In 1935 Herbert O. Cauble Sr. realized there was a need emerging for quality tires in Kannapolis, NC. He lived in Salisbury, NC but the sprawling textile mills in and surrounding Kannapolis enticed him to start his business there. He named his business Towel City Retreading Company. The significance of this name was derived from the fact that in those days many people referred to Kannapolis as the "Towel City" because of the textile mills. It was also common practice in those days to have your tires retreaded after their useful treadlife had expired. Herbert became an expert in the retreading business and soon after opening his business began to grow.
Although it may seem strange in our modern society, the process of getting your tires retreaded was quite interesting. Customers would stop by the shop and their worn out tires would be taken off and a loaner set of tires would be installed. Then their tires would be buffed, fitted with new rubber, and cured in pressurized molds. The customer would then come back in and have their brand new set of "caps" installed.
It didn't take long for Herbert to develop a reputation for his craftsmanship and he enjoyed a successful business. However as business grew so did demand and he quickly realized he needed additional employees. Luckily Herbert had two sons; Herbert O Cauble Jr., the eldest, and Jack Cauble. Both sons had been actively serving their country with Herbert Jr. (Junior) in WWII and Jack in the Korean War. Upon their return they were both ready to join the business and quickly mastered the trade. As time progressed the family realized that there was an increasing demand for new tires in addition to their retreads. Therefore they began stocking a full line of new tires as well. During this time retreaders were also transitioning into more new tire sales. Herbert and his sons took this opportunity to purchase and amass a wide range of molds and other retreading equipment.
In the late 1950's a new exciting sport was emerging, the birth of Stock Car Racing. The sport was derived from the hills of North Carolina where folks hauling Moonshine had to either learn to drive fast or face being caught by revenue agents. The stock cars they were driving just weren't able to perform well enough to take on this task so individuals began to modify them. Stiffer suspensions, larger engines, and better tires were needed to deliver their load without being caught. Folks knew of Towel City and its reputation for tires so it didn't take long for individuals to come calling on the business for special tires. After hearing their requests Hebert and his sons thought it over and developed tires that would stand up to the conditions they would face. Soon the word was out and there was a steady stream of folks coming by to get these 'uncatchable' caps. Without knowing it Towel City had just entered the Retreaded Racing Tire Industry.
Along this same time Junior's two sons were getting old enough to lift a lug wrench and they were spending their extra time in the shop helping out. The eldest son Herbert O. Cauble III (Herb) left to serve his country in the Vietnam War. After his tour of duty Herb returned home and joined the family business with his younger brother Danny who was fresh out of school. The two brothers were proud the be the third generation of Caubles in the business and found that they too were quick learners in the trade. As demand grew the Racing Tire segment of the business increased. Along with racing tires they were also retreading passenger tires as well as selling new tires. To stay competitive they increased their new tire inventory and focused on keeping prices low while offering fast quality service.
Although Herbert Sr. had retired in 1963 he remained a familiar face in the shop. Junior and Jack were in charge of day to day operations and with Herb and Danny now around he was confident the business he created was in good hands. With Radial Tires becoming popular in the 1970's, the Bias tire which had been standard began to be less desirable for passenger car use. Towel City began to transition away from passenger tire retreading to focus more on Racing Retreads.
Years continued to pass and Towel City's business remained strong. Junior Cauble retired in 1989 and like his father still continued to frequent the shop. He was very proud of the legacy his family had created and he made it a point to spend at least a couple days a week at the shop for the next 15 years. In 1993 Herb's son Brad Cauble was getting older and decided he wanted to join the family business. This marked the fourth generation of Caubles at Towel City and he joined his father Herb, his uncle Danny, and great Uncle Jack. Jack retired in 1995 and left the business in the hands of Herb and Danny where it remains today. In 2009 Danny's son Daniel graduated from North Carolina State University and came to work with his family. We believe that the keys to our success at Towel City lie in the fact that we have never strayed from our morals. We pride ourselves in providing quality products with honest service that our customers can trust and believe in. It is a blessing to be a part of a fourth generation family owned and operated business and we take that to heart in each customer we serve. We are thankful for the continued support of our customers and look forward to serving you in the future.
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