The Michelin Man, his ‘real’ name is Bibendum (Bib for short), has been a part of the automotive conversation for 120 years. Initially developed as a thin and ropy Frenchman built of thin motorcar and bicycle tires in the late 1890s, Bib enjoyed a drink and a cigar in his younger years, frequently found holding a coupe of Champagne.
As he aged, he grew out of those old habits, found a wife, had some kids, and for a little while even had a dog (his name was Bubbles). Like most of us, he got a bit softer and fatter with age, growing up and out as car tires increased in diameter and section width.
Since Porsche’s inception, the two brands have been largely inseparable. There have been countless Porsche racing cars to feature Bibendum on their flanks, and Michelin slicks on their wheels. The two brands have partnered for more Le Mans wins than any other manufacturers, and that partnership continues on today. With some of the best tires on the market, particularly for sports cars, Porsche selects many Michelin branded black and rounds for their OEM fitments. If Porsche trusts Michelin to provide quality and durability for their showroom fresh models, we certainly trust them to provide a fast and fun tire for the Porsches in our garage.
While Michelin is older than Bibendum, his friendly visage has been around for nearly twice as long as Porsche has been making motor cars. Back in 2000, he was voted the number one best brand icon of all time by the Financial Times, which is quite the high honor. As an icon, he has proven to stand the test of time, and as a friendly tire man he has outfitted many of our cars with incredible capability. Here’s to another 120 years of Bibendum, the Michelin Man.