Ralph's words were very kind, but alas, I am just a "home-brew" tire maker. I expect to make 30 tires this week, all for home consumption. I do enjoy taking on the occasional challenge, like Ralph's oversize slicks, or the over-the-flange t-jet tires, or a replacement tire for my nephew's Mickey Mouse RC car, but I am just in it for the fun.
As the slotking said, there is much more to tires than just being round. I have only experimented with 5 or 6 tire compounds. I found one that I like, and that is what I have been using (Momentive, RTV11). The true pros are out there reinvesting their tire sales income on different compounds, looking for the best traction on each type of track, road surface and chassis. I admire their efforts on our behalf.
My favorite tire mass production story is in one of the TycoPro history articles that are floating around the web. Tyco's White Boots, the first silicone tires that I ever saw, were made from molds machined into aluminum plates. There was no detail regarding center cores (mandrels), or mold release agent, but they did mention that the silicone compound was made by the German chemical company, Bayer. Fourty years later, the White Boots that I have are still going strong. That was some good stuff!!!