No Flat Tire for ABC's New 'Bachelor'

03/04/2003 at 03:06 PM EST

It should be a smooth ride for the next star of ABC's "The Bachelor": He's a scion of the Firestone rubber tire fortune.

After weeks of speculation, ABC has announced that Andrew Firestone, 27, will begin wooing women starting with the premiere of "The Bachelor 3" on Wednesday, March 26.

He is the son of California vintner Brooks Firestone (whose grandfather, Harvey Firestone, of Akron, Ohio, founded the tire company) and British Royal Ballet soloist Catherine Boulton Firestone.

There are reports that ABC originally wanted Andrew's older brother, Adam, who runs the family-owned vineyard, to be its man to marry off. But then it was discovered that Adam had a wife and four children. So Adam suggested ABC talk to his younger, single sibling.

Andrew Firestone grew up in California's Santa Ynez Valley, went to prep school and graduated from the University of San Diego in 1998, according to the Web site of the family winery, for which Andrew serves as sales manager.

His degree is in business administration, and he backpacked around Europe before returning to the family business.

On the vineyard's Web site, Firestone, whose taste in women will soon be widely known, says: "I plan on starting a family someday, and by growing the family business, I will be building my children's future as well."

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