Iconic — adj. \ī-ˈkä-nik\ — widely recognized and
well-established; acknowledged for distinctive excellence

What are the most iconic brands in the automotive performance aftermarket?

We thought about that for a while and collected votes from thousands of hot rodders and performance enthusiasts on Summit Racing’s Facebook and Instagram in search of the answers.

The word “iconic” may mean different things to different people, but we chose to roll with the dictionary-based definition of the word.

Continuing the countdown to #1 is the brand you voted to the #6 spot on the list.

#6 — Mickey Thompson

Racing legend Mickey Thompson and friend Gene McMannis changed motorsports in 1963 by developing a new style of racing tire featuring a lower profile and softer rubber compounds than were typical a half century ago.

Thompson was already a legend in motorsports as the first person to crack 400 miles-per-hour at the Bonneville Salt Flats a few years prior when Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels was founded.




Those are just a few of the words to describe the namesake of this iconic brand—a man who has broken more speed records than anyone in history, and who is widely credited for inventing the sport of off-road racing that we know today.

Mickey Thompson ET Drag Slicks are almost as legendary as the man for whom they’re named.

Mickey Thompson racing tires gave racers a lower center of gravity and greater stability than they’d ever had before.

That led to more speed, more wins, and more broken records from racers driving on a set of Mickey Thompsons.

When Thompson died in 1988, he held 485 national and international speed and endurance records.

His untimely death would not end the R&D and innovation going on within the company. At the time of its launch, the Mickey Thompson Sportsman Pro tire introduced in 1991 was the widest street-legal, high performance tire ever made.

According to Tire Business, the Sportsman Pro features a specially designed tread, a unique “hot and sticky” drag tire compound, and flexible wrinkle wall construction, which provided racers with a street-legal tire that could be used for drag racing.

Hot Rod inducted the Sportsman Pro into their Speed Parts Hall of Fame in 2011.

Mickey Thompson wheels and tires continue to be a mainstay at motorsports events of all kinds, and on performance vehicles worldwide.

The Mickey Thompson brand has been iconic almost from the get-go. More than 50 years later, there’s no slowdown in sight.

Popular Mickey Thompson Tires

Mickey Thompson ET Street Radial Pro Tires

Mickey Thompson ET Street S/S Tires

MT ET Street Radial SS Tires

Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/R Tires

Mickey Thompson Sportsman SR Tires

Mickey Thompson ET Drag Slicks

Mickey Thompson Baja Radial MTZ P3 Tires

MT Baja MTZ Tire

Author: Matt Griswold

After a 10-year newspaper journalism career, Matt Griswold spent another decade writing about the automotive aftermarket and motorsports. He was part of the original OnAllCylinders editorial team when it launched in 2012.