one that " defeats centrifugal force" and that guarantees " cornering safety". And later it was also the tyre " for elegant cars".

A high-end positioning that was graphically emphasised by the magnificent advertising campaign photographed by Mulas in 1962, in which the tyre was once again paired with the female figure, as in the era of Dudovich.

However, Mulas's absorbed and self-possessed girls actually seem to suggest a new key to the reading of the Cinturato product image: no longer was it just about speed and power - male myths - but now also comprised safety and reliability, aspects appealing to the first generations of young female drivers…By no means coincidentally, Mulas's advertising campaign also included the "Sempione Safety Shoulder", the more reliable version of the conventional Sempione cross-ply range.

So as to avoid over-emphasising the safety aspect of the Cinturato at the expense of its sporting image, in 1965 Mulas trained his lenses on Juan Manuel Fangio too. "I once raced with the Pirelli Stelvio", said the Argentine World Champion in the advertising copy, "Today I've got the Cinturato on my car. It's a tyre that's truly different to the others. What's most surprising is the absolute driving precision. Extraordinary". The talented Riccardo Manzi was to return to the safety theme once more the following year for the "Andiamo sul sicuro" or "Let's go for safety" campaign, and he was himself followed by another genius (two geniuses in fact: as Arrigo Castellani was also involved): Pino Tovaglia who emphasised the Cinturato's dual nature with the "Un viaggio ma" or "A trip but" campaign highlighting the close ties between the pleasure of sporting driving and the tranquillity of absolute safety.

The photo gallery shows a range of the most famous Pirelli Cinturato advertisements.

Conquering the World

Cinturato: The photo gallery shows a range of the most famous Pirelli Cinturato advertisements

It was in the late Sixties that the Cinturato could truly be said to have established itself on the automotive market. Above all, it was by now well-known on an international level: 1968 saw the famous advertising campaign - again conceived by Pino Tovaglia - that explains how in all the various languages of the world "belted" is always and exclusively "Cinturato".

"In Italy too (and in Great Britain, France, Sweden, the United States, Brazil…) as on all the markets where Pirelli produces or exports, the Cinturato has established itself as the safest radial; the Cinturato carcass is embraced by a fabric belt that prevents the deformation of the tyre even at high speeds and allows it to grip the road with the full tread width: the very flexible sidewalls ensure excellent ride comfort. Safe through corners, safe on the straights, safe under braking, safe at speed, safe in the wet."

The success the new tyre was enjoying was aptly described by Giulio Cappa in The Future is Radial published in issue No. 5-6, May/June 1968, of the Pirelli Magazine. At the Turin Motor Show of that year, the Pirelli Cinturato range comprised the "H", "HS"

Rally Triumphs

Cinturato: Rally Triumphs

These were the years in which the Cinturato picked up where the Pirelli BS3 had left off in rallying. A fantastic product and an undoubted commercial success, the BS3 with its separated tread merits its own chapter in the history of Pirelli tyres. With the Fiat 124 Sport and then the Fulvia HF 1600 crewed by Munari and Mannucci, the Cinturato imposed itself on roads and track throughout the world.

"In competition the tyre absorbs stresses such as heavy blows against rocks and ridges", recounts Fatti e Notizi in 1972 in an article on the Monte Carlo Rally win. "For a tyre manufacturer the rally is a conclusive test and trial, an analysis of the technological status, a stimulus and a source of useful information and a measure of the validity of its configurations." And, in the end, the art and secrets of the trade are passed on to everyone.

Mr. Bianchi equips his car with MS35 tyres, happily leaves the city - these covers can be used on both asphalt and dry surfaces - ventures out onto mud and snow and coolly copes with sheets of ice. Perhaps he feels a little "Munari."

The Cinturato family was by now polarized around the two CN36 and MS35 codes for Touring and Grand Touring and Mud and Snow uses respectively. Late 1972 also saw the introduction of the CN54 destined to expand the offer of radial tyres to increasingly broader markets, while the SR and HR speed codes were introduced for speeds of up to 180 and 210 kph respectively.

The advent of the "Low Profile"

Cinturato: The advent of the Low Profile

Just one more step had to be taken: the reduction of the traditional ratio between the height and width of the tyre section that until then had been equal to 80%.

It was in 1974 that Pirelli introduced a new Cinturato: the CN54 "Serie 70" with a sidewall height that was now just 70% of the tread width.

"With this tyre you cover more kilometres, consume less and travel happily thanks to its comfort and roadholding", explained the in-house magazine in 1974. From the technical point of view this reconfiguration has taken into consideration, among other factors, the fact that grip depends largely on the size of the contact area between tread and ground."

The road towards the "low profile" tyre started here and was soon to lead to the Pirelli P7.