Here’s another look at the Downey and Son Garage showing an additional service that they offered; on-site tire recapping. Severe rationing of new tires during the Second World War created a strong demand for the recapping of old casings and it appears that they continued the practice into the post war years. Retreading is seldom seen today except on tires intended for trucks and heavy equipment, and then it’s usually done at large, centralized facilities rather than small operations like this one.
The technician on the left is operating a buffer that removed the remnants of the old tread in order to prepare the casing. On the right we see a finished tire being removed from the mold after a new tread band has been bonded to it. Surprisingly, a tire service business existed at 15th Avenue and Kingsway as recently as last year and we have to wonder if it’s connected to the garage in our photos today. You’ll find our earlier photos of Downey and Son’s here along with many other posts about service stations on The Old Motor. Photos courtesy of the City of Vancouver.